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Trends in Mission: Toward the Third Millennium.

In the world of mission studies Servizio di Documentazione e Studi (SEDOS) in Rome is a well-respected institute. Established as a study and documentation center at the service of mission societies during the closing sessions of the Second Vatican Council, SEDOS has recently celebrated its silver jubilee. Today, with over seventy mission societies as members, SEDOS has a combined membership of a quarter of a million.

Drawing upon twenty-five years of experience and the combined resources of the SEDOS membership, the present volume brings together a selection of the best materials available from the annual research seminars and other significant SEDOS meetings and conferences. Thus, between the covers of this thick volume, one finds a library of creative reflection on contemporary mission theory and practice.

A lengthy preface by Robert Schreiter introduces the panorama of materials, which are organized into four thematic sections with significant subthemes. Part 1 ("The Context of Mission Today") treats local churches, popular religiosity, modernity, and urbanization. Part 2 ("Models of Mission and Ministry") encompasses sections on ministries, justice, peace and the integrity of creation, interreligious dialogue, and ecumenism. Parts 3 and 4 are briefer and treat laity and religious ("People in Mission") as well as future mission challenges ("Mission: From Vatican II into the Coming Decade").

The foregoing presentation of the thematic structure and organization of this SEDOS volume is most inadequate to capture the rich, fresh, and comprehensive treatment of mission topics. Over fifty individual contributions, varying in length from two to forty pages, consistently reflect the dynamic perspectives of involved, committed, and experienced missioners; this is clearly the book's particular strength.

The quality and appeal of individual pieces vary in any collection. The lack of an index is unfortunate. However, one will need to search far and wide to find a better or more comprehensive treatment of the contemporary agenda in mission.

James H. Kroeger, M.M., has overseas mission experience in the Philippines and Bangladesh. He now serves as the Asia-Pacific Area Assistant on the Maryknoll General Council.
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Author:Kroeger, James H.
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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