Missiological Reflection of the SVD Mission in the Postmodern and Post-Truth Society with a Special Reference to Tribal Mission in INM Province

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Richard Quadros


God reaches out to His creations because the very nature of God is love. Therefore, the very identity of God is mission. So, the Church’s identity can be defined by the Divine reaching out through mission work. The Church on earth is missionary by her very nature. It is well said that the Church exists by its mission just as a fire exists by burning. Perhaps one of the most important initiatives by the SVDs in the past nearly 150 years since it came into existence has been its empowerment of the most vulnerable sections of the society. This keeps burning the fire of the SVD mission passionately.  True to its vision and mission, the Society of the Divine Word in India and elsewhere has spent a great deal of resources both in terms of finance and of personnel. In doing so the Society has established preferential options for the poor and subaltern groups. In today’s parlance as Pope Francis would call it ‘going to the peripheries’: going to the peripheries for mission work doesn’t mean only going to remote, rural villages, but rather going to existential peripheries, ‘smelling the sheep’. In a postmodern scenario, the clarion call of Pope Francis is quite revealing and challenging. He states “I am a Mission; You Are a Mission”. He doesn’t intend to say that ‘I have a Mission’, but rather emphasizes “I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world”. By emphasizing functionality and action, Pope Francis puts the spotlight on ontology (being). Mission infuses our genes; it’s our self-defining DNA. Incidentally, the SVDs’18 th General Chapter documents says ‘Our Name is our Mission’. Why does the mission give preference to the poor? What type of new mission methodologies need to be adopted upon studying the transformations of the time? This paper is an attempt to glimpse the salient features of post-modernity and post truth, as well as note the influences of postmodernity and mission of the Church. I explore a way forward in the backdrop of postmodern and post-truth induced challenges, in the hope to further discussion on important innovative mission methodologies with a special reference to the SVDs’ tribal mission in the INM province.  What strategies, activities, methodologies and ethno-methodologies must be employed to address the issues of our time? How can challenges be translated as opportunities? What is the way forward?


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