Hybridity in Mission: Mixed and Multiple Identities in the Missio Dei
June 19 - 21, 2020
At St. Mary's College, South Bend, Indiana
Hybridity, for present purposes, is broadly understood as the bringing and holding together of difference and multiplicity. It can describe mission workers, the people and places where mission is implemented, and the theories, goals and methods of mission.
Christian mission has often been assumed to be an endeavor carried out by people going from one particular place and group, to people in another particular place and group, with certain well-conceived and well-defined means and ends in mind. In reality, however, mission can be hybrid in a variety of ways. Missionaries may have their origins in more than one community and locale, go to places that are marked by profound internal diversity, and combine with differing degrees of ease distinct – even competing – mission ideologies, goals and practices. The person and missions of the apostle Paul provide good examples of such hybridity. Hybridity results in various expressions of friction and fusion, of differentiation and combination of contrasting elements in the total mission endeavor.
In addition, this condition of hybridity is often characterized by its own unique forms of vulnerability and pain, of joy and beauty.
The 2020 annual meeting of the American Society of Missiology will explore various ways in which hybridity marks and permeates Christian mission, and how it shapes and influences the total mission endeavor. It shall pay careful attention to new avenues of mission that are opened up through hybridity broadly conceived, how other avenues are closed off, and how multiple and complex identities entail distinct experiences of suffering and satisfaction.