Jonathan (Jon) Barnes was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. From 2002 to 2012 he served Global Ministries (the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ) in South Africa and Mozambique, working with community development and theological education. While in South Africa he completed a Ph.D. in Mission Studies, focusing on issues of colonialism, neocolonialism, and power in ecumenical church relationships. He now works as Executive for Mission Education at Global Ministries, based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
What’s Jon Barnes’ Genre?
What is Jon Barnes’ book about?
Power and Partnership: A History of the Protestant Mission Movement
“While the concept of partnership between churches in the Global North and South has been an ecumenical goal for well over eight decades, realizing relationships of mutuality, solidarity, and koinonia has been, to say the least, problematic. Seeking to understand the dynamics of power and control in these relationships, this work traces the history of how partnership has been lived out, both as a concept and in practice. It is argued that many of the issues that are problematic for partnerships today can find their antecedents during colonial times at the very beginnings of the modern missionary movement. For those interested in pursuing cross-cultural partnerships today, understanding this history and recognizing the use, as well as the misuse, of power is crucial as we seek genuine relationships of care and friendship in our fractured and divided world.”
What are others saying?
“In reviewing the history of Protestant mission work, Barnes exposes major themes or issues that cause those of us from the West to continually fall short in realizing mature ecumenical relationships, and through this analysis helps us see new possibilities for these relationships in the future.”
—[Graham Duncan, Professor of Church History and Church Polity, University of Pretoria]“Power and Partnership is a salutary text on partnership within the international ecumenical scene, for at least three reasons. First, as a book tracing the contours of partnership, it provides insights into a concept that has been closely associated with the modern ecumenical movement. Second, it highlights the need for a new impetus in both theory and practice of partnership. Third, while the focus is on historical analysis, it also lifts out key issues still dogging the global ecumenical journey—notably the contestation of power within partnerships.”
—[Des van der Water, past General Secretary of the Council for World Mission]“With historical clarity, political insight, and missiological acuteness, Barnes traces the complex dynamics of cross-cultural partnerships. He provides . . . a deep, sophisticated, and accessible analysis of the achievements, struggles, and unfinished agenda for what will continue to be, at all levels of the Christian church, the most common experience of North-to-South relationships. Barnes’s work contributes to the reshaping of global denominational policy and congregational short-term mission practices.”
—[Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi, Professor of Global Christianities and Mission Studies, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University]
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