As a historian-cum-historian of religion, I welcome the fine collection of essays in this special issue of the journal, contributed by a promising cohort of emerging ethnographers of World Christianity. As a non-ethnographer, I employ as a baseline measure of their endeavors the characteristic historiography of the field, in particular the value it places on indigenous appropriation over missionary transmission (an approach pioneered by Andrew Walls and Lamin Sanneh, among others). I couple that with a studied conviction that Christianity in the global South invariably emerges out of a matrix conditioned by a complex of pre-existing religions, varying, naturally, by time and place. In the following, I bundle the six authors into a group of two, whose case studies illuminate contrastive poles in the practice of ethnography for World Christianity, and a group of four, who each espouse a theory-laden ethnography intended to change the trajectory of the field, even as they emerge from it.

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