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In the early 1980s, Dana L. Robert became captivated by what she called "Comparative Christianity." After completing her Ph.D. at Yale University, she began teaching at Boston University where, over the following three decades, she helped build the field that is now known as World Christianity. Robert's scholarship has focused on the role of women in mission history, notably through her American Women in Mission (1997), as well as the relationship between mission history and world Christianity more broadly. She presently serves as one of the editors of the journal Church History.
Dana Robert and M.L. Daneel opened one of the first university-based Centers on World Christianity in North America.
In 2010, Dana Robert delivered the keynote address at the Edinburgh 2010 Conference, which marked the centennial of the World Missionary Conference of 1910, speaking on "Witnessing to Christ Today: Mission and Unity in the 'Long View' from 1910 to the 21st Century." Robert has also given the Henry Martyn Lectures at the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide (2010), the Woolsey Lectures in Theology and Culture at Houghton College (2011), the Wallace Chappell Lectures in Evangelism at Duke Divinity School (2012), the Ausberger Lecture Series at Eastern Mennonite University (2013), the Parchman Endowed Lecture Series at Baylor University (2015), the Donald A. Yerxa History Lecture at Eastern Nazarene College (2016), and the Sprunt Lectures at Union Presbyterian Seminary (2017).
In 2017, Dana Robert received several honors in recognition of her contributions to history, theology, and religious studies. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The American Society of Missiology awarded her with the guild's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Association of Theological Schools named her a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology, and she served as a senior research fellow at the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz, Germany.
2019. Faithful Friendships: Embracing Diversity in Christian Community. Wm. B. Eerdmans.
2017. African Christian Biography. (Editor) Cluster Books.
2010. Joy to the World!: Mission in the Age of Global Christianity. Women's Division, United Methodist Church.
2009. Christian Mission: How Christianity Became a World Religion. Wiley.
2008. Converting Colonialism: Visions and Realities in Mission History, 1706-1914, ed. Wm. B. Eerdmans.
2003. Occupy Until I Come: A. T. Pierson and the Evangelization of the World. Wm. B. Eerdmans.
African Christian Outreach: Vol. 2 Mission Churches. (Editor) Pretoria: South African Missiological Society, 2003.
2003. Frontiers of African Christianity: Essays in Honour of Inus Daneel. Edited with G. Cuthbertson and H. Pretorius. Pretoria: University of South Africa Press.
2002. Gospel Bearers, Gender Barriers: Missionary Women in the Twentieth Century, Orbis Books.
1998. Evangelism as the Heart of Mission. General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church.
1998. Christianity: A Social and Cultural History, 2nd ed. (coauthor). Prentice Hall.
1998. Arthur Tappan Pierson and Evangelical Movements. Seoul, Korea: Yangsuh Publishing Company, 1988. [in Korean]
1997. American Women in Mission: A Social History of Their Thought and Practice. Mercer University Press.
2016. "Christian Transnationalists, Nationhood and the Construction of Civil Society," in Religion and Innovation: Antagonists or Partners?, edited by Donald Yerxa (New York: Bloomsbury Academic).
2013. "Forty years of the American Society of Missiology: Retrospect and Prospect," Missiology, 42(1): 6-25.
2011. "Cross-Cultural Friendship in the Creation of Twentieth-Century World Christianity," International Bulletin of Missionary Research 35(2): 100-107.
2005. "What Happened to the Christian Home? The Missing Component of Mission Theory," Missiology.
2002. "The Influence of American Missionary Women on the World Back Home," Religion and American Culture 12(1): 59-89.
2002. "The First Globalization," International Bulletin of Missionary Research 26(2): 50-66.
2000. "Shifting Southward: Global Christianity since 1945," International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 24(2): 50-58.