- Slides: 20
Missionary Anthropology Culture & Missions
Culture • Culture defined: • Culture is the integrated system of learned patterns of ideas, values, behavior, and products characteristic of a society. • “Kultur” – early 19 th century German usage • E. B. Tylor pioneer anthropologist borrowed in 1871 to designate “the total nonbiologically transmitted heritage of man” • Considered one of the most important contributions of anthropology to the missionary endeavor (Luzbetak 1963, 59).
Culture • Elements of Definition of Culture • • Integrated Learned Ideas Values Behavior Products Society
Culture • Cultural Diversity • • Language Physical items Life style Relationship with others Values Gestures Personal space
Cultural Perspective • Cultural Perspectives • 1. We tend to view other cultures from our home culture perspective. • a) Western - technology and economic strength (thing or task oriented) • b) African - social cohesion in tribe and clan (people oriented) • 2. Every culture has it good and evil aspects. • a) Africa - one God but distant with personal spiritual beings in between. God is not personally involved in the world. • b) U. S. - the world is basically viewed materialistic with little or no spiritual influence but controlled by the laws of nature. • c) We bring the Christian perspective. • d) God is the ultimate judge.
Cultural Adaptation • 1. Enculturation - is the process by which a child learns to be a functioning member of its home culture. • 2. Acculturation - is the process by which and adult acquires the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and behaviors to function within a new culture. • 3. Culture Jolts - experiencing cultural differences which one adapts to after an initial experience of newness and uncomfortableness. • 4. Culture shock - experiencing cultural differences but not being able to adapt and live in harmony with the differences. • 5. Reverse culture shock
Cultural Adaptation Process of Cultural Adaptation (Kalervo Oberg 1960: 177 -182) • Tourist Stage – find culture fascinating • Disenchantment – foreignness and complexities become clear, critical of it • Resolution – learning the culture and begin to identify with people, see good and bad • Adjustment – learn to function well and feel comfortable in the culture
Stages of Cultural Adaptation Stages One of Missionary Acculturation • a) The idealized stage (glamour, honeymoon, or facination) • (1) Everything is new and neat. • (2) Everything is seen as ideal and greater than it really is. • (3) Receiving information via translation to fit ones own thought forms. • (4) Early stage of exciting adventure.
Stages of Cultural Adaptation Stage Two of Missionary Acculturation • b) Critical stage (rejection or fear stage) • (1) High anxiety due to growing awareness of • • cultural diversity cultural conflicts. (2) Difficulty of language learning bears down. (3) Awareness of being in a foreign environment with less control than in one's home culture. (4) Begin to idealize home culture. (5) Ways of coping. • (a) Going home • (b) Withdrawal (psycological and physical) • (c) Going native • (d) Adapting (see the culture in a realistic light)
Stages of Cultural Adaptation Stage Three of Missionary Acculturation • c) Identification stage • (1) Sees culture as their home with its strengths and weaknesses. • (2) Interpersonal identification takes place. • • • (a) Missionary must know themselves. (b) Must know the people and their language. (c) Missionaries must be coworkers with the people. (d) Missionaries must practice reciprocity. (e) Missionaries must love the people. (f) Missionaries must be culturally appropriate under God.
Evangelism & Cultural Distance Four Levels of Cultural Distance • E-0 – is Christians teaching nominal Christians who attend their churches but have not made Christ their Lord • E-1 – is where evangelism occurs among people of highly similar cultures in the same language • E-2 – is evangelism among people in similar cultures but with differing languages • E-3 – is evangelism among distinctively different cultures and languages
Evangelism & Cultural Distance Bridging - being able to bridge cultural barriers to effectively communicate the gospel
Evangelism & Cultural Distance Problems with just supporting nationals so as not to have to bridge cultural barriers. • Often times support ends up supporting local preachers not church planters. They are simply E-0 or E-1 evangelists. • We often do not know how the money is being used and are susceptible to exaggerated claims. • The greatest problem is that we use it as an excuse not to go or to send our son and daughters. • There are some difficulties with people reaching their own culture. • Tribalism, ethnic fighting, and clan animosity hinder evangelism from a national.
Incarnational & Identificational Missions • Identificational – is an empathy between communicants involving a compassionate, interpersonal, reciprocal sharing of feelings and ideas. • It is purposeful participation in the lives of others • Qualities of incarnational missions: • • Compassion Interpersonal Reciprocal sharing of feelings Participation in people’s lives
Incarnational & Identificational Missions • Outer Identification – is a missionary appearing to being like the people but inside he is very distant. • Inner Identification – involves the missionary’s attitudes, his understanding of, and empathy with the people to whom he is ministering. • Jesus, an example who practiced both • Extractionism – is when a missionary pulls people out of their home culture into the missionary’s surroundings and arena of comfort
Incarnational & Identificational Missions IDENTIFICATIONAL Learning: Missionary sees himself as a learner in the culture EXTRACTIONISM Learning: Missionary sees his knowledge is enough with no learning needed Relationship: Relationship is Relationship: Asks people reciprocal and sharing to understand missionary’s cultures and lives culture and ignore their own Language: Learns language Language: Use translator Thought Form: Indigenous Thought Form: Western Ministry: Interpersonal Ministry: Institutional
Incarnational & Identificational Missions PROBLEMS WITH EXTRACTIONISM • Assumes all people are the same • Seldom takes into account ethnic, sociological, and economic realities • Often create churches and institutions dependent on outside support and leadership • Secularize the non-Western societies (converted them to the west not God) • Requires a high degree of indoctrination with a long period of dependence on the missionary because the nationals are placed in a foreign frame of reference. • Do not empathize with the people and the problems they face • Spend a minimum of time out among the people • Look down on the people (lack of education, cleanliness different, personal space)
Incarnational & Identificational Missions Positives of Identificationalism • Assumes all people are different • Takes into account the elements of society that divide people. • Strive to develop churches and institutions that become independent from the missionary but dependent on God • Do not import Western styles, thought forms, and teaching • Teaches them to learn to interpret scripture and apply it within their culture and daily frame of reference. • Show compassion and empathizes with their daily struggles - rapport. • Spend a great deal of time out among the people. • Show mutual respect, sharing, and giving (Eph. 4: 32; Rom. 12: 10, 15 -16; Col. 3: 13)
Incarnational & Identificational Missions • Shewmaker’s Identificational Traits • • • Language learning Appreciation for cultural values’ Understanding felt needs and aspirations Evaluate cultural traits in context Willingness to be known Establish one-on-one relationships Focus on people instead of programs Exchange home visits Adjust standard of living to local conditions
Incarnational & Identificational Missions • Shewmaker’s Identificational Barriers • Ethnocentrism – belief that one’s own pattern of behavior (or ethnic group) is best, most natural, most correct, or most important. • Withdrawal and isolation • Cultural overhang – using methods of own culture • Ridiculing spiritual phenomena