Posted by: Titus Presler | October 19, 2010

“Valuable contribution,” says Lamin Sanneh about “Going Global with God”

“I welcome the book as a valuable contribution to the intercultural dynamics of the churches’ contemporary encounter with society and culture in their unity and difference,” Lamin Sanneh, the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity and Professor of History at Yale Divinity School, has written about my new book, Going Global with God: Reconciling Mission in a World of Difference.

His full comment follows:

The West still has a long way to go to keep pace with Christianity’s contemporary expansion and expression in the post-Western world. The religion with which the West has long been familiar has taken a surprisingly fresh, invigorating turn in our age, with evidence of it now virtually on our doorsteps in the United States and elsewhere. A theologian of the church, Titus Presler has plotted with apt anecdote and testimony the contours of this fact, expressed in terms of what he calls the seven marks of the mission companion. His book is an exploration of what God does as an essential way of understanding who God is. I welcome the book as a valuable contribution to the intercultural dynamics of the churches’ contemporary encounter with society and culture in their unity and difference.

My association with Sanneh goes back to the late 1980s, when I studied with him during his time at Harvard Divinity School.  His insight into the dynamics of mission and African Christianity led me to ask him to be one of my dissertation advisers, to which he kindly agreed.

I am grateful for Lamin Sanneh’s affirmation of the book.

Lamin Sanneh

From the Yale website: Professor Sanneh is the author of over a hundred articles on religious and historical subjects, and of several books. Most recently he has published Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks and the Making of Modern West Africa; Faith and Power: Christianity and Islam in “Secular” Britain (with Lesslie Newbigin and Jenny Taylor); and Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West. He has also written The Crown and the Turban: Muslims and West African Pluralism; Religion and the Variety of Culture: A Study in Origin and Practice; Piety and Power: Muslims and Christians in West Africa; and is co-editor of The Changing Face of Christianity (forthcoming from Oxford University Press). He writes articles for scholarly journals, including Church History: Studies on Christianity and Culture; Newsletter of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (University of Leiden, The Netherlands); and The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion. He is Honorary Research Professor in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He was chairman of Yale’s Council on African Studies. He is an editor-at-large of the ecumenical weekly The Christian Century and a contributing editor of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, and he serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals and encyclopedias. He has served as consultant to the Pew Charitable Trusts. He is listed in Who’s Who in America. He was an official consultant at the 1998 Lambeth Conference in London and is a member of the Council of 100 Leaders of the World Economic Forum. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Commission of the Historical Sciences, and by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Commission on Religious Relations with Muslims. He has received an award as the John W. Kluge Chair in the Cultures and Societies of the South by the Library of Congress. For his academic work, he was made Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Lion, Senegal’s highest national honor, and is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.



  1. Thanks so much, Fred! I really appreciate your comment. Some of the article appears in the book featured in this blog posting. For other readers, the article Fred highlights appears in the October 2010 issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research and is entitled “Mission is Ministry in the Dimension of Difference: A Definition for the Twenty-first Century.”

  2. Dear Titus,
    I read with great interest your first-rate article in the recent issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research. It was a lucid survey on the evolution of modern Catholic and Protestant missionary thought in the light of global realities and the spread of more information on world religions. Most important was the section on differences as a separate reality in the PostModern world. That really represents a new paradigm, one moving beyond classical views of dialogue and communication. A productive and tightly reasoned piece. Nice work!.
    Fred Quinn
    P.S. Regards to you both. Your joint and several work suggests a new model of what mission has come to be in our swiftly changing time.

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