Every nation under heaven: the importance of the biblical concept of nations for contemporary mission practice

Sayers, James D. (2016) Every nation under heaven: the importance of the biblical concept of nations for contemporary mission practice. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.

Abstract

Is there a concept of nationhood in the Bible that can provide us with a framework for cross-cultural Christian mission?
This thesis argues that current evangelical missiology has accepted too willingly the categories of the secular Enlightenment understanding of ethnicity and nationhood, and that it needs to rethink its understanding of nations from a biblical standpoint. While the pressures of globalisation are seen by some as rapidly eclipsing the nation-state, this thesis will argue that we need to move beyond the narrower secular categories of citizenship, political power and the boundaries of the state to recover a more biblical understanding of nationhood. By reference to Genesis 10-11, Acts 2:1-11 and those passages in the Book of Revelation that discuss the destiny of the nations, it will show that the biblical understanding of nations includes deeper ideas of shared history, culture and language as the essential components of nationhood. It will explain how nations are part of the created order, and explore the impact of the Babel narrative on our understanding of nations in relation to God. It will demonstrate that Pentecost did not reverse the curse of Babel, but served rather to honour the dignity and value of nations and their languages. It will also argue that nations have a destiny in the New Creation according to the Book of Revelation. This biblical concept of nationhood has significant implications in several areas: the development of a public theology; a Christian response to nationalism; the question of how urban mission fits within mission to the nations; and the importance of indigenous languages in cross-cultural mission, especially in the multicultural cities of Europe.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Nationhood , Enlightenment, Nation-state, Table of Nations, Babel, Pentecost, Book of Revelation, Public theology, nationalism, Urban mission, indigenous languages, bilingual church
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Jasper, Prof. David and Ford, Dr. David
Date of Award: 2016
Embargo Date: 1 June 2019
Depositing User: Mr James D Sayers
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7400
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2016 09:11
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2016 08:08
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7400

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