Story

У вас еще нет учетной записи? Зарегистрируйтесь сейчас. Это бесплатно!

The Lausanne Global Conversation is on the World Wide Open Network

Блог

Ethnicity And Identity

Автор: Dewi Hughes
Дата: 05.03.2010
Category: Примирение

Рейтинг (4)
  • Currently 3.50/5
Избранное (1) Рекомендовать

Переводы

Имеющиеся переводы:

Первоначально опубликовано на Английский

Tearfund’s Director for Latin America persuaded me to go to Bolivia and Brazil in 199? to accompany 3 seminaries in some strategic planning. As I arrived in Sucre with my minute grasp of Spanish I wasn’t at all convinced that it had been a good idea to accept the invitation. On the Sunday evening before planning began I attended a service in a Quetchua village outside Sucre with a missionary who was from my area of Wales and who was living in the village in order to better master the Quechua language. As far as I could tell the indigenous liturgy was rich and the Indian music was definitely superb. To my amazement when the preacher got up to speak he preached in Spanish. I asked my missionary friend whether the congregation could understand the preacher and she answered that many could not. I then asked whether the preacher was Quetchua and she said he was. So I asked why a local man was preaching to his own people in a language they could not understand. I’m prepared to admit that my memory of that whispered conversation may not be very precise by now but the answer to the final question is indelibly burnt into my memory: ‘He’s been to theological college!’ 

It so happened that the college he’d been to was the one that I was visiting to accompany faculty and board through some strategic planning. I now understood why my colleague had asked a Welsh theologian without much Spanish, who had been involved in a small way in the struggle to get proper recognition for Welsh in the educational system in Wales [in the UK], to visit a college in Bolivia. I could certainly empathise with those village believers as they sat listening to one of their own preaching in a language they could not understand. I had suffered cultural humiliation myself on many occasions.

Now the college was the fruit of the work of a very reputable evangelical mission agency. Many churches had been founded as a result of its labours – so much so that it became necessary to establish a college to train pastors to serve the churches. So, why was the training given the pastors making those trained less able to serve their churches? The simple answer is that the mission didn’t think that ethnic identity was a matter of any significance. The message this sent out to Quetchua people is deeply humiliating. It says that their place, history, customs and language are inferior and best forgotten. They really are just ‘dirty Indians’ as many call them and the sooner they became ‘Spanish’ the better. But, then didn’t God promise Abraham that all nations on earth would be blessed through him [Gen 18:18]. The ‘nations’ here in Genesis are much more like what we call ethnic groups or ethnic identities today and I just can’t see how having my ethnic identity rubbished can be any sort of blessing.

Ключевые слова: Tear Fund, Latin America, strategic planning, culture, identity, inferiority

диалог Опубликовать комментарий

Автоматический перевод:
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 1 Одобрить Осудить Rosemary_Grier (2)
Объединенное Королевство

Dewi, what you say is immensely valuable. Thank you for raising it. Have you any suggestions as to how a Bible college can effectively show a commitment to blessing being for each ethnic identity, while still being efficient at training a wide range of people, presumably with a common language? How do we have genuine working-together fellowship (which generally requires a common language) while also learning from the richness of each other’s cultural-linguistic perspective?


18.03.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Rosemary_Grier: Thanks Rosemary for being direct in your response. Your question is exactly, I believe, what the article is asking. How do we entrench train Christian workers to enrich their culture by their work while using a common training language for even if we have to develop training schools in every culture we need time to develop texts and other training materials. It calls for great humility. It must begin at the goals and objectives of the founders of the school. If it is an existing school, this must be revised and rehearsed until properly understood by every staff. There is a great deal of learning by the teachers and they must have been priorly equipped for that role. They will be taught by the students. Even in the secular world, the learning environment has greatly changed. Teachers are now more of facilitators. This is what must happen. Lessons must be contextualised adequately. We must learn from the Bruce Olsen example (Bruchko). Language and culture learning must be part of every seminary curriculum. Then the preaching lessons must be in both the General Language and the vernacular. We must inculcate the fact that the test of the preaching is in the implementation. This means the students must be taught to preach to communicate. There are experts in this area of missionary education.
19.04.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения
@ Rosemary_Grier:

The way theol ed. Is these days looked at in Africa, is from the centre and going out. So, most theo. Educ’n institutions in Africa specialize in taking education from the West to Africa. Africans of themselves find it hard to justify their own resources in this neo-colonial effort, as it is paying for the outsider to impinge onto them. (I have used perhaps over strong language …)


What then happens, is that any indigenous efforts at providing theo. Ed’n are dwarfed and relegated to being second class. Meanwhile, as indicated above, the efforts that are there are dependent on Western charity.


