SAMS

Home page Index of all pages Information about SAMS Missionalia, the SAMS journal Articles from Missionalia African Initiated Churches Links to other sites

Southern African Missiological Society


Publishers of Missionalia journal

The Southern African Missiological Society (SAMS) is a scholarly society for the study of Christian mission. It publishes the peer-reviewed journal Missionalia three times a year, and holds an annual congress, usually in January each year, where papers on various missiological topics are read.

SAMS has a new web site

Since August 2007 SAMS has had a new web site at http://missiological.org.za/. Please go there to see the latest news and information about SAMS. The material on this site will be retained to preserve links and search engine listings, but, with the exception of the AIC pages and material, it will no longer be updated.
Yahoo! is closing Geocities on 26 October 2009
This page will not be available after that date
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For continuing discussion on missiology go to the
Missiological Forum

Steve Hayes - Webmaster

Index
An index of all the pages on the SAMS web site
Home
The home page of the SAMS web site
About SAMS
Information about the aims and objects of SAMS and how one may become a member.
Missionalia
The Southern African Missiological Society publishes the journal Missionalia three times a year, with articles, reviews and abstracts dealing with Christian mission.
African Independent Churches
African Initiated Churches (AICs) are the fastest-growing Christian groups in many parts of Africa. This page gives some introductory information about them, a list of AIC researchers, and links for some articles where more information can be found.
Missological discussion forums
There are several electronic forums for discussing missiological topics. These are available both as e-mail mailing lists or as BBS echo conferences.

Links to mission-related web pages in Africa and around the world.
Making contact with SAMS
You may find more information about how to get in touch with the committee on the SAMS information page. You may use the following addresses for e-mail enquiries:

  • Administration - for information about membership, subscriptions to Missionalia, annual congress, etc.
  • Webmaster - for comments on these web pages, suggestions for links or improvements etc.

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On these pages you will find:

  • General information about the Society, its office bearers, annual congress and other activities.
  • Missionalia, the journal of SAMS, and its abstracting project, and information on how to subscribe to the journal.
  • Links to other sites with information about missiology and Christian mission.
  • African Independent Churches - information about a discussion forum for researchers into the history, theology, faith and practice of AICs, and a contact point for AIC researchers.
  • Discussion forums on various aspects of Christian mission
  • Articles from previous issues of Missionalia. These give information to potential subscribers on the kind of articles they can find in Missionalia, and also make the articles available to a wider audience.

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What is missiology?

If you found your way to these pages by accident, you may be wondering what missiology is. Missiology, also known as mission studies, is a fairly new academic discipline, particularly in the English-speaking world. It could be said to have begun in central Europe. It began in the 19th century, but has only spread to Britain in the last 20 years or so.

Missiology is probably the most interdisciplinary of all theological subjects. It is concerned with such things as the history, theology and methods of Christian mission, and its social effects.

Different schools of mission studies approach the subject differently. Some take a practical, how-to approach, and by analogy with pure maths and applied maths, speak of "applied missiology". For them, missiology is a tool to be used by missionaries "in the field", as opposed to back in the classroom.

Others are more concerned with the theoretical side, and concentrate of some of the effects of mission, including some of the varieties of theology that have been spawned, partly as a result of Christian mission - liberation theology, black theology and feminist theology, for example.

Missiology is also closely linked with social and cultural anthropology. Much Christian mission has involved a meeting of people of different cultures, and the cultural interactions that follow have had significant effects in shaping the world as we know it today. Again, there are different emphases in different schools of missiology. Some are concerned primarily with cross-cultural evangelism - communicating the Christian message to people of a different culture. Others are more concerned with inculturation - making the church that results from Christian missionary activity less exotic in its new setting.

Missiologists who study cultural interactions are inclined to use anthropology as a tool, and anthropologists have become increasingly concerned with the study of Christian mission activity, since it provides examples of intercultural activity. Even the history of the two disciplines is intertwined. The early anthropologists of the 19th century often used ethnographic descriptions provided by Christian missionaries in their study of "primitive" cultures, and many of the missionaries themselves became absorbed in the study of cultures different from their own, though few, at that stage, made a similar study of their own culture.

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News and announcements

SAMS Congress 2008

The 2008 SAMS conference will be held at the North-West University at Tlokwe/Potchefstroom from 23-25 January 2008.

See the Congress page for more information.

Ghana Conultation on AICs

The Fifth Continental Conference of the network on AICs and mission was held in Ghana in July 2001. Cliick here for a report on the conference and links to some of the conference papers.

If you couldn't find what you were looking for here, here are some other possibilities you can try. You will also find more of them on our general mission links page.

You may have been looking for the South American Missionary Society, which also has the initials SAMS.

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