By "mission" in this context is meant a cross-cultural passage over the boundary between faith in Jesus Christ and its absence. In this understanding of mission, the basic functions of Christian proclamation, dialogue, witness, service, fellowship, worship, and nurture are of special concern. How does the transition from one cultural context to another influence the shape and interaction of these dynamic functions?
Missiologists know that they need the other disciplines. And other disciplines, we dare to suggest, need missiology, perhaps more than they sometimes realize. Neither the insider's nor the outsider's view is complete in itself. The world Christian mission has through two millennia amassed a rich and well-documented body of experience to share with other disciplines.
Interaction will be the hallmark of this Series. It desires to be a channel for talking to one another instead of about one another. Secular scholars and church-related missiologists have too long engaged in a sterile venting of feelings about one another, often lacking in full evidence. Ignorance of and indifference to one another's work has been no less harmful to good scholarship.
The promotion of scholarly dialogue among missiologists may, at times, involve the publication of views and positions that other missiologists cannot accept, and with which members of the Editorial Committee do not agree. The manuscripts published reflect the opinions of their authors and are not meant to represent the position of the American Society of Missiology or the Editorial Committee of the ASM Series.
We express our warm thanks to various mission agencies whose financial contributions enabled leaders of vision in the ASM to launch this new venture. The future of the ASM series will, we feel sure, fully justify their confidence and support.
William J. Danker, Chairperson
ASM Series Editorial Committee
"Dr. Stamoolis has provided an extremely important service for the budding discipline of Orthodox missiology in this country. He has provided us with the first comprehensive survey of Orthodox mission theology, history and problematics. Anyone interested in the development of mission thought and, in particular, Eastern Christian missions, will want to read this work with care. I believe it will remain a standard work in the field for a long time to come."
Stanley Harakas, Professor of Christian Ethics,
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
"This study is a valuable survey of the principles and insights which penetrate the missionary efforts and thought of the Orthodox Church; it is a first attempt on this subject, made with diligence, clarity and missionary sensitivity."
Bishop Anastasios Yannoulatos, Moderator of the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, World Council of Churches
"This represents a truly pioneering study. It is likely to become a standard reference in the field. To my knowledge, there has never been such a systematic and comprehensive study of Orthodox missiology."
Gerald H. Anderson, Director, Overseas Ministries Study Center, Ventor, New Jersey
"This book fills a real gap in the available documentation on the subject. It is essentially a very comprehensive survey, but it is also helpfully critical. I consider the publication of this book to be a very helpful contribution to a better understanding of Orthodoxy in the English-speaking world."
John Meyendorff, Dean, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary