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Area Studies

What can we learn by comparing practices and customs in different societies around the world?

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Posts tagged Africa
Interpreters and Champions as “Inside” Agents

by Jim Harries

As a champion for the Luo people, I am aware of sensitive information that outside speakers are not able to know about. To Interpret or Not to Interpret African Customs to Westerners? Sometimes I agonize over what to say or not say. Sometimes I am with other Westerners in African contexts. Should I tell other Westerners when they do things wrong? Are there even wrong ways of doing things? Why should I care whether they say or do silly things? Who am I to speak to them?

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African Traditional Beliefs and Development

by Chris Ampadu

The African lives in a religious universe. Religious tradition influences thoughts and actions, determining practically every aspect of life, including moral behavior. This essay concludes with the observation that African indigenous cultures and traditions have generally not promoted scientific inquiry or the development and adaptation of new technologies. Because African cultures tend to emphasize communalism, the people have a hard time accumulating enough wealth to build large enterprises.

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Peace in Africa: Essential Background for Development

by Abdou Maiga, May 03, 2018

In this article, the author reminds us that it is urgent that Africans realize that in time of war what people need most are not only humanitarian programs but also programs of peace and reconciliation. What are the challenges for this approach and what are the implications for humanitarian and developmental structures in Africa today?

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Holistic Transformational Development in East Africa through Surgical Care

by Dan Poenaru

My premise is that a health care ministry to children with disabilities and their families can—and should—be the springboard to holistic, transformational community development in low-resourced settings in Africa. I will develop this thesis by first examining the context in which it is proposed with its social, cultural, and spiritual aspects. I will then define the specific bio-psychosocial and spiritual challenges that need to be met, and propose an elaborate, if hypothetical, plan of action.

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Reflection: Why Is Africa Poor? A Whiteboard Animation

by Chris Ampadu

The Whiteboard Animation in this Reflection is based on Chris Ampadu’s WCIU dissertation.

Why is Africa poor, given all its natural resources: gold, diamonds, oil, timber?
View a Whiteboard Animation in this Reflection that addresses this question.

Africa’s problems are like a tree with spoiled fruits.
Africa’s problems have roots in worldview issues
Believing LIES impoverishes and enslaves people.
Strong biblical roots will produce good fruits (truth, honesty, self-control, trustworthiness)

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Reflection: An Autobiographical Sketch of My Work with Children’s Education in Kenya

by Lois Semenye

As a Sunday School teacher of children, I noticed the need for relevant and authentic biblical materials that would address the needs of my Kenyan students. After getting A PhD from a university in the US, in 1997, Christian Learning Materials Centre (CLMC) invited me to head the organization and oversee the development of Christian materials that are relevant to the African culture. Besides production of materials, there was also a great need to train the teachers on how to use them. I always try to have a young person I am mentoring in the importance and methods of Christian education.

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