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C. René Padilla and the Origins of Integral Mission in Post-War Latin America

  • DAVID C. KIRKPATRICK (a1)
Abstract

This article discusses the origins of ‘misión integral’ or integral mission, a term coined by the Ecuadorian theologian C. René Padilla (b. 1932). As the first critical study of Padilla, it argues that the origins of ‘misión integral’ are to be found within a cluster of political and social forces that were reshaping post-war Latin America: rural-urban migration, the resulting complications of urbanisation and the rapid expansion of the universities, where Marxist ideas of revolutionary change were of growing appeal to students. This article relies on interviews with many of the leading personalities involved, together with personal papers, archival research and Latin American census data.

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References
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1 ‘Stott 6/1/15 travel diaries, 1977’, John R. W. Stott papers, Lambeth Palace Library, London.

2 While the Spanish ‘evangélico’ differs from the English ‘Evangelical,’ these theologians identified themselves as both, so that the English term may be used here. The best definition of Protestant Evangelicalism remains David Bebbington's quadrilateral: Evangelicalism in modern Britain: a history from the 1730s to the 1980s, London 1993, 2–3. The definitive scholarly biography of Stott is Alister Chapman, Godly ambition: John Stott and the Evangelical movement, Oxford 2012. For Míguez Bonino see Paul Davies, Faith seeking effectiveness: the missionary theology of José Míguez Bonino, Zoetermeer 2006.

3 BGCA, Wheaton, Illinois, SC 46, box 30, folder 18. See Brian Stanley, ‘“Lausanne 1974”: the challenge from the majority world to northern-hemisphere Evangelicalism’, this Journal lxiv (2013), 540, and The global diffusion of Evangelicalism, Nottingham–Downers Grove, Il 2013, and T. E. Yates, Christian mission in the twentieth century, Cambridge 1994.

4 This English translation has been adopted by René Padilla himself and so will be used in this article.

5 Bebbington, David, ‘Evangelicals and reform: an analysis of social and political action’, Third Way (1983), 1013 , and The nonconformist conscience: chapel and politics, 1870–1914, London–Boston 1982, 37–60.

6 David J. Bosch, Transforming mission: paradigm shifts in theology of mission, Maryknoll, NY 1991, 403.

7 See, for example, Stanley, ‘“Lausanne 1974””, and Global diffusion, and Chapman, Godly ambition.

8 CLADE, Acción en Cristo para un continente en crisis, San José, Costa Rica 1970; C. René Padilla, ‘CLADE III: un <<hito>> en la historia de la Iglesia’, in Discipulado y misión: compromiso con el reino de Dios, Buenos Aires 1997, 118. Personal correspondence, planning and general papers from CLADE I can be found in BGCA, collection 324.

9 C. Peter Wagner, Teología Latinoamericana: ¿Izquierdista o evangélica?, Miami 1969.

10 John R. W. Stott, Making Christ known: historic mission documents from the Lausanne movement, 1974–1989, Exeter 1996, 182.

11 Chris Wright is one of many who have used the phrase: The mission of God: unlocking the Bible's grand narrative, Downers Grove, Il 2006, 316.

12 Roy McCloughry, ‘John Stott, 1921–2011’, Third Way (Sept. 2011),

http://www.thirdwaymagazine.co.uk/editions/sept-2011/features/john-stott-1921-2011.aspx.

13 Southern Chile, 24–31 Jan. 1974, John Stott papers.

14 David C. Kirkpatrick interview with Samuel Escobar, Valencia, Spain, 21 Oct. 2013.

15 David Stoll, Is Latin America turning Protestant? The politics of Evangelical growth, Berkeley 1990, 131–2.

16 One recent title suggests that Evangelical Protestant social theology provided a perspective on preexistent liberation categories: Sharon E. Heaney, Contextual theology for Latin America: liberation themes in Evangelical perspective, Milton Keynes 2008. None the less it is a valuable attempt at a systematisation of Latin American Protestant Evangelical theology.

17 Heaney, Contextual theology; Daniel Salinas, Latin American Evangelical theology in the 1970s: the golden decade, Leiden–Boston 2009.

18 Largely due to his methodology Salinas follows the recollection of the protagonists: Latin American Evangelical theology, 25.

