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Mission as Accompaniment: A Response to Mechanistic Dehumanization

Mission as Accompaniment: A Response to Mechanistic Dehumanization

Author: 
Brian E. Konkol (Author)
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Description

Mechanistic dehumanization occurs when human beings are objectified and exploited as a means to an end, comparable to expendable components of a machine. This misconstruction of human value is a source and sustainer of overproduction, an excess of consumption, and the pursuit of unrestrained economic growth, damaging both people and the planet.

Can the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission respond to mechanistic dehumanization through mission as accompaniment?

The notion of mission as accompaniment, which emerges from liberation theology and development methodology, promotes solidarity among church companions that embodies interdependence and mutuality. Grounded in the New Testament expression of koinonia, Mission as Accompaniment is affirmed in this study as a suitable foundation to counteract mechanistic dehumanization.

Through this research with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) Theology and Development program, Brian E. Konkol incorporates economics, ecology, anthropology, and postcolonial missiology. He maintains that two particular elements—the African concept of Ubuntu, and an Olive Agenda—when integrated into mission as accompaniment, will equip the ELCA Global Mission with an advocacy-driven trajectory in response to mechanistic dehumanization.

ISBN: 
9781506418506
Price: 
$79.00
ISBN: 
9781506418513
Price: 
$79.00
Release date: 
June 15, 2017
Pages: 
304
Width: 
6
Height: 
9

Emerging Scholars:

Contents

Key Concepts

1. Introduction
2. Mechanistic Dehumanization
3. Mission as Accompaniment
4. The Olive Agenda
5. Ubuntu
6. Towards a Response to Mechanistic Dehumanization
7. Conclusions

Bibliography
Index

Endorsements

Konkol’s book develops fresh perspectives on mission.

“Does mission still matter? Accounting for missteps in missionary practice and theology, Konkol’s book develops fresh perspectives on mission. Globally, ecology and economics are emerging as areas where new practices and thinking are being shaped, informing mission in turn. Mission still matters in the form of accompaniment, where agency is shared and energy is generated in deepened relationships that reconstruct power.”

Joerg Rieger | Vanderbilt Divinity School

Konkol captures the theological contours of accompaniment

“During his time of service as an ELCA missionary in Guyana and South Africa, Brian E. Konkol was formed in and experienced and lived the practice of mission shaped by the concept of accompaniment. In this book, deeply rooted in that missionary experience, Konkol captures the theological contours of accompaniment and offers two contextual realities—the notion of Ubuntu and an Olive Agenda—to deepen and extend how through accompaniment, the humanity of the other is fully acknowledged and received.”

Rafael Malpica Padilla | executive director for Global Mission ELCA

It gives me great pleasure to recommend this well-written and persuasive text to all scholars and practitioners within the discipline of mission and development.

“It gives me great pleasure to recommend this well-written and persuasive text to all scholars and practitioners within the discipline of mission and development. Konkol’s post-graduate theological formation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has opened his Western eyes to the liberative discourse of African contextual theology. This can be clearly seen in the passionate commitment and competence he has applied to his scholarly work, drawing upon sources from a wide cross-section of contemporary writers from the Global South and North. This text will advance the ongoing conversations around and contributions to theological anthropology, mission, and development and the relationships between Ubuntu and Western forms of Christianity.” 

Roderick R. Hewitt | University of KwaZulu-Natal

Perhaps no one is better poised than Konkol to reinvigorate the missiological task in the postcolonial era.

“Perhaps no one is better poised than Konkol to reinvigorate the missiological task in the postcolonial era. Grounded in his own ecclesial tradition, he presents an approach that reduces or even reverses the asymmetrical nature of the majority of Global North to Global South mission. Prophetically, he trains the gaze of the postcolonial hermeneutics of suspicion in the proper direction—not at God’s mission itself but instead straight at neoliberalism and its dangers. This is a proposal for renewed mission that restores the economy of God to its proper place as the central motivating energy for mission.” 

Clint Schnekloth | pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and author of Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era