Migration – The Topic of a Global Conference in Toronto
Aug 23, 2012 by M. Daniel Carroll R. | 0 Comments
It has been too long since my last blog entry. I apologize for that. I have been trying to get ready for the new academic year, but I also have attended a couple of conferences – none more interesting than the conference of the IAMS (International Association for Mission Studies) in Toronto from August 15-19.
The IAMS convenes its conference every four years. What was so important for this blog is that the theme of this quadrennial conference was “Migration, Human Dislocation, and the Good News: Margins as the Centre in Christian Mission.” You can see more details at the conference website: https://sites.google.com/a/iams2012.org/toronto-2012/. Migration is truly a global issue! It is impossible to think of mission today without taking into consideration the many, many millions who are migrating today all over the world and affecting cultures and societies on every continent.
I was asked to give the two Bible lectures at the conference. The titles of the two were: “Tales of Migration, Testimonies of Faith (Gen. 12)” and “Legislating Migration: Insights from the Bible? (Deut. 10:12-22)”. These were very well received, and the comments that I got were very encouraging.
It was a privilege to be a part of this conference, which brought together almost 200 missiologists from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Latin America, Canada, and the United States. Fascinating people, wonderful conversations, and challenging papers!
There were dozens of workshop papers, which dealt with a wide range of topics under the general headings of: Migration and the Bible (16 papers), Documenting the Marginalized (10), Migration and the Environment (2), Migration and Gender (8), Migration and Spirituality (11), Migration and Inter-Faith Dialogue (8), and Migration and Mission Issues (40). I went to the Migration and Bible group and heard topics, such as the pastoral challenges of the migration of over 200 million Chinese over the last few years to urban areas; another dealt with the return of migrant Indonesian men, who had left to find work elsewhere, but had come back with HIV/AIDS; one paper talked about the migration of Africans from French-speaking Ivory Coast to the Republic of South Africa. God is doing amazing things with migrants of all kinds all around the globe!
For some pictures of the conference, go to my Facebook page (for M. Daniel Carroll R.).