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Puebla, Latin American Bishops’ Conference at

(453 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] The third general session of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference met at Puebla in Mexico from Jan 28 to Feb 13, 1979, with “Evangelization Today and Tomorrow in Latin America” as its theme. The conference was supposed to meet ten years after Medellín (1968), but the sudden death of Pope John Paul I forced it to meet a year later. The Medellín conference and the awakening it had brought to the church and to theology had encouraged high expectations, which were only partially ful…

Deutscher Katholischer Missionsrat

(181 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (DKMR; German Catholic Mission Council). The DKMR is the association of all the institutions and organizations of the Catholic Church in the Federal Republic of Germany active in world missions. It includes mission works (e.g. Adveniat, Misereor, Missio [Pontifical mission societies]), mission institutes (e.g. the …

Strigel, Victorinus

(167 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (Dec 26, 15224, Kaufbeuren – Jun 26, 1569, Heidelberg). After studying in Freiburg im Breisgau, Leipzig, and Wittenberg (1542–1546, M.A. 1544), Strigel received a teaching appointment at the Gymnasium Academicum in Jena, where he lectured on classical literature, the Epistles of Paul, and the works of Melanchthon. Disputes with M. Flacius and his refusal to sign the Weimar Book of Confutation led to his dismissal in 1559. After his rehabilitation in 1562, he distanced himself from…

Ohm, Thomas

(194 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (Oct 18, 1892, Westerholt, Westphalia – Sep 25, 1962, Süchteln, Lower Rhine), OSB from 1912, missiologist. Ohm gained his doctorate in Munich in 1924, his Habilitation in Salzburg in 1927, and in 1932 became associate professor of missiology in Würzburg. In 1941 he was prohibited from lecturing; from 1946 to 1961 he was professor of missiology in Münster. For many years Ohm’s responsibilities included chairmanship of the International Institute for Mission Studies and editorship of the Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft und Religionswissenschaft. In 1960 he…


(13,709 words)

Author(s): Sundermeier, Theo | Frankemölle, Hubert | Feldtkeller, Andreas | Collet, Giancarlo | George, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Judaism – IV. Buddhism – V. Islam I. Religious Studies 1. Overview. Mission is not a fundamentally universal phenomenon in the history of religions; neither is every form in which religion is passed on eo ipso mission. “Primary,” tribal religions are not missionary religions. Their domain is coterminous with their society and its way of life; they are handed down from one generation to the next in the course of natural life. The question of truth does not arise. An indivi…

Streit, Robert

(187 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (Oct 27, 1875, Fraustadt, Posen [now Wschowa, Poland] – Jul 31, 1930, Frankfurt am Main), OMI (1897; Oblates: III, 1). Streit and J. Schmidlin were pioneers of Catholic missiology, especially missionary bibliography. Streit began his philosophical and theological studies in Liège but soon moved to Hünfeld to assist in the order’s newly opened house of studies. Following ordination in 1901, from 1902 to 1912 he worked in the editorial office of the order’s monthly, Maria Immaculata. He deplored the scarcity of Catholic missiological literature, urged that…

Internationales Institut für Missionswissenschaftliche Forschungen (IIMF)

(223 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] Internationales Institut für Missionswissenschaftliche Forschungen (IIMF), association of Catholic scholars and friends for the promotion of missiology and research on intercultural relations and developments. The establishment of the IIMF traces back to a suggestion by Matthias Erzberger, a delegate to the Reichstag, and the proposal of Prince Alois of Löwenstein at the Berlin conference of the Missionsausschuss des Zentralkomitees der Katholikenversammlungen Deutschlands [Missio…

Glazik, Joseph

(173 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (Feb 1, 1913, Hagen-Haspe – Oct 17, 1997, Münster). A member of the Heart of Jesus Missionaries from May 9, 1934, onward, Glazik was ordained on Jul 30, 1939, held professorships for mission studies in Würzburg (1958–1961) and Münster (1961–1970), and acted as a council adviser for Vatican II, where he contributed to the Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church ( Ad Gentes). Its ch. 4 concerning the missionaries bears his signature. Glazik was consultant to the Secretariat for non-Christians and adviser to the general Synod of German Di…

Charles, Pierre

(162 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (Jul 3, 1883, Brussels – Feb 11, 1954, Louvain) entered the Jesuit order on Sep 23, 1899, and was ordained on Aug 24, 1910; he was professor of dogmatic theology in Louvain and of missiology in Rome. After studying philosophy and theology within the order, he developed a particular interest in the catholicity of the faith, which led him to discover the church's missionary dimension and the meaning of the apostolate and took him to Africa, Asia, a…

Society for the Propagation of the Faith (SPF)

(335 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] The Society was formed from what had been four separate church organizations officially declared pontifical institutions in 1922 and 1980; its purpose is to promote the worldwide mission of the Catholic Church (Mission: II, 3). It structure is defined in its 1980 statutes. The Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith was founded in Lyon in 1822 by M.-P. Jaricot and a group of laity; it was introduced into Germany as the Franziskus-Xaverius or Ludwig-Missionsverein (know…

