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Mission in the Second Decade of Globalization

By: Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S.

Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, USA
2008 SEDOS Seminar, Ariccia, Italy, 20-24 May 2008

The Second Decade of Globalization

It might seem odd to some in this seminar on mission and globalization and what it means for missionary congregations to begin talking about the “second” decade of globalization. I have deliberately chosen to do so for a number of reasons. The first is to remind us how long we have been grappling with this phenomenon. While talk about globalization reaches back into the 1980s, it wasn’t until the collapse of Communism in most countries and the rapid spread of information and communication technologies that globalization began to press itself upon our consciousness as it does today. Secondly, in having had nearly two decades to ponder it, we should be looking at the phenomenon in a more nuanced way. Sweeping generalizations that might have been acceptable in the early years of our experience of globalization should be gradually replaced by more careful and strategic thinking. Third, having now had the amount of experience with globalization we should be able to see patterns and shape policies that will best serve the mission to which we are called.

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