Now what ‘ought’ to happen, is that Mr. X of tribe X and church Y starts a programme. After five years or so, Mr. Z  from tribe Z happens to come on a visit, and is impressed, so goes back to his tribe and sets up a programme … and so on and so on then all tribes have indigenous theological education programmes. The bible is the main textbook, but people start writing books also in their own languages. Some intertribal mixing of course occurs as people do travel, and many know more than one language.


Two things are preventing this  (that come to mind). One, is that Christianity is linked to material prosperity, so without links to Western material, nothing takes off. Two, (closely related) is that the dominant Bible schools offer career options into the international sector, and very often question what perhaps they don’t understand about indigenous theologies around them – so indigenous schools work in a shadow of condemnation.


 


18.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить JoanieD (0)
Соединенные Штаты Америки
@ besoman:

This subject is very near & dear to my heart. I taught ESL while living in Costa Rica (a little over two years). I did not need my ESL license at that time; so I felt uneasy with my country accent (grammar). My boss had majored in linguistics and helped me a great deal; not only in my job, but also in my self-confidence. I am currently working on my M’Div (back in the US) and will work on my ESL lisence towards the end of this program. I have strong views on allowing people, especially those in indigenous locations, be able to worship in their native language and maintain their culture (regarding bringing in musical instruments to the worship service...). Other than living in Costa Rica, my grandfather is from Cuba, and I have learned of the Santeria religion from him; the music they bring and their mixture of Catholicism, are both very interesting and aspects to work around when working in missions in these communities.


29.11.2011
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Dewi_Arwel (0)   
Объединенное Королевство

The discussion on language has been very interesting and enlightening - and certainly highlights some of the complexities that have to be negotiated in traversing the terrain of ’Ethnicity and Identity’. However, I would like to see some discussion on 2 underlying issues:

1. Is the recognition that the truth of the gospel is heard more effectively in the heart language of a person merely a pragmatic strategy to increase the number of conversions or evidence of respect for a person’s identity. In other words, does ethnic identity or nationhood have value in and of itself before God?

2. In my second blog I tried to raise the issue of power in the context of ethnicity and it would be good to see some consideration of that in the context of the discussion on language. As far as I can tell no one has yet engaged with the issue apart from myself who does not belong to a dominant ethnic identity - although Jim seems to have walked enough in the shoes of the Luo to sense something of what it means to be dominated by a more powerful ethnic identity. I would really like to hear what people think about God’s promise to Abraham that his seed would be a blessing to all nations. 


18.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения
@ Dewi_Arwel:

Hi Dewi, I should say ’none of the above’ in answer to your first question ... or maybe I am opting for number 2!
1. I will add, that the fact that a language is that of the ’heart’ is one issue. Another related one is a language that is ’theirs’. In East Africa, this question arises by comparing English and Kiswahili. The former definitely does not belong to Africa, but the latter definitely does, hence the use of the latter is preferable.
2. I am not sure that there is a question as to the ’value’ of ethnicity in the eyes of God so much. But there is a question of communicating the truth ... We find much of Gospel communication is these days interpreted as prosperity gospel. Part of the reason for this is the imprecision involved in translation when a non MT is used.
3. What is ’necessary’ therefore, is for a preacher to come from the context of those he is ’preaching to’. If a ’preacher’ is using a non MT but can fulfill the above requirement he is leagues ahead of someone else using the same language but from a different cultural perspective.


18.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить GerardWillemsen (2)
Швеция
@ Dewi_Arwel:

Dewi, as for the first point I think that ethnic identity (including language) has an immense value before God. In the first place because I believe that God has created and given a people its identity and culture. (Even if it must be said that even culture has aspects of fallenness, as all of creation - so every aspect of any given culture is not necessarily good. That is true for every culture). The second thought is that ethnic identity is very closely connecetd with my identity as a person, and cannot be separated from that. Also in this way, ethnic identity is of value before God. He has created us including all aspects of our identity.


As a core part of culture and personal identity language, mother tongue, has a great value, much more than just a means of communication. No language is able to express either who God is or all aspects of creation perfectly - we see as in a mirror to speak with Paul - no language is the perfect language. But some languages can, as an expression of the culture behind, express certain aspects better than others. As no culture can mirror the image of God to which we all are created perfectly, but many cultures together can do it better than one alone. To be the image of God is much a communal thing, where cultures together can somehow mirror the richness and boundless diversity of Gods own person.


Just a quick reaction, written straight from the heart ... might to have to come back after some more thinking...


21.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Dewi_Arwel:

Thanks Dewi again for ‘going for the jugular’ this time.  In my opinion, your first question (To which Jim prefers to ‘opt’ out) is crucial to this whole identity question. My response is yes to all, in that when understanding is deepened, commitment becomes deeper and ultimately leads to more (in terms of number but most importantly) committed converts. It is also respect to the peoples’ identity. Again, ethnic identity has some value before God for He created them (Babel) and allows their use in the interim. However, He is in Christ uniting the whole world back to Himself, to form one united kingdom. This is the point some of us seem to prefer to ignore and that puts a big query on our motive.


