Yale-Edinburgh Conference: Call for Papers

01 December 2023

Theme: Spirit and the spiritual: Ancestors, Deities and the Holy Spirit in Church, and Mission

Location: Yale Divinity School, New Haven CT

Date: 26-28 June 2024


Missions from the West brought Christianity into worlds with a wide array of cosmologies. Recipient cultures embraced Christian faith while negotiating differing perspectives of spiritual realities. The subsequent transition from missionary Christianity to indigenous faith produced a range of responses to the notion of ‘spiritual beings.’ Through mission, Christianity encountered traditional religions which venerated ancestors, revered spiritual beings, and navigated intricate relationships between deities in a world far more complex than the typical Western experience. From Korea to Brazil, Nigeria to Samoa, France to India - these multifaceted cosmologies continue to animate the Christian experience producing dynamic expressions of the faith. Movements of the Holy Spirit represent another dimension of Christianity. A wide range of pneumatic Christianities populate the long history of Christian expansion around the world.

World Christianity scholarship is deeply enriched through exploration of the historical, theological and missiological implications of these relationships between the Holy Spirit and the Spiritual worlds of Christians across the globe. The Yale Edinburgh conference 2024 especially welcomes contributions that: illuminate the interactions between spiritual realities of recipient cultures and missionary notions of the Holy Spirit; provide historical accounts of religious transformations with respect to ancestors, deities, and other spiritual beings in the process of Christian expansion; enlarge current understandings of local and diasporic perspectives of spiritual beings and their role in Christian expressions; provide comparative studies of missionary approaches to spirits and deities across denominations and across time; venture into ecumenical and interfaith dynamics with respect to spirits and the spiritual; or map trajectories of discourses on the Holy Spirit and other beings in a rapidly changing world.

Submission Deadline: 15 February 2024

Please supply an abstract of 250 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (link sends e-mail). Your abstract should clearly state, among other things, the enquiry, method, and historical context in which you situate your paper.

Further information about booking will be available in the new year. Please check back here.

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