The Common Task

A Theology of Christian Mission

Book - Paperback
The Common Task
Paperback ISBN: 9780687001446
$22.99 Show Buy

Published February 1999

Christian mission takes place today in the context of a pluralistic world, one in which the adherents of the various religious traditions are increasingly aware of and in dialogue with one another. What is needed now, argues Thangaraj, is an understanding of Christian mission that has for its starting point a moral imperative shared by all the world's religions. The author finds this common task in what he calls the mission of humanity: those obligations to one another and the world which all humans share. For Christians the common task will be a cruciform one; it will display the self-sacrifice and vulnerability of the cross, rather than the grasping after power and influence of the world. It will be a liberative reality, marked by the gospel's concern for the poor and oppressed. Finally, the mission of humanity will be for Christians eschatological in nature, formed by a vision of the fullness of the reign of God which is both present now and yet to come. Having established this specifically Christian interpretation of the common task, Thangaraj goes on to ask how it can inform our reading of Scripture and our understanding of Christian missions, and how it can motivate Christian congregations for mission today.

About the Authors

M. Thomas Thangaraj

M. Thomas Thangaraj is D.W. and Ruth Brooks Associate Professor of World Christianity at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of The Crucified Guru, published by Abingdon Press.