To the second issue I bring in family identity as an example. The powerful influence of money is seen all over most families but especially among young people. It is my experience and therefore opinion that children who are from homes where parents have done a good job know how to exploit this power for the good of their family. Some of our people have gone to the West and are completely lost yet some have gone, got the Dollar, established contacts and are back home building Africa; using their relationship with the West. In most instances domination comes in when inferiority has already set in and (I stand to be corrected) inferiority is more of an upbringing problem than a pressure one. That may be why the Hebrew kids found a way to ask for a vegetable meal instead of the dedicated meat when others were lost in the meat.


I prefer to go beyond Abraham. God’s “Earth project” (my idea) is designed for a kingdom of priests who are in His image and likeness. He had prepared the ‘Lamb, without spot or wrinkle before the foundation of the world) before making the man, who is to grow and multiply into this kingdom of priest. This means that the fall couldn’t have taken Him unawares (as I was taught in children bible club). Basically the same charge was given to Noah and his family, so Babel did not also take God by surprise. When the nations went on their ways, which led to Abraham’s father leaving Haran God was simply being patient. Unfortunately Abraham’s father did not leave Haran and Abraham continued the Journey to the Land he was to receive as an inheritance. His obedience (my opinion) simply keyed him into the existing plan for the earth. Consequently, he became the distributor of the “goodies” that God has in His store for His “Earth project”. It is my opinion that the Abraham’s heirs are to lead the nations into the blessedness of being a kingdom of priests. This includes prosperity as presented by some in the church. However, there is a group that in their presentation are giving the impression that all that matters are the material aspects, which ought to actually be driven by the spiritual identity.


21.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения
@ besoman:

I am appreciative for Mbah’s providing an ’African view’. In this and other posts he emphasises that from his point of view, it is important to maximise the use of Western languages and Western money on the continent. Please correct me if I am wrong Mbah.
This underlies the reason why, in the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission to which Mbah has referred (elsewhere?), we are really oriented to Western missionaries and not to people of the ’Third World’. From this (African) end it is very hard to make sense of anything but the need of ’more’ and more from the West. Suggesting that there ought to be ’less’ can easily threaten people’s very livelihoods (survival!). The responsibility for action therefore is ’in the West’ (?)
See also my article published in Missiology in 2006 ’Good by Default and Evil in Africa’. The point of this being that here in Africa there is a sense in which people are pre-occupied in deterring the bad (demons), and expect ’good’ simply to arise. Then it makes no sense at all to try to ’deter good’! This is fundamentally different from the Western worldview which actively generates ’good’.
Linguistically speaking, intercultural dialogue as we are here engaging is invariably seriously limited. Thus I suggest that it is time that Westerners stopped ’hiding behind’ non-Westerners’. That is, the one with the money has the power and is responsible for using it in a wise and godly way. They cannot (must not) pass on responsibility to the recipients of charity.
So then, how to take blessings to ’all nations’, if not through financial donations? The latter really is ’peculiar’. I was in a theological class yesterday (amongst Africans) and the question came up - how should a church in tribe A relate to a church in tribe B? No one suggested that the relationship ought to be based on donoring, or on dominating the other tribe with their language. To me, the answer that came out was that if person of tribe A wants to show love to people of tribe B then he (she) should learn the language of tribe B and how to interact with them, then share God’s word with them using their language.


21.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 1 Одобрить Осудить Keith_W (1)  
Объединенное Королевство
@ Dewi_Arwel:

I have a couple of comments related to the questions of language and power and language and Gospel ministry.


I come from a dominant language group but worked for some time in Wales.  Dewi is well placed to comment on his own context and I hesitate to write at all about his homeland.  However, let me tell a story.


The church I led in North Wales operated in English, and yet included quite a number of first language Welsh-speakers.


We had occasion to invite a speaker whose first language was Welsh.  I asked him to preach for us three times - twice in English at our regular services and once in Welsh at a special afternoon gathering.


I was in trouble with some in the congregation.  They were offended at my organising a Welsh language service.  These were Welsh people, but monoglot English speakers.  They were the dominant culture, but afraid of the resurgence of the Welsh language.


Now from a Welsh-speaker’s point of view this was ridiculous, but the fear was real for these English speaking Welshmen.  I have little doubt that power was a key factor, but there was another.  It was the issue of identity.  For they felt their ethnic identity as Welsh was called into question by the fact that they did not live have the language.


