Spirituality and Theology

Redemptoris Missio In the Development of Missiological Thought

Fr. Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S.

This article is taken from a presentation from a symposium given at the Pontificia Universita Urbaniana January 19, 2001 entitled "A dieci anni dalla Redemptoris Missio".  This article reflects upon missiological thought since the publication of Redemptoris Missio certainly the most important encyclical letter on Mission in the 20th centruy.

This presentation will focus specifically on the influence that Redemptoris Missio has had -- and continues to have -- on missiological thinking. Father Schreiter writes: "First of all, I will propose that the teaching in the cnycylicals often functions at two levels: they address both immediate issues--which is often the reason for thier publication--and also offer insights forlonger-term developments in the Church's life. Second, I will note briefly some points of shorter-term impact--that is, in the ten years since its promulgation--of the encyclical's teachings on missiological thought. The third and longest section of this presentation will be devoted to looking at four areas where I believe the encyclical is contriuting to current missiological idsucssion. By proceeding in this fashion, I hope that it will be evident that the teaching of Redemptoris Mission has indeed helped redirect missiological thinking in the last decade, and has much to offer by way of guidance in the future."