Review of “Unexpected Grace” by Farifteh Robb

Unexpected Grace: A Life in Two WorldsUnexpected Grace: A Life in Two Worlds by Farifteh V Robb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some years ago while completing my research for a PhD I interviewed Farifteh Robb. That led to the publication of a brief article titled “The Secret World of God: Aesthetics, Relationships, and the conversion of ‘Frances’ from Shi’a Islam to Christianity” in Global Missiology. At that time Robb was not discussing her history publicly, but I’m glad that she decided to do so.

This books brings a welcome contribution to the growing literature by converts from Islam to Christianity. Robb’s strong background in literature allows her to reference great authors and work in a way that other converts cannot. The fact that she ended up in Anglican Christianity as opposed to evangelical or charismatic Christianity is also rare for such conversion narratives. My favorite thing about the book was reading her personal recollections of what life was like in Tehran before, during and after the 1979 revolution.

Finally, the author has a light and witty style. Her sense of humor is much appreciated.

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Oxford History of Anglicanism, Vol 3

I am happy to share with you all that volume 3 of the Oxford History of Anglicanism is now available. My own chapter is ‘Anglican Mission in the Middle East up to 1910’.

Volume 3 focuses on the partisan era and Anglicanism’s expansion into a global community up to 1910. Volume 4 concentrates on Anglicanism in the contemporary period and its history after the 1910 EdinburghWorld Missions Conference.

More info on volume 3 can be found at the OUP website and much of my own chapter can be read at books.google.

“Power, Personalities and Politics: The Growth of Iranian Christianity since 1979” in Mission Studies

I am pleased to share with you this article which was published in Mission Studies, a Brill journal.

Here is the abstract:

While Christianity has existed in Iran/Persia since the fourth century, if not earlier, at the middle of the twentieth century almost all Iranian Christians belonged to an ethnic minority, especially the Assyrians and the Armenians. Ethnic Iranians were almost all Muslims, and then mostly Shi’a Muslims. Since the Revolution of 1979 hundreds of thousands of ethnic Iranians have left Islam for evangelical Christianity, both within and outside of Iran. This paper seeks to explore the multifaceted factors – political, economic and technological – that have helped to create an environment wherein increasing numbers of ethnic Iranians have apostatized from Islam and become evangelical Christians. A concluding section outlines Steven Lukes’ theory of power and analyzes the growth of Iranian Christianity in the light of his theory.

Brill allows for authors to post a copy of their article on their personal website, so click here to download the PDF.