Cross-Cultural Communication

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

Posts tagged development
Materiality and “Spirits”: Explaining Exorcism in Africa

by Jim Harries

A case study considering the use of the term “spirit” in Western English (that is misappropriated into African discourse) graphically illustrates errors being made when considering deliverance ministries in African Christian churches. There is an urgent need to overcome linguistic naivety and secular hegemony in this regard. Careful exploration of the literature on gift-giving, in light of African people’s affinity for ministries of exorcism, reveals the means by which “material” and “spiritual” are, in Africa, not mutually exclusive.

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Book Review: African Heartbeat

by Editor

In his novel, African Heartbeat and a Vulnerable Fool, Jim Harries gives the Western reader an opportunity to vicariously experience an immersion in African culture with all its confusing reality. It is based on true stories and events, and takes place in the fictional African country of Holima.This book would be a good resource for prospective cross-cultural workers to help them be aware of what they are “going to meet up with” (p. 165).

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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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