A Hybrid World: Diaspora, Hybridity, and Missio Dei edited by Sadiri Joy Tira and Juliet Lee Uytanlet
“According to Statistics Canada, international migration accounted for 82.8% of all population growth in Canada during the first three months of 2019. The report further states, “in this context, population growth in Canada will probably rely increasingly on international migration.”1 Census 2016 reported 37.5 % of the under-fifteen population are first-generation immigrants or have at least one parent who is foreign-born,2 and it projected between 39.3% and 49.1% of the entire population of children aged 15 and under living in Canada would be foreign born or have at least one first-generation parent by 2036.3 These immigrant-background children grow to be cultural and multiethnic4 hybrids, and many of them racial hybrids, high-lighting the Canadian government’s multicultural and pluralistic aspirations. As migration shapes and shifts population profiles, hybridity is a pressing issue for Christian ministries around the world.5 In Canada, the first country in the world to introduce a points-based immigration system6 and formalize and implement an official multiculturalism policy,7 is the trajectory from homogenous to hybrid inevitable? Has hybridity always been?
Moreover, for many denominations, is the journey from homogeneity to hybridity an intentional emulation of the First Century Christian churches that embraced racial, ethnic, and cultural hybridity? What, if any, intentional and successful models of hybridization are employed by local churches? What can we learn from them?
Further, as a sustained influx of migrants, both permanent and temporary, continues to shape Canadian demography and society, what unique gifts do the hybrid people present to local churches for partnership in God’s mission? It is important for us to address these questions and understand the challenges and opportunities that migration presents to Canadian churches and communities. William Carey Publishing’s new volume A Hybrid World: Diaspora, Hybridity, and Missio Dei,edited by Sadiri Joy Tira, Jaffray Centre’s own diaspora Net Convener who served as the Lausanne Movement’s (LM) Senior Associate/Catalyst for Diasporas from 2007-2019; and Juliet Lee Uytanlet, the Biblical Seminary of the Philippines’菲律濱聖經神學院 Professor of InterCultural Studies and LM Co-Catalyst for Diasporas from 2016-2018. A Hybrid World highlights the presented research of academicians and practitioners who are engaging diaspora people groups, particularly hybrid people.
Notably, A Hybrid World is the result of the Hybridity, Diaspora and Missio Dei: Exploring New Horizons consultation convened, from June 19-22, 2018 8 by Tira and Lee Uytanlet, and organized from the Lausanne Movement platform in partnership with the Global Diaspora Network (GDN). For the consultation and for this new volume, the concept of hybridity, relates to cultural hybridity. Hybridity is defined as the intermixing of “blood” and/or the mixing of cultures or cultural elements.
As revered Michael A. Rynkiewich, retired Professor of Anthropology at Asbury Theological Seminary, observes, A Hybrid World “establish[es] ‘hybridity’ as being deeply rooted in history and Scripture, not the ‘new normal,’ but simply normal... requiring us to ‘reconsider our mission theology, history, and anthropology’.”9 Further, the chapters encourage more missiological thinking toward theological, historical, and ethnographic methods, 10 and finally, A Hybrid World invites readers to a conversation with new research initiatives outside of the “missiology bubble.” 11 Widely endorsed by respected missiologists to missions specialists and enthusiasts, church leaders, and those seeking a framework to engage New Canadians, A Hybrid World contributes significant material, particularly in the fi elds of diaspora mission, cultural anthropology, global missions, and urban missions to enhance the study of missiology at seminaries, mission organizations, denominational organizations, and local churches. A Hybrid World raises integral questions and presents successful models to meaningfully engage hybrids who may fall “between the cracks” left between distinct cultural groups. Though the topics discussed are specialized, the authors remain readable and relatable. In view of current realities and census projections, the Canadian church must realize its innate and intended hybridity; thereby, remaining a vital partner in the public sphere and in the transformation of Canadian society. A Hybrid World: Diaspora, Hybridity, and Missio Dei is a timely tool for reflection and a compelling call to partnership in God’s mission in Canada and beyond.
Available as paperback and e-book at https://missionbooks.org/products.”