Joining Foreword this week is Dr. David C. Kirkpatrick, Assistant Professor of Religion at James Madison University. David is a historian of religion, politics, and social movements working at the intersection of Latin America and the United States. He completed a PhD. at the University of Edinburgh’s prestigious Centre for the Study of World Christianity, but not before passing his way through TEDS, earning an MDiv and MA in Intercultural Studies. Dr. Fellipe do Vale and Dr. Madison Pierce have a lovely conversation about David’s work on Latin American Evangelicals and their contributions to understandings of how evangelicalism is defined.
David’s work focuses on 20th-century figures like René Padilla, Samuel Escobar, and Orlando Costas, evangelical theologians who called for a holistic understanding of the gospel that extended to concern for the poor as a corrective to approaches that neglected such dimensions. They trained alongside and in conversation with familiar figures like John Stott and Carl F.H. Henry, yet often speaking from convictions forged in their own Latin American contexts. There is something noticeably distinct about these figures; while they are recognizably evangelical in their doctrinal commitments, they also differed strongly from their North American conversation partners on social issues, even whether Christians ought to engage them, and David brings out these differences well. This, of course, is a fundamental question about what the gospel is and its relationship to every element of life, and the answer of these evangelicals is illuminating for the contemporary concerns of many Christians. Finally, David shares about his rewarding experiences teaching in a research university as a Christian.
Along the way, listeners will discover…
To learn more about Dr. David C. Kirkpatrick, we encourage you to check out his book, and keep an eye out for his two other forthcoming books, Global Visions of Violence: Agency and Persecution in World Christianity and Blood and Borders: Violence and Intolerance at the Intersection of Latin America and the United States. See also his department page at JMU, where he teaches some excellent courses!