Vista 14: The State of Europe revisited

Editorial: A Matter of Perspective

A matter of perspective

Much of what is written about Europe is written “from the centre” and represents the viewpoint of those that are closest to the European institutions and/or the principal centres of economic and political power in the main European heartlands of France, Germany, UK and the Low Countries.

That is no less true of articles and books on mission in Europe where a great deal of reflection all too often collapses into an Anglo/Northern-European generalization which fails to represent the realities or the challenges of Christian mission in other parts of Europe.

The previous edition of Vista on The State of Europe sought to give our readers a broader perspective on Europe by gathering views from the outside, from North and South America, from Africa and from Asia, in the confidence that critical friends might reveal our blindspots as Europeans reflecting on mission in Europe in our own continent.

This edition builds on that by providing some alternate assessments from within. Jeff Fountain of The Schuman Centre for European Studies and David Kerrigan of BMS World Mission give their unique perspectives on mission in today’s Europe, and these are complemented by two views of Europe from the margins. Hervin Fushekati, Vice President of the Evangelical Alliance of Albania makes an impassioned call to disciple Europe’s youth. And I conclude with an assessment of the challenges for mission today as seen from Spain.

Vista 14 concludes with a review of a book which gives a further unique take on the state of Europe, through the lens of economics: Tomas Sedlacek’s The Economics of Good and Evil.

We hope you find it good summer reading

Jim Memory, Darrell Jackson, Jo Appleton

Download your copy of Vista 14 here

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One Comment on “Vista 14: The State of Europe revisited”

  1. Valentin Kozhuharov Says:

    It seems inevitable that much of what has been written about Europe (including issues on mission and missiology) was written from the centre of Europe. The two perspectives in Vista-14 (Perspective 3 on Albania and Perspective 4 on Spain) are a good contribution to “filling the gap,” and still there is much more to be written and said about “the other Europe” – the Europe “on the margins,” especially Eastern Europe. This part of the Old Continent had been greatly shattered over the last one hundred years when in the 90’s of last century the countries of Central and Eastern Europe said “No!” to communism and undertook a difficult but a rewarding path towards democracy and freedom of thought and religion.
    From this perspective, it was not possible for anyone to expect missiological or missionary issues to be developed in this part of Europe. But what now missionaries and missiologists lack is a thorough review of what has happened in Eastern Europe in the last 25 years in terms of mission and Church growth. Such a review would certainly enrich the Western European missiological thought, and it will certainly enrich the Eastern European missionary and missiological movement, as well. Missionaries and missiologists in Eastern Europe need to share their experience with their Western counterparts, and the Anglo/Northern European missionaries and missiologist should also share their experience with the Eastern European colleagues. In this, one may find it amazing how many articles and books on mission and mission studies are out there, and how many more might appear as a result of this sharing. Such a development could show what the European face of mission and missiology is, meaning the whole European, not only the central or the northern European generalisations.
    Now the question is how this could happen, who would initiate such a sharing, who the authors and the main actors will be, so that the conversation starts and further develops into a typical European missionary and missiological discussion.

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