In Canada, where I live, 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.” Census 2016 reported 37.5% of the under-fifteen population are first-generation immigrants or have at least one parent who is foreign-born, 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. These immigrant-background children grow to be cultural and multiethnic hybrids, and many of them racial hybrids, highlighting 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. For Canada, the first country in the world to introduce a points-based immigration system and formalise and implement an official multiculturalism policy, is the trajectory from homogenous to hybrid inevitable? Further, in societies transformed by trade and travel, like the Philippines in South East Asia, 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 demographics and societies, what unique gifts do 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 national churches and local communities.
Fortunately, answers to these questions and issues can be found in the newest William Carey Publishing’s volume A Hybrid World: Diaspora, Hybridity, and Missio Dei, with editors: Dr. Sadiri Joy Tira, who is a Global Missiology Specialist for the Jaffray Centre for Global Initiatives at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta (Canada), and 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 Lausanne Movement’s Co-Catalyst for Diasporas from 2016-2018.
The book A Hybrid World highlights the presentations and research of academicians and practitioners who are engaging with diaspora people groups, particularly hybrid people. This book is a product of the consultation on Hybridity, Diaspora and Missio Dei: Exploring New Horizons convened, from June 19-22, 2018 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.
The book contains 17 chapters from highly esteemed authors that talk about hybridity. Hybridity is defined as the intermixing of “blood” and/or the mixing of cultures or cultural elements. Each chapter showed that hybridity is deeply rooted in history and the Scriptures, and as is known to many, it is not a new phenomena, not the new normal, but simply normal… requiring us to ‘reconsider the current mission theology, history, and anthropology’.” Further, the chapters encourage more missiological thinking toward theological, historical, and ethnographic methods, and finally, the book, A Hybrid World invites readers to a conversation with new research initiatives outside of the “missiology bubble.”
A Hybrid World is widely endorsed by respected missiologists to missions specialists and enthusiasts, church leaders, and those seeking a framework to engage migrants, it contributes significant material, particularly in the fields of diaspora mission, cultural anthropology, global missions, and urban missions to enhance the study of missiology at seminaries, mission organizations, denominational organisations, 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 specialised, the authors remain readable and relatable.
In view of current realities national churches must realize their innate and intended hybridity; thereby, remaining a vital partner in the public sphere and in the transformation of 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, the Philippines, and beyond.
- Available in paperback, and e-book (i.e., e-pub, Kindle) at https://missionbooks.org/products/a-hybrid-world?fbclid=IwAR0B6sQx13D4efgT6-c5HdQOVun3ijLlTp4bQlYMwAOAQHija_RtiVGXpGw
- Note: This review is based on a previously published review in Jaffray Perspectives by the Jaffray Centre for Global Initiatives at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta.
Lorajoy Tira-Dimangondayao (BTh) is interested in religion vis-à-vis migration in the Canadian context, and is passionate about the transformation of personal narratives of the scattered people. Born in Manila and raised in the Canadian prairies, she is a “1.75 Generation” Canadian of Filipino descent, and is fluent in Franglaistaglishspagalog.