This introductory chapter provides an overview of “Christian globalism.” The term is shorthand for a cluster of ideas, cultural forms, structures of feeling, and social connections that at a very basic level emerge from the understanding that the Christian God encompasses all human beings as their creator and eventual judge. All forms of globalism, Christian or otherwise, take shape within specific societal frameworks and institutional structures. With that in mind, this book focuses on one site in particular: child sponsorship programs in the United States. This fundraising model, which began in Protestant missions two centuries ago and then spread to NGOs, is familiar in North America and Europe. It requests a defined yearly or monthly amount to aid a foreign child, with some promise of communication between donors and recipients. Sponsorship is a good vantage point from which to address the “immobile global” since less than one per cent of U.S. sponsors actually meet the child they support.
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