Explores what it means to share the Gospel in light of postmodern questions.
"Postmodernity" is a name frequently attached to our cultural milieu. Among its features are a sense of historical consciousness, a recognition of the social construction of knowledge, an appreciation for pluralism, and a suspicion of grand narratives. It is a worldview that is naturally suspicious of traditional models of Christian "mission." It is also a worldview that provokes the suspicion of many Catholics, evoking fears of relativism, secularism, and syncretism.
John Sivalon, drawing on his own mission training and experience, believes that the Gospel can and must be inculturated in any situation. Rather than fearing postmodernism, he believes this perspective breathes fresh insight, vision, and life into the understanding, articulated by the Second Vatican Council, that mission is centered in the very heart of God. Above all, postmodernism offers "the gift of uncertainty" which calls for continually addressing the questions: Why are we doing this? What should we do? How is it best done?
Drawing on personal narratives that reflect the new face of mission in the 21st century Fr. Sivalon offers a hopeful vision, showing how the Gospel retains its challenge and relevance in an age of uncertainty and change.
"John Sivalon brings together his passion for mission, his love for the church, his appreciation of contemporary culture, and his vast experience as a leader of the Maryknoll missioners into a deeply reflective, inspiring, and profound development of God's missionary nature and its implications for our ecclesial and missionary life. I think that he has made an original contribution to the understanding of Missio Dei, the mission we share by God's amazing grace. This is a truly important book, and one that I will surely share with my students and colleagues alike."--Stephen B. Bevans, Catholic Theological Union
“Building upon insights from a quarter-century missionary activity in rural and metropolitan Tanzania and his later experience as Maryknoll superior general, Sivalon explores multiple values of postmodernism on evangelization as missio Dei. A brilliant analysis.”-- Michael A. Fahey, S.J., Boston College
“This book reclaims the foundational ground of God’s incarnational/Trinitarian embrace of all our diverse world and is a gift that offers illumination for our uncertain minds and times.” -- David J. Brown, Penn State University
John C. Sivalon, a Maryknoll priest, served as a missioner in Tanzania before serving as superior general of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers (2002-2008). Currently he teaches theology at the University of Scranton.