19 David R. Swartz, Moral minority: the Evangelical left in an age of conservatism, Philadelphia 2012, 113.

20 Stanley, Global diffusion, and ‘“Lausanne 1974”’.

21 The best historical survey of the origins of liberation theology remains Christian Smith, The emergence of liberation theology: radical religion and social movement theory, Chicago 1991. See also David Tombs, Latin American liberation theology, Leiden–Boston 2002.

22 M. Epstein (ed.), Statesman's yearbook, 1935, London 1935, 1117.

23 Idem, Statesman's yearbook, 1945, London 1945, 1087.

24 Idem, Statesman's yearbook, 1933, London 1933, 1193.

25 Idem, Statesman's yearbook, 1945, 1176.

26 S. H. Steinberg (ed.), Statesman's yearbook, 1955, London 1955, 1302.

27 Gabriel A. Coleman and James Smoot Almond, The politics of the developing areas, Princeton, NJ 1960, cited in Josué De Castro, Irving Louis Horowitz and John Gerassi (eds), Latin American radicalism: a documentary report on left and nationalist movements, London 1968.

28 ‘La UNAM en números’, 30 Sept. 2013, http://www.estadistica.unam.mx/numeralia/.

29 See Padilla, C. René, ‘Student witness in Latin America today’, IFES Journal xix/2 (1966), 13 .

30 M. Epstein (ed.), Statesman's yearbook, 1930, London 1930, 1195; S. H. Steinberg (ed.), Statesman's yearbook, 1950, London 1950, 1303, 1322.

31 David Bushnell, The making of modern Colombia: a nation in spite of itself, Berkeley, Ca 1993, 186.

32 Padilla, ‘Student witness’; El testimonio cristiano en la universidad Latinoamericana’, Pensamiento Cristiano xiv/55 (1967), 176–83; and La universidad: lo social, lo spiritual’, Certeza viii/31 (1968), 205–7. The latter article can also be found in the C. René Padilla papers, Kairos Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina, uncatalogued.

33 Padilla, ‘La universidad’, 205.

34 Ibid.

35 Idem, ‘Student witness’, 12–13. These figures appear to be inflated and are difficult to verify.

36 Irving Louis Horowitz, ‘The socioeconomic pivot’, in De Castro, Horowitz, and Gerassi, Latin American radicalism, 148.

37 Ibid. 145.

38 Padilla, ‘La universidad’, 206; ‘Student witness’, 13; and ‘El testimonio cristiano’, 178.

39 Idem, ‘Student witness’, 12.

40 See, for example, David Espinosa, ‘Student politics, national politics: Mexico's national student union, 1926–1943’, The Americas lxii/4 (2006), 533–62; cf. Risto Lehtonen, Story of a storm: the ecumenical student movement in the turmoil of revolution, 1968 to 1973, Grand Rapids 1998, 42.

41 Tombs, Latin American liberation theology, 68.

42 For more on global student protests see Lehtonen, Story of a storm, 43–4. See also E. R. Norman, Christianity and the world order, Oxford 1979, 52. For more on the rise of third world theologies, and their impact on the missionary movement see Stanley, Global diffusion, 25.

43 Todd Hartch, The rebirth of Latin American Christianity, Oxford 2014, 12.

44 Padilla, C. René, ‘My theological pilgrimage’, Journal of Latin American Theology iv/2 (2009), 91111 . This article also appears in Darren C. Marks (ed.), Shaping a global theological mind, Burlington, Vt, 2008, 127–37; cf. Paul Ericksen interview with René Padilla, 12 Mar. 1987, BGCA, collection 361, T1.

45 Bushnell, Modern Colombia, 186.

46 Epstein, Statesman's yearbook, 1945; Bushnell, Modern Colombia, 186.

47 Bushnell, Modern Colombia, 186.

48 Ericksen-Padilla interview. See also C. René Padilla, ‘Siervo de la palabra,’ in C. René Padilla (ed.), Hacia una teología evangélica latinoamericana, San José 1984, 113–20.

49 Padilla, ‘Siervo de la palabra’.

50 Idem, ‘Pilgrimage’, 127.

51 David C. Kirkpatrick interview with René Padilla, Buenos Aires, 13 Sept. 2013. .

52 ‘Stott 6/1/15 travel diaries 1977’, Stott papers; cf. Padilla, ‘Pilgrimage,’ 128.

53 Kirkpatrick-Padilla interview, 13 Sept. 2013.

54 Padilla, ‘Pilgrimage’, 128.

55 Ericksen-Padilla interview. For the socio-political tumult in Colombia after 1930 see Herbert Braun, The assassination of Gaitán: public life and urban violence in Colombia, Madison, Wi 2003.

