Editor: Dr Jonathan Ingleby – Issue 20
I was having a celebratory lunch with some of my relatives this week and meeting for the first time the French husband of one of my wife’s cousins. He proved to be a gentle, warm, intelligent sort of person but we had to work a little at the conversation as his English was not great and my French was even worse. I asked him whether he had voted for Sarkozy and he said he had, and this seemed to offer him permission to talk about something which really mattered to him – the issue of immigration. He lived in Grenoble and I said that I had never visited Grenoble, the nearest I had been was Marseilles. ‘Ah’, he said, ‘Marseilles. That will tell you nothing about France. Marseilles is no longer a French city; it is an Arab city.’ A little later he said: ‘I am glad that I am old. The problems of my nation mostly lie in the future.’
I am not sure that I can altogether go along with this pessimism. Matters seem to me to be more ambivalent. Is migration a blessing or a curse? Is it a threat or an opportunity? Where does it fit into mission?
In this edition Dan Clark tries to answer these questions with an analysis of migration in Southall in West London and its impact on the church. Paul Woods raises similar issues within the context of the so-called ‘diaspora ministries’, and Darrell Jackson takes a Europe-wide perspective. Jonathan Ingleby links the whole issue to postcolonialism. All of them try to add a missiological perspective. Everywhere people are on the move and in every place something can be done on behalf of the Kingdom of God.
Whatever the issues, what is certain is that there is no turning back now. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their influential book ‘Empire’ parody the Communist Manifesto in words that are both relevant and ominous. ‘A spectre haunts the world and it is the spectre of migration. All the powers of the old world are allied in a merciless operation against it, but the movement is irresistible.’
Book Review 1: Freud and the Non-European.
(by Edward Said; Verso)
Book Review 2: SCM Studyguide to Christian Mission: Historic Types and Contemporary Expressions.
(by Stephen Spencer; SCM Press)
Book Review 3: Exiles: Living missionally in a post-Christian culture.
(by Michael Frost; Hendrickson Publishers)
And finally, a single PDF of the whole issue. Ideal for using offline or to make printing easier.
Issue 20: Single Document Version (in full). (File size: 243kb)