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The 1925 Vatican Mission Exposition and the Interface Between Catholic Mission Theory and World Religions

Angelyn Dries

After the First World War, which disrupted missions around the world, Pope Pius XI announced a Holy Year for 1925, a major focus of which was the creation of the Vatican Mission Exposition. After a description of the exposition, the work of four Catholic anthropologists on both sides of the North Atlantic illustrate some of the underlying anthropological and mission views encompassed in the exposition. The four anthropologists employed a pattern of close, empathic observation of people and an awareness of larger frameworks of religious meaning in relation to the whole of culture. This inductive methodology was a contrast to the deductive Thomist philosophical framework in place in many Catholic seminaries of the period.



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