Disciples of All Nations has 42 ratings and 7 reviews. David said: Lamin Sanneh tells the story of the growth of Christianity, focusing on the reception. Issue 1 ยท International Review of Mission banner. Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity by Lamin O. Sanneh. First published: 20 March Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity by Lamin O. Sanneh. First published: 20 March Full publication history; DOI.

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Lamin Sanneha naturalized U. His books include Whose Religion is Christianity?: Africa, the West, and the World coedited with Joel A. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Long the dominant religion of the West, Christianity is now rapidly becoming the principal faith in much of the postcolonial world–a development that marks a momentous shift in the religion’s very center of gravity.

In this eye-opening book, Lamin Sanneh examines the roots of this “post-Western awakening” and the unparalleled richness and diversity, as well as the tension and conflict, it has brought to World Christianity.

Tracing Christianity’s rise from its birth on the edge of the Roman empire–when it proclaimed itself to be a religion for the entire world, not just for one people, one time, and one place–to its key role in Europe’s maritime and colonial expansion, Sanneh sheds new light on the ways in which post-Western societies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were drawn into the Christian orbit.

Ultimately, he shows, these societies outgrew Christianity’s colonial forms and restructured it through their own languages and idioms–a process that often occurred outside, and sometimes against, the lines natione denominational control.

The alll of such changes, Sanneh contends, has been profound, transforming not only worship, prayer, and the interpretation of Scripture, but also art, aesthetics, and music associated with the church.

In exploring this story of Christianity’s global expansion and its current resurgence in the non-Western world, Sanneh pays close attention to such issues as the faith’s encounters with Islam and indigenous religions, as well as with secular ideologies such as Marxism and nationalism.

He also considers the challenges that conservative, non-Western forms of Christianity pose to Western liberal values and Enlightenment ideas.

Here then is a groundbreaking study of Christianity’s role in cultural innovation and historical change–and must reading for all who are concerned with the present and future of the faith. Read more Read less. Add both disciplrs Cart Add both to List. Buy the selected items together This item: Disciples of All Nations: Ships from and sold by Amazon. Whose Religion Is Christianity?: Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.

The Gospel beyond the West.

The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith. The Untold Story of Global Christianity. The Lost History of Christianity: Review ” Disciples of All Nations offers extraordinary insights into world Christianity today. Throughout, Sanneh asks the critical question: This is a splendid achievement. Then look no further. It thus merits warm recommendations, even if not as splendid as anticipated due to its uneven coverage.

Oxford Studies in World Christianity Paperback: Oxford University Press; 1 edition November 30, Language: Start reading Disciples of All Nations on your Kindle in under a minute. Don’t have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers.

Write a customer review. Showing of 8 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. The Gospel Beyond the West In writing Disciples of All Nations, Sanneh inaugurates the “Oxford Studies in World Christianity”–a venture that examines the “massive cultural shifts and alignments” currently underway in World Christianity.


Yet, for Sanneh, it is not that Christianity is in a terminal state in the West, but that Christianity’s future is currently “being formed and shaped at the hands and minds of its non-Western adherents. Moreover, this shift has generated a complex and colorful reality in the study of Christianity as a world religion, which Sanneh describes with his elegant pen: Nevertheless, the vision of the series is such that each book will be “conceived and written individually.

Yet, that is not to say that Disciples of All Nations does not put forth an argument or a particular way of reading the unfolding of Christianity as a world religion. At the heart of Sanneh’s contention is that Christianity is a mission-oriented and translating religion made up diverse cultures and languages united by Jewish monotheist ideas and ethics, which emphasizes personal conversion to and fellowship with God in Jesus Christ.

In Sanneh’s words, “Being a translated religion, Christian teaching was received and framed in the terms of its host culture; by feeding off the diverse cultural streams it encountered, the religion became multicultural.

The local idiom became a chosen vessel. Throughout his discussion of these pillars, Sanneh considers the serial quality of Christianity i. Lamin Sanneh is amazingly scholarly, but this is not a book useful only to scholars.

It is helpful to anyone interested in the concept of Christians communicating Christ to a non-Christian world. Sanneh knows that a personal life-changing faith in Christ is available to and transcends all cultural, linguistic, national and educational boundaries.

Disciples of All Nations puts the Christian faith in perspective, both historically and geographically. It explores the interaction between Christians long steeped nationx the faith, those new to the faith and those yet completely unfamiliar with Jesus. It reminds us and informs us regarding Christianity’s multicultural origins and points us to its multicultural future. Press,have drawn needed attention to one of the most striking developments of the past century: In his recent book, “Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity,” Lamin Sanneh sets out to describe some of the “pillars” or roots of this worldwide Christian awakening, which he calls the “Third Awakening” p.

