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Read this book review of Intercultural Ministryco-edited with Jann Aldredge-Clanton. It is reviewed on the AAR’s Reading Religion website.  

 

 

Intercultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World

Editor(s): Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Jann Aldredge-Clanton
  • Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, March 2017. 224 pages. $19.99. Paperback. ISBN
    9780817017798. For other formats: Link to Publisher’s Website.

Review

Christian churches have faced enormous challenges regarding how to embrace intercultural ministry while dealing with conflicting issues caused by the increasing diversity of races, ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, traditions, and genders in North America. In Intercultural Ministry, the editors and contributors offer hope for a changing world, inviting pastors, theologians, and teachers to reflect on their experiences of intercultural churches and intercultural ministry. They pursue a form of diversity that allows “the interaction of people across races, ethnicities, and nationalities to learn to value and celebrate each group’s traditions” (v). With fifteen contributors’ voices from diverse ethnic groups, this book is composed of three parts: the doctrinal and theological foundations of intercultural churches and ministries; congregational and real-life strategies for building intercultural churches and ministries; and vision casting for intercultural churches and ministries. The goal of this book is to create intercultural ministry that seeks to build “just, mutual, respecting, equal, accepting, and diverse communities” (xii).

Both editors attempt to articulate the importance of intercultural ministry through their own experiences of discrimination in their different cultural contexts. Grace Ji-Sun Kim, as an ordained pastor and scholar who has a background in the Korean Presbyterian church in Canada, has encountered marginalization due to her ethnicity and gender in ecumenical circles as well as in society at large. Thus her difficulties growing up on the margins of both society and the church eventually led her to realize the importance of inclusivity (xi). For this, Kim recommends that American churches pursue more interracial and intercultural ministry because the church is bigger than any one ethnic group (xiii). Jann Aldredge-Clanton’s dedication to her intercultural ministries comes from her own experiences of sexism that she encountered as an ordained Baptist minister, even though she felt privileged as a white, straight, and middle-class woman. According to Kim and Aldredge-Clanton, intercultural ministry requires the willingness of leaders and congregants to leave the comfort zones of their own separate traditions.

 ***For the rest of the review, please visit the Reading Religion website.

 

About the Reviewer(s): 

JungJa Joy Yu is a doctoral candidate in women’s studies in religion at Claremont Graduate University.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Grace Ji-Sun Kim,  is an ordained minister within the PC(USA) denomination and associate professor of theological studies at Earlham School of Religion. She is author of ten other books, including The Grace of Sophia: A Korean North American Women’s Christology and Theological Reflections on “Gangnam Style”: A Racial, Sexual, and Cultural Critique, co-written with Joseph Cheah. Kim serves on several committees of the American Academy of Religion: co-chair of Women of Color Scholarship, Teaching and Activism Group, Research Grants Jury Committee, Comparative Theology Group, and Religion and Migration Group. She also blogs at Huffington Post, Sojourners and TIME.

Jann Aldredge-Clanton, is a feminist theologian, author, chaplain, and teacher who leads workshops and conferences nationally and internationally. She serves as cochair of the national, intercultural Equity for Women in the Church Community, adjunct professor at Perkins School of Theology and Richland Community College, council member of Christian Feminism Today, cofounder and coleader of New Wineskins Feminist Ritual Community, and on the Dallas Workers’ Rights Board. She is the author of numerous books, including She Lives! Sophia Wisdom Works in the WorldEarth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for WorshipIn Whose Image? God and Gender, Changing Church: Stories of Liberating Ministers, and Seeking Wisdom: Inclusive Blessings and Prayers for Public Occasions.

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