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Cross-Cultural Mission: Problems and Prospects.

Cross-Cultural Mission: Problems and Prospects.

Edited by Raymundus Sudhiarsa, S.V.D. Malang, Indonesia: Bayumedia Publishing, 2012. Pp. iv, 283. $15 (plus $35 postage; contact:

What is the experience of the large number of missionaries from the Global South? Cross-Cultural Mission: Problems and Prospects is a collection of papers given at the fourth symposium held by the Asia-Pacific Association of Mission Researchers (ASPAMIR) of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), an international Roman Catholic missionary order. This volume, edited by Indonesian missiologist Raymundus Sudhiarsa, addresses the topics of cross-cultural mission and missionary formation, as well as several specific mission issues from the perspective of mission-sending countries in Asia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The three chapters of part 1 study the experience of SVD missionaries from the Philippines and Indonesia working outside their countries of birth. The research--based on data from mission directories, interviews, and questionnaires--is focused on the issue of early-returning missionaries. The most extensive study, found in chapter 3, is the collaborative effort of five researchers and is based on the responses of almost eighty Indonesian missionaries. Part 2 addresses cross-cultural formation. Chapter 4, written from the perspective of missionary orientation programs in PNG, provides the underlying principles, while chapter 5 focuses on the cross-cultural dynamics and multicultural context of mission in India. The three chapters of Part 3 address key mission issues in Asia: fundamentalism, interreligious dialogue, and globalization.

The unique contribution of this book is its sociological approach to the study of the cross-cultural experience of Asian Catholic missionaries. The volume's particular focus on the phenomenon of early-returning missionaries and on the necessity for appropriate cross-cultural preparation is also relevant for other mission-sending organizations. Critically speaking, a couple of the studies would be improved by increasing the quantity of the data and the depth of the analysis and proposed responses---comments also made by several authors themselves. On the whole, however, the book represents the application of sociological and missiological expertise to the very practical issues of missionary preparation and retention. --Roger Schroeder

Roger Schroeder is the Bishop Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology a t Ca tholic Theological Union, Chicago, and coauthor with Stephen Bevans of Constants in Context (Orbis Books, 2004).
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Author:Schroeder, Roger
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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