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Lutheran Perspectives on Mission
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) understands itself as “a communion of churches which confess the triune God, agree in the proclamation of the Word of God and are united in pulpit and altar fellowship”.[1] Together these churches participate in God’s mission across the globe. The Seven-Year Report, presented at the Twelfth LWF Assembly earlier this year (Windhoek 2017), states:

We take part in God’s mission by sharing the good news of God’s love. Inspired by this love, we put our faith into action, working for the empowerment and liberation of people who are marginalized and in need. We advocate for justice in all areas of life—economic, social and ecological— and lift up the God-given dignity of each and every human being.[2]

As indicated, God’s mission is carried out not in a vacuum but is situated, shaped, and negotiated in relation to diverse pastoral, economic, and socio-political contexts. Lutheran churches thus interact with the wider society and are thus “called and sent to be transformative agents in the world”.[3]

With this overarching perspective on mission in mind, this paper intends to present some of the leading ideas on Christian mission as perceived and framed within the context of the LWF. A special focus is drawn to Mission in Context: Transformation, Reconciliation, Empowerment. An LWF Contribution to the Understanding and Practice of Mission, published in 2004 and still considered the most comprehensive document on mission within the LWF.

The latter part of the paper indicates a number of areas in need of further reflection, which, at least in part, resonate some of the most recent study processes within the LWF; The Church in the Public Space and The Bible in the Life of the Lutheran Communion published last year. These documents were primarily written with other purposes in mind than nurturing the conversations on mission. Nevertheless, they reflect some of the major challenges Lutheran churches across the world are encountering with clear implications for how they wrestle with issues on mission and ecumenical cooperation.

[1] Article III in the Constitution of the LWF as adopted by the LWF Eight Assembly in Curitiba, Brazil (1990). See for instance: The Self-Understanding of the Lutheran Communion. A Study Document. LWF: Geneva 2015.

[2] From Stuttgart to Windhoek 2010-2017, Seven-Year Report. 2017:14.

[3] The Church in the Public Space 2016:16.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Mission, Evangelism, Proclamation, Witness, Service, Ecumenical relations, Lutheran identity
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Studies of Missions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335746OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-335746DiVA, id: diva2:1163781
Conference
Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue Commisson. September 24-30, 2017, Wittenberg, Germany.
Available from: 2017-12-08 Created: 2017-12-08 Last updated: 2017-12-08

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Citation style
  • apa
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