Cross-Cultural Communication

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

Posts tagged religion
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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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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