Delving into CWM archives, scholars explore ways to decolonise mission studies

by Cheon Young Cheol

Gathering at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Library at the University of London on Sept. 4, 2023, eight students and academicians from universities and research institutions across the United Kingdom explored together ways to decolonize mission studies.

Part of the SOAS Seminars series, the gathering offered access to and exploration of the CWM archives dating back to 1795. Scholars who have been working on archives from decolonial perspectives presented their research and worked while simultaneously guiding participants through archival material. CWM archivist Jo Ichimura offered an archival overview with the theme: “Voices in the archives: exploring the archival legacy of CWM.”

Housed at SOAS Library, since 1973, the CWM archives are a unique historical resource for the study of the global spread of the Christian faith over the last 200 years, used by academic researchers, family historians, churches, and communities from around the world.

“The CWM archive is a treasure trove for the modern missionary movement,” said CWM General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum. “CWM is delighted that so many scholars undertake research in the archive in person and through digital access. CWM has been a leader in decolonising mission since 1977.”

The seminar concluded with lunch and refreshments. The next SOAS Seminar is Oct. 2, 2023, with the title: “What girth the dearth? African voices from the LMS sources in Southern Africa.”

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