It is a wide-ranging study that chronicles the fascinating, if somewhat messy, story of Christianity’s naturalization or “inculturation” among various peoples throughout its history. It is the story of Christianity becoming “the most diverse and pluralist religion in the world. It is an eye-opening study that lakin fascinating, and sometimes myth-busting insights about our understanding of the nature of the Christian religion, our understanding of Western missions, and the role of local agency and native resources in the spread of Christianity.

Anyone interested in the worldwide Christian movement or current events would benefit from Professor Sanneh’s thorough study. Before moving into a more detailed review of the book, let me offer a small warning. Sanneh has such a remarkable breadth of knowledge that keeping up can be difficult. Second Edition Hist of the Church.

Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity – Oxford Scholarship

With that warning in place, however, I reemphasize my warm recommendation of the book. In the remainder this review, rather than recapitulate each chapter, I will highlight and discuss some of Sanneh’s main themes.

One of Sanneh’s dominant themes that emerges again and again is that Christianity has a “peculiar temper” p. No culture is so advanced or so superior that it can claim exclusive access or advantage to the truth of God, and none so marginal All have merit, none is indispensable” p.

As such, Christianity both absorbs and transforms the cultures it encounters.

Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity

It llamin by making local appropriations and adaptations with local cultural resources, while investing those preexisting materials with new meaning and purpose. All that is to say, one reason for Christianity’s appeal as a world religion is that it is a “translated and translating” religion, a religion with an “amazing power sannfh adaptation” which enables it to speak to the heart of human beings in exceedingly diverse historical and cultural situations.


If this “peculiar temper” of Christianity is one of the faith’s greatest strengths, it has too often been hindered by notions of cultural superiority, and connections to political power. Sanneh shows, again through a multitude of examples, the “heavy price” that has often been paid when Christianity’s “intrinsic character as a worldwide religion In the West, this is an often-told story: Sanneh is not shy to point out many examples of this.

But, he is quick to add, though western scholarship and popular opinion would have us believe otherwise, that is not the whole story. Sanneh writes, “I am urging a revisionist history without claiming that missions and colonialism were not in cahoots.

There were many shining examples of this throughout missions history. Missions saw increasingly that though the Gospel was a universal message meant to flourish in any and every cultural milieu, the “crushing burden” of “Europeandom” had muted the Gospel and robbed it of its power.

Moreover, wether consciously or unconsciously, missionaries who translated the Bible into local vernacular languages, and who preached the essentials of Christianity, often sowed the seeds of local empowerment that contributed to the undermining of colonial domination.

Bible translation, it turned out, was a great act of cultural affirmation sannneh empowerment. Bible translation work also produced grammars and lexicons for languages that otherwise might have disappeared. Though Sanneh devotes a great deal idsciples attention to foreign missions, that is not his ultimate focus; to focus on Western missions would be to misread Sanneh. Throughout “Disciples ssanneh All Nations,” he explicitly shifts the focus from expatriate initiative to local reception, from foreign control disciplse native direction.

This is another sannneh and convincing aspect of Sanneh’s argument. Sanneh claims that scholarship related to the growth of Christianity in Africa and the colonial era often makes the same mistake the colonial powers made: However, Sanneh contends that this one-sided picture of native passivity in the face of missionary hegemony is far wide of the mark.

It soon became clear that while foreigners may have been the initial bearers of Christian teaching to parts of Africa, Africans had taken the ball for themselves and run with it. In the last chapter of the book, Sanneh points out a similar Chinese appropriation of Christianity which took place in very different circumstances.

In its paranoid repression of Christianity as a “foreign religion,” the communist revolution in China itself the discipes of a foreign ideology – Marxism ironically cleared the decks for the thoroughly Chinese Christian awakening that discpiles currently underway in China ch.

Returning to Africa, it became clear that Africans wanted Jesus, they wanted the Bible, they wanted healing and miracles and power over evil in the spirit realm things they found ample evidence for in the Biblebut not the European civilization that was supposed to accompany Christianity something the Bible eanneh to oppose nationx many points. Sanneh provides a cogent summary: Africans rejected that view by circulating the religion as local currency” p. Llamin the one hand, then, African Christians brilliantly separated the Christian kernel from the colonial husk, and made Christianity their own.

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