IAMS Africa Conference: Call for Papers

13 May 2024

Theme: Mission as Vulnerability in the African Context

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Date: 28-30 August 2024

In July 2022, the International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS) convened and held its 15th General Assembly in Sydney Australia with the theme: Powers, Inequalities, and Vulnerabilitoes: Mission in a Wounded World. The African chapter of IAMS would wish to continue with the theme, exploring the issue of Mission as Vulnerability. The IAMS Call would describe vulnerability as, “…a human constant, shaping every human life. Yet vulnerability is also distributed differently across different human groups, part of ever-present inequalities and differences in power in human experience. Self-critical practitioners of Christian mission embrace their own vulnerabilities as they share the missio Dei. They also seek to mitigate the vulnerabilities that render so many human lives precarious. In addition, mission has exploited and increased vulnerabilities of people at times, often in situations of unequal distributions of power”.

This IAMS conference itself was postponed as countries across the world was under the constant threat and uncertainty of the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This brought travelling restrictions for most parts of the world, but it increased the dire economic conditions in which the most vulnerable in the developing world had to suffer. Those in Africa could not afford a decrease in economic activity, in an already vulnerable part of the world and society. In a political sense the COVID pandemic further deepened the abyss between the rich and the poor. ‘After’ Covid, economic activity picked up quite swiftly in the global north. Unfortunately, this led to other further ecological concerns because of the increased rate of economic activity that became essential to boost the economy in those economic desperate situations. This made Africa the most vulnerable in terms of exploitation, further dependency, and depletion of its minerals and resources. This further gave rise to political instability across the African continent in countries such as Gaborone, and South Africa (UKZN), Mozambique and many others. Though in one sense vulnerability could be conceptualised as a position of weakness, is has often displayed the resilience of African societies to counter and sustain themselves during such difficult times. A place of vulnerability is thus differently projected in terms of biblical accounts, through the cross of Christ, and his victory over the spiritual and political forces of the day. In this way vulnerability became his potent weapon, subverting the powers that be.

We invite paper submissions, relating to the conference theme, whilst possible subthemes and questions could include, but are not limited to:

  • Unmasking powers and systems which exploit Africa’s vulnerability.
  • Mission, Missiology as vulnerability: Reimagining Africa’s response
  • Biblical mission in the context of vulnerability in Africa
  • Mission in the context of ecological vulnerability in Africa
  • Mission in the context of economic, racial, ethnic, cultural vulnerability in Africa

How to Submit an Abstract

Paper abstracts (single papers) should include your name, institutional affiliation, and a 500-word max abstract, that outlines the topic, the argument, and the relevance of the topic and approach.

Questions concerning the abstracts and papers should be directed to the Conference Chair: Prof E (Eugene) Baron at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You will be requested to send a paper that is almost 80% completed on or before Monday 1 July 2024. Thereafter, your name will be affixed to the program for a 20-minute presentation. The papers will form part of a special collection in an open access journal, therefore presenters will be required to have papers ready for submission one month after the conference presentation.

The papers will be grouped in the different conventional study groups of IAMS:

  • Biblical Studies and Mission
  • Children, Youth, and Mission
  • Christian Communities and Mission
  • DABOH: Documentation, Archives, Bibliography and Oral History
  • Gender and Mission
  • Interreligious Studies and Mission
  • Pentecostal/Charismatic Expressions in World Christianity
  • Religious Freedom
  • Theology of Mission



Limited information of Conference:

  1. Venue: In Cape Town surroundings – specific venue to be communicated soon
  2. Conference Fee: R 2000 (include Lunch and Dinners, but excluding accommodation)

For Registration of the Conference (if you are not submiting a paper) please contact Ms A Coleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PTHU Master of Theology



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