9781570755170_p0_v1_s260x420Bevans, Stephen B., and Roger Schroeder. Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today American Society of Missiology Series ; No. 30. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004.



bevansStephen Bevans is Louis J. Luzbetak, S.V.D., Professor of Mission and Culture. He is a Roman Catholic priest in the Society of the Divine Word, an international missionary congregation, and served for nine years (1972-1981) as a missionary in the Philippines. He has been on the CTU faculty for 26 years.

schroederRoger Schroeder was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Society of the Divine Word (S.V.D.) after which he worked as a missionary for six years in Papua New Guinea.  Upon earning a Doctorate in Missiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Schroeder began teaching at Catholic Theological Union. He has been at CTU since 1990.

My Thoughts

Bevans and Schroeder wrote this book to be the missiology book that goes “beyond Bosch.” They articulate this in an excellent article here. They pay homage to Bosch’s book, Transforming Mission, as the seminal book for a new paradigm in missiology, but they highlight its limitations. Bosch, they contend, has written from a narrowly Western European and North American perspective. He left out certain major missiological issues: peacebuilding, ecojustice, reconciliation, globalization, and the reemergence of Catholic mission. Bevans and Schroeder seek to build upon and expand Bosch’s work by addressing these issues and working within the framework of the emerging field of “new church history” in which the church is understood to be pluralistic and polycentric from its beginning.

Basic Outline

Six Constants:

  1. Christology
  2. Ecclesiology
  3. Eschatology
  4. Salvation
  5. Anthropology
  6. Culture

Contexts (always changing):

  • Cultural
  • Historical
  • Philosophical
  • Political

Types or Paradigms (based upon Justo Gonzalez and Dorothee Sölle)

Type A: Orthodox | Tertullian – legalism | contemporary: Christocentric – Christ is unique savior

Type B: Liberal | Origen – concern for truth | contemporary: Vatican II ad gentes missio Dei – mission of the Trinity

Type C: Liberation | Irenaeus of Lyons (Antiochene) – history | contemporary: preaching, serving, witnessing to the reign of God

Mission as Prophetic Dialogue

  1. Witness and proclamation
  2. Liturgy, prayer, and contemplation
  3. Justice, peace, and the integrity of creation
  4. Interreligious dialogue
  5. Inculturation
  6. reconciliation[1]

[1] Stephen B. Bevans and Roger Schroeder, “Missiology after Bosch: Reverencing a Classic by Moving Beyond,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 29, no. 2 (2005).

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