56 Padilla, ‘Pilgrimage’, 94.

57 Ibid. 94–5.

58 Ericksen-Padilla interview.

59 Padilla, ‘Pilgrimage’, 97–8.

60 Ibid. 98. See also Kirkpatrick-Padilla interview, 13 Sept. 2013.

61 Ibid.

62 Samuel Escobar, La chispa y la llama: breve historia de la Comunidad Internacional de Estudiantes Evangélicos en América Latina, Buenos Aires 1978, 70.

63 Padilla, ‘Pilgrimage,’ 97.

64 Ibid.

65 See Samuel Escobar, ‘Doing theology on Christ's Road’, in Jeffrey P. Greenman and Gene L. Green (eds), Global theology in Evangelical perspective: exploring the contextual nature of theology and mission, Downers Grove, Il 2012, 67.

66 Pete Lowman, The day of his power: a history of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, Downers Grove, Il 1988, 79; A. Donald MacLeod, C. Stacey Woods and the Evangelical rediscovery of the university, Downers Grove, Il 2007, 251. For the founding of IFES see C. Stacey Woods, The growth of a work of God: the story of the early days of the Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship of the United States of America as told by its first General Secretary, Downers Grove, Il 1978, 137–41.

67 For the founding of IFES in Latin America see Escobar, La chispa y la llama; Woods, The growth of a work of God, 32–4; and Lowman, The day of his power, 189–201.

68 Kirkpatrick-Padilla interview, 10 Sept. 2013.

69 His (June-Sept. 1948), 47, cited in Escobar, La chispa y la llama, 51.

70 See, for example, WCSF papers, Yale Divinity School Archives, collection 46, box 284, folder 2500.

71 See, for example, Camilo Torres Restrepo, ‘Message to students’, in De Castro, Horowitz and Gerassi, Latin American radicalism, 497–8.

72 Ibid. 496.

73 Ibid. This article originally appeared in La Gaceta (Bogata) xiii (Mar–Apr. 1965) (trans. Morton Marks).

74 Escobar, La chispa y la llama, 86.

75 David C. Kirkpatrick (Skype) interview with Pedro Arana, 11 Mar. 2014; cf. Gustavo Gutiérrez, A theology of liberation: history, politics, and salvation, Maryknoll, NY 1973, p. xi.

76 Kirkpatrick-Arana interview.

77 Kirkpatrick-Escobar interview, 22 Oct. 2013.

78 Escobar, La chispa y la llama, 86.

79 Restrepo, ‘Message to students’, 497–8.

80 Escobar, La chispa y la llama, 86 (italics mine).

81 Kirkpatrick-Escobar interview, 22 Oct. 2013.

82 C. René Padilla, ‘Liberation theology: an appraisal,’ in Daniel S. Schipani (ed.), Freedom and discipleship, Maryknoll, NY 1989, 47, and La teología de la liberación: una evaluación crítica’, Misión i/2 (1982), 20 .

83 Kirkpatrick-Escobar interview, 22 Oct. 2013; Escobar, Samuel, ‘My pilgrimage in mission’, International Bulletin of Missionary Research xxxvi/4 (2012), 206 .

84 Padilla, ‘Pilgrimage’, 94–5.

85 Ibid. 96.

86 Kirkpatrick-Padilla interview, 10 Sept. 2013.

87 Escobar, La chispa y la llama, 81. On the Roman Catholic Church see especially Tombs, Latin American liberation theology, 85–6, 96–7.

88 Escobar, La chispa y la llama, 80. See also Lowman, The day of his power, 201–2 n. 1, and Stanley, Global diffusion, 158–9.

89 Escobar, La chispa y la llama, 81.

90 Kirkpatrick-Escobar interview, 21 Oct. 2013; Padilla to Kirkpatrick, 8 Oct. 2013 (e-mail).

91 Stanley, Global diffusion, 54. Padilla to Kirkpatrick, 8 Oct. 2013 (e-mail).

92 Padilla to Kirkpatrick, 8 Oct. 2013 (e-mail).

93 Padilla, C. René, ‘Evangelio y responsibilidad social’, Certeza vii/52 (1973), 108–13.

94 Idem, La teología en Latinoamerica’, Boletín Teológico ii (1972), 7 .

95 Idem, ‘Church and world: a study of the relation between the Church and the world in the teaching of the Apostle Paul’, unpubl. PhD diss. Manchester 1965, 245.

