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Putting Names with Faces: Women's Impact in Mission History, Christine Lienemann-Perrin, Atola Longkumer, Afrie Songco Joye

Date added: 01/09/2016

Putting Names with Faces: Women's Impact in Mission History

Edited by Christine Lienemann-Perrin, Atola Longkumer, Afrie Songco Joye

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Published: 2012

ISBN: 1426758391, 9781426758393

Women have participated in Christian mission work since the beginning of Christianity. Few of their names are known to us; others are identified as spouses or coworkers of men in mission; and many remain completely anonymous. Putting Names with Faces addresses this disparity and attempts to do justice to at least some of the women who have contributed tremendously to the missionary endeavor in past and present times on all continents. It is an attempt to put names to these otherwise unknown faces and to honor their significant, but untold, contributions throughout the history of mission. Thoughtful, eye-opening, expansive, and humbling, Putting Names with Faces is a book you will not be able to forget.

Putting names with faces

A review of the book is below:

This “global theological resource book” resulted from a consultation on women and mission held in 2008 at the WCC’s Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland. It contains scholarly case studies and missiological reflections by sixteen women scholars from Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Representing one of the “transversal” themes of the Edinburgh 2010 process, the volume promotes “an inclusive understanding of mission across gender barriers, race relations, and cultural differences” (17). After an introductory overview, the volume breaks into sections on “foundational perspectives,” case studies, and concluding theological reflections on women’s “contextual missiology.” Each of the major essays includes valuable suggestions for further reading, extensive footnotes, and in many cases questions for discussion.

The title Putting Names with Faces symbolizes the hidden histories and the ignored contributions of women to Christian mission. The merits of the book include its geographic and ethnic diversity of case studies and its fine introductory and concluding overviews of the biblical, historical, and missiological aspects of women’s contributions to mission through the ages. One striking feature of the book is its postcolonial approach—a consistently appreciative and yet appropriately critical reading of women’s missionary history.

Essays of note include Christine Lienemann-Perrin’s fresh reading of biblical perspectives, Amélé Adamavi-Aho Ekué’s study of missionary influence on women’s church roles in West Africa, Gulnar Francis-Dehqani’s nuanced treatment of missionary/Muslim relationships in Iran a century ago, Kwok Pui-lan’s valuable survey of feminist Christian perspectives in China, Marilú Rojas Salazar’s feminist analysis of shocking violence against women in Mexico, Karla Ann Koll’s fine overview of Presbyterian women’s work in Guatemala, and Cathy Ross’s constructive missiological reflection. Despite some uneven sections and typos, this readable, diverse, and thoughtful scholarly volume will be useful as a text both in theological seminaries and in church-based educational programs.

—Dana L. Robert

Dana L. Robert, a contributing editor, is the Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission at the Boston University School of Theology. She directs the Center for Global Christianity and Mission (