Just two months ago, in the last issue of Encounters, Europe was reeling from the Dutch and French ‘No’ votes on the European constitution. Much discussion since then has highlighted the difficulties many countries are facing in integrating immigrants into the societies and cultures of the European Union.
What does it mean to be French and European, or Dutch and European? In the last few weeks here in UK, we have faced the realisation that a minority of second-generation British Muslims, who even in their families eyes were well integrated, could be motivated to bomb their own adopted country. What does it mean to be British and Muslim?
These issues of immigration, integration and identity are the same issues that we tackle in Encounters this month in the mission context. How do we Europeans respond to the shift of balance in the world church that means we are now receiving missionaries as well as sending them? How do we the traditional colonisers work with those we traditionally colonised in a new and equal partnership? Do the churches of the Global South become the new missionary colonisers and the West the passive recipients, or can we move beyond the old paradigm? What does the re-evangelisation of Europe require? Is the West failing to welcome missionaries from the Global South and are those missionaries adequately prepared for cross-cultural contextualisation? What is a contextualised Christianity in Europe?
We also launch what we hope will be a regular feature – a book review. This month Rose Dowsett (OMF & Interserve) reviews ‘Watching the English: the hidden rules of English Behaviour’, by Kate Fox.
Article 1: Re-evangelising Europe: More of the same or something new?
(Rob Hay, 2006 words) PDF -:- Abstract and Discussion
Article 2: The End of The World as We Know It: Church-planting in postmodern Europe
(Richard Tiplady, 2161 words) PDF -:- Abstract and Discussion
Article 3: The Welcome Project: Issues facing mission to Europe from a colonial perspective.
(Kees van der Wilden, 2079 words) PDF -:- Abstract and Discussion
Book Review 1: Watching the English: ‘The hidden rules of English Behaviour’.
(By Kate Fox; Hodder & Stroghton)