To raise the question of Orthodox mission is to examine the relationship between Christianity and modern culture. The dynamics of Christianity with modern culture is the inquiry, among other things, about the relationship between theology and philosophy, faith and reason, and religion and a diverse society. Do these pairings represent separate spheres that have little or nothing to do with one another? What is the relationship between reason and faith? Can one be committed to both a scientific view of the world and religious belief? How does Orthodoxy affect the way we live and interact with others in society? Such issues are of more than academic interest, as they go to the heart of what it might mean to be Orthodox in a contemporary society. This course considers these kinds of questions through an approach based upon the principles of dialogue, development, and community which are essential in the life of any missionary.
Open the back of most Bibles today and one can find maps detailing Paul’s missionary journeys, but what about the other Apostles and their successors? How did Christianity reach the borders of contemporary China, and the heart of Africa before the Christianization of Northern Europe? This 15-week online course provides an overview of Christian mission in its historical context over the past 2000 years. Students will become acquainted with a general survey of missions in the history of the Church and be able to identify major factors (historical, social, and political) contributing to Orthodox Christian missionary activity over the past 2000 years.