Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Bearing witness: Wearing a broken indigene heart on the sleeve of the missio Dei
by Lansdowne, Carmen Rae, Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, 2016, 261; 10115670
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation constructs an indigenous theology of mission by interrogating the general differences between Western epistemological traditions influential in Christian theology and indigenous epistemologies and ways they could broaden Christian missiological discourse. By employing the pedagogical and political ethics of indigenous worldviews and an intercultural theology, the dissertation seeks to reframe three main (largely unspoken) undercurrents in missiology to date: 1) in church and society, what the global north has given to the global south has always been conditional (specifically expectations of realignment to hegemonic perspectives and practices); 2) that dialogue between the dominant and marginalized has been to solve indigenous 'problems'; and 3) that the current world economic perspective based on competition for scarce resources is not life-giving. The indigenous intercultural theology proposed offers the following three responses: 1) that the current `dependency' model of missiology is unsustainable; 2) that dialogue between the dominant and the oppressed is the end, not a means to an end; and 3) that acknowledging differences doesn't present a challenging competition for resources, but rather changes the discourse to say that the world hold enough resources for all.

The first chapter summarizes the context of indigenous peoples in Canada and sets out the methodology and states that intercultural dialogue in the objective. Chapter Two sets out some of the problematic Western epistemological traditions that have influenced Christian theology and offers counter-narratives from an indigenous epistemological perspective. Chapter Three raises questions that warrant responses from contemporary missiology. Chapter Four starts to integrate the indigenous epistemological perspectives from Chapter Two with the missiological issues outlined in Chapter Three, recognizing the risks in writing missiology from an indigenous perspective. Chapter Five addresses the heart of the constructive theological task of the dissertation by highlighting the strengths of indigenous Christian perspectives to answer: If indigenous hearts are broken by Christianity, what is it in Christian theology that is life giving at all? Chapter Six presents a conclusion and an invitation for intercultural dialogue.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wickeri, Philip
School: Graduate Theological Union
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Epistemology, Theology, Native American studies
Keywords: Constructive Theology, Epistemology, Indigenous, Missiology, Native American, Settler
Publication Number: 10115670
ISBN: 9781339771496
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