96 Ibid. 252 (italics mine). See also p. 258.

97 J. W. Voelkel to Ruben Lores, 19 Mar. 1966, BGCA, Latin America Mission papers, CN 236, box 11, folder 8.

98 See, for example, Padilla, ‘Church and world’, 245 and at pp. 187–8, 212–13, 254, for kingdom of God language.

99 George Eldon Ladd, Jesus and the kingdom: the eschatology of Biblical realism, New York 1964, p. xiv. For Ladd see further John A. D'Elia, A place at the table: George Eldon Ladd and the rehabilitation of Evangelical scholarship in America, Oxford–New York 2008.

100 See David C. Kirkpatrick, ‘C. René Padilla: integral mission and the reshaping of global Evangelicalism’, unpubl. PhD diss. Edinburgh 2015.

101 Padilla, ‘Pilgrimage’, 101; Gutiérrez, A theology of liberation, 15.

102 Much more could be said on the important work and influence of Feser Padilla. See Kirkpatrick, ‘C. René Padilla’, 123–41.

103 For more on the Dirty War in Argentina see Marguerite Feitlowitz, A lexicon of terror: Argentina and the legacies of torture, Oxford–New York 1998, and Paul H. Lewis, Guerrillas and generals: the ‘Dirty War’ in Argentina, Westport, Ct 2011.

104 WCC, The Church for others, and the Church for the world, Geneva 1967. For discussion of The Church for others see Mark T. B. Laing, From crisis to creation: Lesslie Newbigin and the reinvention of Christian mission, Eugene, Or 2012, 208–9. These trends were already taking shape in the 1950s as well. See ‘Report on leadership training course’, Cochabamba, Bolivia, 31 Dec. 1955–15 Jan. 1956, WSCF papers, collection 46, box 284, folder 2693.

105 Smith, Liberation theology, 116; Alan P. Neely, ‘Protestant antecedents of the Latin American theology of liberation’, unpubl. PhD diss. American University, Washington, DC 1977, 189, and also his Liberation theology in Latin America: antecedents and autochthony’, Missiology: An International Review vi (1978), 363 .

106 CLADE, Acción en Cristo. Personal correspondence, planning and general papers from CLADE I can be found at BGCA, special collection 324.

107 CLADE, Acción en Cristo.

108 Padilla, ‘CLADE III: un <<hito>> en la historia de la Iglesia’, 118.

109 Wagner was an associate general director of the Bolivian Indian Mission. He later became a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.

110 C. Peter Wagner, Latin American theology: radical or Evangelical? The struggle for the faith in a young Church, Grand Rapids 1970, 9.

111 Padilla, C. René, ‘Teología Latinoamericana: ¿Izquierdista o Evangélica?,Pensamiento Cristiano xvii/ 66 (1970), 133–40.

112 This gloss reflects Padilla's English word choice.

113 Padilla, ‘Teología Latinoamericana’, 139.

114 Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical story: a history of the movement, Grand Rapids 2005, 155–80.

115 ‘FTL Consulta 1’, undated, Padilla papers; Padilla, ‘Pilgrimage’, 133.

116 It was later renamed ‘Latin American Theological Fellowship’ in order to reflect the gender-neutrality of the Spanish word fraternidad.

117 C. René Padilla (ed.), El reino de Dios y América Latina, El Paso 1975, 7.

118 Samuel Escobar to David C. Kirkpatrick, 20 Dec. 2013 (e-mail).

119 Padilla, ‘La teología en Latinoamerica’, 7.

120 Idem, What is the Gospel?’, Christianity Today xvii/21 (1973), 34–5.

121 Idem, ‘Evangelio y responsibilidad social’, 109.

122 Ibid.

123 Ibid.

124 ‘Anonymous, handwritten notes from the presentation’, IFES papers, Blue Boar Street, Oxford, box labelled ‘International student movements: the Americas, 1960–1983’, folder ‘South America’.

125 BGCA Archives, SC 046, box 12, folder 1.

126 The extent of Padilla's global influence is beyond the scope of this paper. One example, however, is the Micah Network, which comprises more than five hundred Christian mission and relief organisations from over eighty countries, and claims integral mission as its goal: http://www.micahnetwork.org/.

All interviews cited in this article were conducted in the language of the participants and translated by the author.

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