In recent years the Five Marks of Mission have become the latest in a long series of mission ‘slogans’ in the Anglican Communion, but little attention has been paid to their origin or theological presuppositions. This paper traces the development of an Anglican definition of mission from the 1984 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, at which a four-fold definition was first put forth, to the present use of the Five Marks of Mission across many parts of the Communion. The strong influence of evangelical mission thinking on this definition is demonstrated, as is the contributions from African Anglican bishops. Anglican mission thinking has shifted from emphasizing pragmatism and coordination to providing a vision for the Communion to live into. Mission thinking has been a site of genuine cross-cultural interchange among Anglicans from diverse backgrounds.
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