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on 3 April 1999
Transforming missions is a scholarly work of importance for all scientists occupied with cross cultural encounters and matters of religion. The author, David Bosch, is one of several missologists who willingly share his rich and well documented work with other disciplines.
The book is well researched and the author is able to communicate complicated theological matters in a most convincing way. The book is readable and accessible to a long range of intrested persons and not merely to experts or specialists.
From a scholarly point of view Bosch provides the researcher with an analysis that gives a good framework for further research on the matter of missiology and historical cross cultural encounters. However, I miss references and analysis that can be more easily related to central social science authors like Giddens and Habermas and modern philosophers of care and interpersonal relationships.
I also miss a more penetrating discussion of the Eastern Orthodox churches and the paradigm shift in their missiological thinking.
Bosch has provided as with a bridge of understanding that is most helpful. His book will hopefully be read by many and will most certainly provide inspiration for many scholars.
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on 11 June 2016
Probably the most important book about missiology published in the 20th century and still hugely influential today, for anyone interested in the study of Christians mission this is THE must read book.
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on 21 February 2011
Transforming Mission has been a classic for nearly two decades now and the historical approach taken by Bosch in summarising the epochs of mission proves stimulating and perceptive, even if he admits himself that each chapter is indeed a mere summary. With a breadth of scholarship and research this is still to date the key historical missions summary in the discipline of The Theology of Mission. Anyone looking at the key missional paradigm shifts and their implications can be assured that Bosch is a great signpost on the way to understanding the significant dimensions of mission in the last 2000 years of the Christian church.

Criticisms- First at times he can be a bit unnecessarily over wordy and occasionally repetitive with a little incoherency in chapter structure. Second, at times the epochs are made to fit the model chosen and not altogether convincingly. Does for example the Enlightenment period run into the late 18th century/19th century as he notes and are the years of the paradigms accurate historically? Third, the first Epoch could have been written in a manner similar to the chapters on the other epochs so that the chapters read similar. Fourth, Bosch does not actually summarise what the main paradigm shift is though he describes characteristics of it. Any reading of the book still says, so what was the paradigm shift here? Fifth, the postmodern paradigm shift is arguably inadequate, due to the developments in mission subsequent to the book and the "lets wait and see what will happen" is still necessary even now. Sixth, what is left out? Though there needs to be a selective approach in the history of mission little is mentioned in key areas of mission...Pentecostalism, Charismatic Movement, Methodism, Feminism Theology, Black Theology, Ecology, and so on.

That said we are not disappointed in finding a book that has stood the test of time and a landmark in historical paradigms of mission.
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on 11 March 2008
David Bosch, killed in a car accident in 1992, was professor and head of the department for missiology at the University of South Africa

(from the back cover:)

Bosch examines the entire sweep of Christian tradition to show historically how five paradigms have encapsulated the Christian understanding of how God saves and what human beings should do in response. With the considerable talents that make him the foremost theologian of Christian vocation and mission today, Bosch then outlines the key characteriestics of an emerging "postmodern" paradigm dialetctially linking salvation's transcendent and immannent dimensions

(my review:)

A stunning work! I read this work from cover to cover, since it was a part of my formal studies--but I did so with no reluctance: there was something to learn in every section, beginning with the early church missionary paradigms that lay behind the new testaments documents, through the medieval Roman Catholic, Eastern (Orthodox) and Protestant missionary paradigms, through to the enlightening (sic) section on Mission in the wake of the Enlightenment. All this before Bosch thrusts the reader out into the 'glaring light' of an emerging ecumenical missionary paradigm.

I say 'glaring', because I found myself bowled over by the substance of this final, lengthy section. Until then, I had not realised how almost-completely post-modern so much my own missionary paradigm was. No wonder I have always felt out of step with so much of the western traditions of Christianity, which I now learn were in no small measure birthed within and grew up out of the 'Enlightnment project.'

Absorbing the enormous substance of this tome is another thing, of course, but I am grateful to have encountered this extraordinary thesis and work by Bosch. I feel that I have understood my own vocation even more deeply. I understand much better where the broad Christian tradition has come from and some of the damage done by it in the wake of the Englightenment in particular.

I also understand why, as a Pentecostal with an emerging ecumenical leaning, my faith is relatively radical here in the West. I think that is probably why I have continually experienced a quite different response to my faith and ministry amongst non-Western mission leaders and post-modernists, whilst finding myself almost continually out-of-step with modern, western Christianity and leadership.

Alongside this text, Orbis have published a Reader's Guide, to be used as an accompaniment to Bosch's academic and weighty text. I found it relatively lightweight when reading it besides Transforming Mission, but it is obviously more accessible and a worthwhile place to start if
you are interested in Bosch's message, but daunted by the 500+ academically structured pages.

eternalpurpose.org.uk
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on 3 April 1999
Transforming missions is a scholarly work of importance for all scientists occupied with cross cultural encounters and matters of religion. The author, David Bosch, is one of several missologists who willingly share his rich and well documented work with other disciplines.
The book is well researched and the author is able to communicate complicated theological matters in a most convincing way. The book is readable and accessible to a long range of intrested persons and not merely to experts or specialists.
From a scholarly point of view Bosch provides the researcher with an analysis that gives a good framework for further research on the matter of missiology and historical cross cultural encounters. However, I miss references and analysis that can be more easily related to central social science authors like Giddens and Habermas and modern philosophers of care and interpersonal relationships.
I also miss a more penetrating discussion of the Eastern Orthodox churches and the paradigm shift in their missiological thinking.
Bosch has provided as with a bridge of understanding that is most helpful. His book will hopefully be read by many and will most certainly provide inspiration for many scholars.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 July 2013
if your in training or a theology student Bosch is a must read any of his books are top notch and this one is no exception
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on 22 January 2013
A must have for pastors and missionaries ... There will never be something like it again. Thank God for Bosh.
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on 4 February 2015
Great read
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on 11 October 2009
Bosch's text begins with a through review of how mission (or the idea of mission) developed: although his treatment of the OT is skimpy, he makes solid ground in engaging with the NT (Mk, Lk-Acts, Paul), revisiting how mission has evolved since then. He advocates a new conceptual framework - the issue is whether the people will recognise it.
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on 1 March 2009
It was very much satisfactory for the delivery and was exactly as promised.
This book was life changing book with great stuff in it.
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