Global Christianities 2018

Global Christianities: New Directions for the 21st Century (2018)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 | Swift Lecture Hall (3rd floor)

In the beginning of the 21st century, Christianity is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. This event engages new directions in the academic study of global Christianities. Forging an interdisciplinary conversation, it features three leading scholars in theology, history and anthropology to reconsider approaches to the study of Christianity in the Middle East, South America, Africa, and Asia.  

Organized by Divinity School faculty Dwight N. Hopkins, the Alexander Campbell Professor of Theology; Kevin Hector, Associate Professor of Theology and of the Philosophy of Religions; Angie Heo, Assistant Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion; and Karin Krause, Assistant Professor of Byzantine Theology and Visual Culture.

Stephen Davis, Professor of Religious Studies and of History, Religious Studies Department, Yale University
     "Ethiopians in Late Ancient and Medieval Egypt: Locating ‘World Christianity’ in Monastic Multiculturalism, Intra-Regional Migration, and Discourses of Ethnicity”
Deirdre De La Cruz, Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Studies and Associate Professor, History, University of Michigan
     "The New Dogmatists: Beyond the “Local” in Filipino Marian Devotion"
Jehu J. Hanciles, D.W. and Ruth Brooks Associate Professor of World Christianity, Emory University Candler School of Theology
     “African Christianity as an African Religion: the Role of the Black Atlantic”

Student panel:

Cameron Ferguson, PhD candidate in Bible

Aaron Hollander, PhD candidate in Theology

Elsa Marty, PhD candidate in Theology


9:00-9:30am: Registration and coffee

9:30am: Welcome remarks

9:45-10:45am: Stephen Davis

10:45am-11:00am: Break

11:00am-12:00pm: Jeju H. Hanciles

12:00-2:00pm: Lunch and informal conversation

2:00-3:00pm: Deirdre de la Cruz

3:00-3:15pm: Break

3:15-4:15pm: Divinity School student panel: 

  • Cameron Ferguson, PhD candidate in Bible
  • Aaron Hollander, PhD candidate in Theology
  • Elsa Marty, PhD candidate in Theology

4:15-5:15pm: Reception, Swift Hall's Common Room (1st floor).

Deirdre de la Cruz

Deidre de la CruzDeidre de la Cruz is an historian and cultural anthropologist of the Philippines, with an interest in the transformation of religious sensibilities, beliefs, and phenomena in modernity. Her work examines different varieties of Filipino Christianity through their material, textual, and technological mediations. Her approach to these subjects departs from the premise that the Philippines is a highly productive site for comparative and interdisciplinary inquiry, and thus situates the Philippines and Filipinos in relationship to other worlds and communities—be they defined by empire, Christian mission, or diaspora—in ways that unsettle claims often made about Filipino culture and history. At the same time, her work “thinks with” Filipino Christian phenomena as a means to develop innovative approaches to researching and writing about religion.

Her first book, Mother Figured: Marian Apparitions and the Making of a Filipino Universal (University of Chicago Press, 2015), is a study of the efflorescence of apparitions and miracles of the Virgin Mary in the Philippines, from the mid-nineteenth century to the turn of the millennium. It documents not only the conditions of this efflorescence but its effects, particularly on the place of Filipinos in the greater Catholic world.  Her current book project, tentatively titled Spirits of a New Age, investigates alternative spiritual and religious movements in the Philippines as they intersect with and influence “occult” and “new age” discourses and practices worldwide. As with the first book, this second project pays particular attention to the formation of religious publics as they articulate with colonial and post-colonial modernity, nationalism, and politics.

Jehu H. Hanciles

Dr Jehu H HancilesDr. Jehu H. Hanciles has lived and worked in Sierra Leone, Scotland, Zimbabwe, and the United States and been a visiting professor at schools around the world. Before coming to Candler in 2012, Hanciles was associate professor of the history of Christianity and globalization, and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary. 

Hanciles’ current research surveys the history of global Christian expansion through the lens of migration. He has written and published on issues related to the history of Christianity (notably the African experience) and globalization, including two books, Euthanasia of a Mission: African Church Autonomy in a Colonial Context (Praeger, 2002) and Beyond Christendom: Globalization, African Migration and the Transformation of the West (Orbis Books, 2009), and countless articles. His article "The Future of Missiology as a Discipline" was one of the top ten most read articles in Missiology in 2015. He serves as associate editor of Missiology, one of the premier scholarly journals of mission studies, and on the editorial advisory committee for Baylor University Press’s Studies in World Christianity.


Stephen Davis

stephen davisStephen Davis is Professor of Religious Studiesat Yale University, specializing in the history of ancient and medieval Christianity, with a focus on the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East. Since 2013, he has served as Head of Pierson College, one of the residential colleges at Yale, and since 2015 as Chair of the Council of Heads of College (CHC).

Prior to coming to Yale in 2002, Davis lived in Egypt for four years, where he was professor and academic dean at an Arabic-language theological seminary in Cairo. His areas of teaching and research at Yale include the study of women and gender, pilgrimage and the cult of the saints, the history of biblical interpretation and canon formation, Egyptian Christianity, Arabic Christianity and its relation to Islam, early Christian art and material culture, and the application of archaeological, anthropological, sociological, and literary methods in the study of historical texts.

Persons with a disability who need an accommodation to attend this event, please call Sandra Peppers in advance: 773-702-8219. 

image credit: Photocreo Michal Bednarak