CWM launches book exploring empire, mission, and White privilege

by Cheon Young Cheol

The Council for World Mission (CWM) London office hosted, on 1 July, 20 representatives from the member churches in the Europe region as well as ecumenical partners in a launch of a book born of the work from the Legacies of Slavery project (now The Onesimus Project) entitled, “Deconstructing Whiteness, Empire and Mission.”

The book, wholly funded by CWM, was coedited by Prof. Anthony Reddie from the University of Oxford, and Dr Carol Troupe of the Queen’s Foundation. Both were lead researchers on the CWM Legacies of Slavery project.

The launch, organised by the CWM Programme team and the staff of the London office, gave the attendees a closer look at the academic publication exploring the relationships between whiteness, empire, and mission.

The 368-page book, comprised of epistemological writings, personal anecdotes, and reflections, invites persons who identify themselves as academics, practitioners, and activists, predominantly White people in Britain, to explore and ponder upon the contested dynamics of empire and mission and the central roles that White privilege, entitlement, and power have played in shaping modern history and the contemporary world.

It seeks to push forward the thesis that it is futile to engage in genuine Christian mission without first coming to terms with the bloody legacies of European colonialism while at the same time, exploring the methods by which theological education can be decolonised.

“I welcome this groundbreaking publication, fruit of CWM’s The Onesimus Project. Prof. Anthony Reddie and Dr Carol Troupe have curated essays on Black Theology and dismantling Whiteness in academia and mission. A number of essays advocate for a decolonisation of theological curriculum, a priority for CWM, through its education for liberation work. I recommend this book to churches and missiologists,” said Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum, CWM General Secretary.

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