Schmidlin, Joseph

(234 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (Mar 29, 1876, Klein-Landau, Elsaß (Alsace) – Jan 10, 1944, Schirmeck), pioneer of Catholic missiology. After his theological studies, he was ordained to the priesthood in Straßburg (Strasbourg) in 1899. He earned doctorates in philosophy (1901) and theology (1904) at Freiburg im Breisgau and received his habilitation and taught as a lecturer in Straßburg. Afterwards he was appointed associate professor of medieval and modern history and the history of dogma and patristics at Müns…

Torres Restrepo, Jorge Camilo

(173 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (Feb 3, 1929, Bogotá, Colombia – Feb 15, 1966, Santander Province) broke off his study of law to enter the seminary and was ordained on Aug 29, 1954. He went on to study sociology and political science at Leuven in Belgium and then worked as a lecturer and student chaplain in Bogotá, where he devoted himself particularly to the analysis of social problems and supported community projects. From 1962 on he was active in the National Institute for Land Reform. On Jun 26, 1965, he was…

Contextual Theology

(850 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo | Küster, Volker
[German Version] I. Systematic Theology – II. Missiology I. Systematic Theology “Contextual theology” denotes that form of theological work, with a primarily inductive approach, for which the deliberate inclusion of the cultural and religious environment as the starting point and goal of theological reflection is constitutive. Unlike a local theology, i.e. a theology defined simply by its cultural setting, contextual theology takes its cultural determination self-reflexively into account, claiming particular relevance while at the same time maintaini…


(7,155 words)

Author(s): Beinert, Wolfgang | Rappel, Simone | Conzemius, Victor | Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Distribution and Membership Statistics – III. Church History – IV. Missions in Catholicism I. Concept “Catholicism” is generally understood as encompassing the historically conditioned and therefore contingent configurations that have emerged when the basic dogmatic, ethical, and constitutional elements of Roman Catholic Christianity have taken root in concrete societies. More specifically, this can mean (a) theologically the realization in space and time of the Roman Catholic organizational structure, based t…

Third World Theology

(977 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] I. Terminology The expression Third World was coined in 1952 by the French demographer Alfred Sauvy; using the third estate as an analogy, he spoke of an “exploited and scorned world” that was seeking recognition and dignity. Applied originally to countries steering a course of nonalignment between the West (the First World) and East (the Second World), it eventually came to refer more generally to the poor (underdeveloped) countries of the Southern Hemisphere (Africa, Asia, Latin Amer…

Medellín, Latin American Bishops' Conference

(430 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] Medellín was the venue for the second general assembly of the Latin American Bishops' Plenary Council (Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano: CELAM). After the then CELAM president, Manuel Larrain, bishop of Talca (Chile), had suggested, at the end of the conference, to use the coming 39th Eucharistic World Congress in Bogotà as an opportunity to examine the situation in Latin America in the light of the council, there was a work-intensive process of preparation for…

Mill Hill Fathers

(193 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (MHM, Societas Missionariorum Sancti Joseph de Mill Hill). This missionary society, which includes both priests and laity, was founded in 1866 by Herbert A. Vaughan (1832–1903), bishop of Salford and later cardinal archbishop of Westminster. It was established in Mill Hill, north London. Here, under the patronage of Saint Joseph, missionaries were trained as evangelists, initially to work among African Americans in North America. This led in 1892 to the founding of an independent …

Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano

(361 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (CELAM; Latin American Council of Bishops) is an organ of the Catholic Church established at the request of the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean at their first general conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1955; it was approved by Pope Pius XII in the same year. After several extremely fruitful years occupied primarily with responding creatively to the decisions of Vatican II, the second general conference in Medellín in 1968 led to a …

Immensee, Bethlehem Mission

(126 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] In 1896 the French priest Pierre-Marie Barral (1855–1929) founded the Bethlehem Institute at Immensee in Switzerland, an apostolic school to prepare clergy for missionary vocations. On May 30, 1921, Rome issued a decree erecting the Societas Missionum Exterarum de Betlehem in Helvetia (SMB); Pietro Bondolfi (1872–1943) became its first superior general. Its sole purpose was to support the missionary ministry of the church. The understanding of missions that emerged from Vatican II…

Theology of Revolution

(1,338 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
1. Historical Context The theology of revolution has been a theme for discussion when there have been political and social conflicts, when there has been awareness of the conditioning social structures, and when the church and theology have taken these factors into account (Modern Church History 1.4.4; Modern Period; Peace; Pluralism; Righteousness, Justice; Secularization; Society; Third World; War). Facing global situations that, instead of overthrowing unfairness and ¶ injustice, did more to stabilize or even sharpen them, the churches from the mid-1960s were…
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