Yale-Edinburgh Group
Founded in 1992 to study the development of world Christianity

Yale-Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of Mission

The Yale-Edinburgh Group is an informal group of scholars founded in 1992 by Andrew Walls of the University of Edinburgh and Lamin Sanneh of Yale University. The Group’s conferences and LISTSERV facilitate discussion and exchange of information about the development of world Christianity and historical aspects of mission, with special emphasis on the sources for documentation. The conferences are sponsored by the Centre for the Study of World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh and the Yale Divinity School.

The 2024 Yale-Edinburgh Group conference will be hosted by the Yale Divinity School. For more information about the Yale-Edinburgh Group, contact:

Kyama Mugambi
World Christianity
409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511

Yale-Edinburgh 2024

Call for papers 


The Yale-Edinburgh 2024 conference will be hosted by the Yale Divinity School, New Haven CT, 26th-28th June, 2024

The theme is Spirit and the Spiritual: Ancestors, Deities and the Holy Spirit in Church and Mission.

Missions from the West brought Christianity into worlds with a wide array of cosmologies. Recipient cultures embraced Christian faith while negotiating differing perspectives of spiritual realities. The subsequent transition from missionary Christianity to indigenous faith produced a range of responses to the notion of ‘spiritual beings.’ Through mission, Christianity encountered traditional religions which venerated ancestors, revered spiritual beings, and navigated intricate relationships between deities in a world far more complex than the typical Western experience. From Korea to Brazil, Nigeria to Samoa, France to India - these multifaceted cosmologies continue to animate the Christian experience producing dynamic expressions of the faith. Movements of the Holy Spirit represent another dimension of Christianity. A wide range of pneumatic Christianities populate the long history of Christian expansion around the world.

World Christianity scholarship is deeply enriched through exploration of the historical, theological and missiological implications of these relationships between the Holy Spirit and the Spiritual worlds of Christians across the globe. The Yale Edinburgh conference 2024 especially welcomes contributions that: illuminate the interactions between spiritual realities of recipient cultures and missionary notions of the Holy Spirit; provide historical accounts of religious transformations with respect to ancestors, deities, and other spiritual beings in the process of Christian expansion; enlarge current understandings of local and diasporic perspectives of spiritual beings and their role in Christian expressions; provide comparative studies of missionary approaches to spirits and deities across denominations and across time; venture into ecumenical and interfaith dynamics with respect to spirits and the spiritual; or map trajectories of discourses on the Holy Spirit and other beings in a rapidly changing world.

Please supply an abstract of 250 words to world.christianity@yale.edu by 15th February 2024. Your abstract should clearly state, among other things, the enquiry, method, and historical context in which you situate your paper.

The gathering at New Haven will be in-person. There will a will be a conference hub in Nairobi and in Singapore on the same theme, and on the same dates.

New Haven Hotel Information

Limited rooms are available at conference rates in the hotels listed below. Rates are available if booked before 1 June. Click the links to start your reseveration at the conference rates.

Past Meetings