“Awash in a Sea of Archives”: Key Research Sources in the United States for the Study of Mission and World Christianity

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Angelyn Dries


The essay describes some holdings from five key mission archives in the United States, with the suggestion that mission archives can prove a valuable source to understand the intersection between mission and world Christianity and can raise questions about the relationship of one to the other, especially since the fulcrum of Christianity has shifted from Europe and North America to areas once considered “mission countries.” The sources hold a myriad of further research possibilities, that include the visual and performing arts in relation to inculturation; literature, the history of print, other media, and technology; the history of museums; maps, geography and perceptions of the world; economics/business; oral history, church history, Christianity in particular countries, the reception of the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church in “Third World” churches; and, transoceanic networks with implications for local churches.

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