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IBTS Reading Group: Faith Seeking Conviviality

“Mission is not about ‘bringing anything’ or ‘accomplishing anything’. It is rather about friendship, relationship and learning to ‘overhear the gospel’ in the rhythms of the samba.”


An invitation to join us for the IBTS Reading Group for 5 sessions in 2024. (February to May 2024) 


Jonathan Wilson will convene the sessions to help us reflect together on the text by Samuel E. Ewell III, Faith Seeking Conviviality: Reflections on Ivan Illich, Christian Mission, and the Promise of Life Together (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2020). 

Jonathan Wilson is an IBTS Honorary Senior Research Fellow and Senior Consultant for Theological Integration with Canadian Baptist Ministries.


Who is the group for? 

Everyone is warmly welcome! The sessions will be especially interesting for those who are struggling with questions about mission in the 21st century – whether those are questions about the practice of mission, the theology, or both. 

This group is ideal for students and those studying theology, ministers and those involved in mission and church planting. It will also be stimulating for those involved in a wide range of professions who are asking what mission looks like in their work and neighbourhood. 

We welcome participants from anywhere in the world. However, the reading and discussion will be in English.  


What is the book about? 

Ivan Illich (1926–2002) was a philosopher, priest, and social critic and this book is an innovative reading of Illich’s work for rethinking Christian mission in light of post-colonial critiques. It explores ideas of incarnation and community in relation to mission and illuminates new paths for Christian practices and identity. 

Amongst other questions, we will explore Ewell’s reading of Illich’s account of the incarnational logic of mission and seek to understand the implications – especially the intercultural implications – for the theology and practice of mission today. This will give us an opportunity to bring our own work on mission, practice, and identity into the conversation with Illich’s innovative and faithful work.



The International Bulletin of Mission Research named it one of the “ten outstanding books in Mission Studies, Intercultural Theology, and World Christianity for 2020.” 


How can I take part in the reading group? 

To sign up for the group please complete the registration form below. We will send you an email including a Zoom link with details of each session including the reading. We hope that everyone can do the reading ahead of the session so we can engage in good conversation. 


Our meetings will take place from 19.00–20.30 CET on the following Wednesdays.


  • 14 February (Faith Seeking Conviviality, pp. 1–42)

  • 6 March (FSC, pp. 43–104)

  • 27 March (FSC, pp. 105–160)

  • 17 April (FSC, pp. 161–196)

  • 8 May (FSC, pp. 199–286)