[Article] Conceptual Framework for Constructing Indigenous Theology – Asia(n) Missions Advance, October 2021

Click to access DavidGyeongHan.pdf

For the past centuries, the Christian mission of North
American Indigenous peoples and other indigenous
groups rendered awkward consequence that ‘the
relationship with their Creators required them to reject
their own identity and adopt a European one. The
the effect was to leave Indigenous people in self-doubt
and self-rejection (Leblanc 2014: 512). Inadvertently,
the mission caused social and cultural assimilation
more than spiritual transformation (Knockwood
1992: 134). This setback was not a problem for distant
history; but, the twentieth-century mission utilized the
same mission model.
Unfortunately, older approaches to the mission with
Indigenous peoples produced dismal outcomes as a
result. The mandate of the twentieth-century mission
was to continue the task that had begun as far as the
earliest Jesuit mission among the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet,
and others at the dawn of the seventeenth century
(Thwaites 1896) – namely, civilizing and Christianizing
(Ross 2010). The old model of the Indigenous mission was
implemented across the denominational lines and
arguably still is in the missions today (LeBlanc 2014:
513). This concern was pointed back to Edinburgh
1910 that the theology of mission was shortcomings of
a common pre-Reformation theological history and its
construction of the nature and purpose of the mission.
The task of rethinking the theological presupposition
of mission and shift of methods was not the concern
dealt with in the conference at Edinburgh 1910 (Philip
1910: 64).

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