Dr Brainerd Prince & Ms Benrilo Kikon
Mission as Translation: A Fusion of Three Horizons
In recent mission studies, the idea of mission has come to be understood through the models of ‘inculturation’ and ‘contextualization’ as a response to the enlightenment model of mission. However, this paper seeks to argue that both ‘inculturation’ and ‘contextualization’ continue to be problematic as they continue the enlightenment and colonial legacy of mission that they seek to critique. While in ‘inculturation’ the text (gospel) is given priority over the mission field and the missionary, in ‘contextualization’ the mission field gains prominence over both the text and the missionary. In both these models, the role of the missionary is made invisible and what she brings to mission is eclipsed. In this paper, we want to argue that when mission is understood as translation, within a framework of textuality, , then it provides a conceptual framework that seriously considers the role of (1) the missionary, (2) the gospel text and (3) the mission field together in the act of mission, hence 'a fusion of three horizons'. We want to test this hypothesis in the Lotha Naga context by looking at Lotha translations of the biblical text. Finally, we want to draw broad implications for mission studies from a 'mission as translation' point of view.