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The Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD Lecture 2023


Where is the Center of World Christianity Today? The Five Frontiers of Mission and Theology


This lecture contests some of the settled claims about the shifting center of Christianity from the West to the Global South, particularly that Africa is the new center of Christianity. The lecturer engages some of the new methodologies for studying the shifting momentum of Christian expansion. The lecture then will identify the five new frontiers of mission and theology today—politics, peripheries, ecology, wealth, and hope. The question of hope for the victims of history becomes a necessary theological and missional task for theology and the Christian movement in answering the perennial question: Where is God in all of this? Answering this in the face of these new frontiers will be presented as the center around which mission should revolve.


Online & In-Person

Catholic Theological Union, Room 210

5416 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60615


About the Louis J. Luzbetak Lecture

The Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Chair of Mission and Culture was endowed by the Chicago Province of the Society of the Divine Word in order to highlight the important link between mission, Christianity, and culture, which has been a key element of its charism since the late nineteenth century. The chair and annual lectureship appropriately bears the name of Fr. Louis Luzbetak, SVD (1918-2005), cultural anthropologist and ecumenically-recognized pioneer in the field of missionary anthropology.


Co-sponsored by the CTU Committee of World Mission


Stan Chu Ilo is a priest of Awgu Diocese, Nigeria and Research Professor of World Christianity and African Studies at the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. He is also an Honorary Professor of Religion and Theology at Durham University and Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute of African Studies of the University of Nigeria. He is the Coordinating Servant of the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network (PACTPAN), and the North American Coordinator of the project, Doing Theology from the Existential Peripheries, a project of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development of the Holy See. He is one of the editors and a director of Concilium, International Journal of Theology and serves on the editorial boards of numerous other journals including, the Journal of Global Catholicism, and the Journal of African Christian Biography. He currently serves on the senior advisory board of a Templeton Religious Trust grant project on global spiritual formation for religious leaders and represents Africa in an international project supported by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development and a number of Catholic charities on developing the ethics of philanthropy and stewardship. He is the author or editor of numerous works including Someone Beautiful to God (2020), Wealth, Health and Hope in African Christian Religion (2018), Pentecostalism, Catholicism, and the Spirit in the World (2019) Handbook of African Catholicism (Orbis, 2022), Ecological Ethics for Cosmic Flourishing (Cascade, 2022); Under the Palaver Tree: Post-Vatican II African Ecclesiology (2023); A Poor and Merciful Church (2019), Church and Development in Africa (2014); The Church as Salt and Light (2011).

  • Start Date
    October 9, 2023,4:00 pm CT
  • End Date
    October 9, 2023,5:30 pm CT
  • Hosted By
    • CTU
  • Event Type
    • Online & In-Person
  • Location
    • CTU
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