Cross-Cultural Communication

What difficulties in communication do cross-cultural workers face? How can these best be addressed in various settings?

Posts tagged Bible
Cultural Schemas Shape Identity and Influence Language

By Sheryl Silzer

When people receive the Scriptures in their language for the first time, they interpret the message through their previous knowledge and experiences. If the new information is not understandable in relation to what they already know, the Scriptures may not impact or change their lives. A major challenge for Bible translators coming from a scientific worldview is the ability to recognize how their scientific worldview may fit in and even promote the magical worldview of the receptor language speakers (Harries 2011, 18). Early missiologists linked this clash of worldview to a lack of applicability of the Gospel message (Hesselgrave 1978, 68; Kraft 1978, 94; Dye 1987, 39).

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Cognitive Science Points to God

By Jim Harries

Interpretation of use of the ladder symbol, then other examples, show how cognitive science aligns with theological analyses. Cognitive science and theology both claim a legitimate basis for approaching the material world through the human body and mind. Cognitive science, by following ‘correct’ understandings of God’s nature, undermines notions that objectivity formed the basis for the development of science. Western people’s extra-rational determination to hang-on to intellectually defunct Cartesian dualism explains much contemporary theological confusion. Global English use, and active countering of racism, undergird defunct philosophies in the West. Christian theology promotes human well-being. Image schemas designing user-interfaces demonstrate God’s obscurity.

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Resolving Western Hegemony in Africa: Distinguishing the Material from the Spiritual/Relational

by Jim Harries

Dominant Western engagement in Africa wrongly presupposes African people to be dualistic. This misleads Westerners to believe Africans should be able to accept and build on secular approaches to solving their society’s problems. The result is confusion and unhealthy dependency on the West. To benefit tomorrow’s Africa, a genuine holistic witness to Jesus, and the positive development possible as people within societies follow Jesus, must use local categories and languages.

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