Pan-Handle Preachers and the Pope: A Study of the Cross-Cultural Dialectic and Missionary Identity Formation of the Churches of Christ in Post-War Italy†

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Missiologist Janine Paden Morgan explores how the ideological environment of post-war Italy—tense church-state tensions, pressures from Communism, and Roman Catholic xenophobia—shaped the theological and ecclesiological emphases of Church of Christ missionaries from the United States. Through her reading of missionary public newsletters and Italian journal articles, Morgan investigates how opposition by the Roman Catholic Church influenced the identity formation among fledgling Churches of Christ to lasting effect. Although there have been a limited number of descriptive accounts of the events of these years, there has been little serious analysis of what those events mean historically and missiologically. For missiologists, historians of missions, and practitioners alike, the important question of how identity is shaped in a climate of strong opposition can have bearing on how missions is understood and carried out globally today.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.