In a fallen world, we face many questions about who we are.  We often experience confusion about identity, as a part of the dissonance occasioned by the fall.  Issues of identity are complex and go right to the heart of selfhood.  The gospel surely addresses this, however.  For it calls us to a place of healing in which Hebrew and Greek speaking Jews experience oneness in Christ (our new identity) without losing personhood (in terms of my genes, heritage, language, ethnicity, etc.).  The gospel both affirms me for who I am in all my distinctiveness – Jesus takes me as I am, whether Jew or Greek, Welsh or English - and relativises our differences – for in him there is neither Jew nor Greek, English nor Welsh.


Moreover, the goal of salvation is not that of being absorbed into an amorphous, homogenised lump of humanity.  The picture painted in the book of Revelation is of our liberation into true personhood, in relationship with others and in the context of vital, breath-taking cultural and ethnic diversity.


But my story is not at an end.  For despite the objections the Welsh-language service went ahead.  It was a privilege for me to sit in the place of listening in a second language as the Gospel was preached.  At the end an elderly lady came to me in tears.  She was already a true believer, but it was like she had been converted again.  ’Pastor, I listen every week, and rejoice in the Gospel.  But that was in the language of my heart,’ she sobbed.  She had come to know the Gospel through English but the experience was richer in Welsh.


I wept with her, and understood for the first time why Mark records that Jesus said, ‘Talitha koum’ to a ‘sleeping’ girl.  It was in Jesus’ home town (according to Matthew), and unusually Mark reports the words of Jesus in the local tongue.   I dare say that he spoke in the native Northern accent he shared with this ‘sleeping’ girl.  It was surely not that Jesus normally spoke in Greek and only on this occasion spoke in his mother tongue, but rather Mark is reflecting the pathos of the moment.  There is a particularity about our mother tongue, a particularity that the Spirit of Christ through the Gospel-writer is happy to acknowledge.


12.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения

Thanks for this account Elizabeth, in which you point out indeed a multi-lingual situation!

May I suggest that your response to this discussion indicates part of the weakness of the global-language issue?

That is; those who see the value of a global language do so because they think that through its use people will be able to communicate effectively and clearly … globally. But what you point out is that English is but one language amongst so many in a global kaleidoscope. It is clear from what you write that English will acquire its character according to the place in which it is used. Then what is its value?

For example, let’s take the word worship. In British English, this is clearly distinct from ‘prayer’. We can ‘go to worship’, and then have a prayer time. Listening to translation between English and German recently, I discovered that ‘beten’ (‘prayer’) was used to translate worship. In Dholuo of Kenya it could be lemo or dendo according to context. That is going from English to these languages. Going the other way, things will of course be different again …

It seems we are back at the tower of babel. No efforts can bring the globe’s people into the harmony that the globalisation folks are looking for. Yes, we can use English. But it is very easy for this to create more confusion than light; or for the light that it creates to be more misleading than helpful. Frankly, to understand how Indians use English, one first has to learn other Indian languages / traditions / cultures.

The more a country like India tries to run its operations using English in a globalised world the more frustrated it is likely to be become. This is because English has its owners, and they happen to be rather powerful, and they will (once linked through globalisaton) not appreciate their language being ‘abused’, and not understand why correction is not correct – so look out India as you are coming under the hammer. The alternative is to keep one’s English hidden, but then why use it in the first place?

English being used around the world deceives Brits and Americans into thinking that they ‘understand’ things, which is a mockery, but in the meantime is preventing straight thinking and misleading global strategists inside and outside of the church, while of course also deceiving the Brits and Americans into thinking that there is no point in learning other languages, thus making them into relative dumbkopfer. 


08.09.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Jim_Harries:

Good points you’ve got but you still fail to help India, Nigeria etc by suggesting the language we should use. Should these nations be divided again? It seems to me that this is an excellent display of the "monolingual myopia". The whole world had one language but it created problems. The confussion is God’s idea as well as the uniting in Christ, which of course will not be in a human language. In the interim, I’ll organise a school of missions using English to train the students to minister in their local situations. Can I have the English resources you may not need?


15.09.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Ralph_Hanger (0)
Объединенное Королевство

One of the problems with the use of the local lanuages in preaching and teaching is the lack of materials written in these languages.  Bible Society and Wycliffe Translators and so on do an excellent job in providing people with New Testaments and Bibles in their own languages.  The trouble is - we say to a pastor "here is a Bible in your own language, but if you want to study it properly you will have to learn another language to get a book to help you understand the Bible in your own language." Much more effort needs to be made to get study material written in local languiages.  The aim needs to be not just producing translated works, but encouraging and enabling the writing of commentaries and other study books by local folk in their own language.


03.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить GerardWillemsen (2)
Швеция
@ Ralph_Hanger:

This is a serious problem. It is important to produce materials in local languages, at least the materials aiming at more general public. Theologians and even pastors will probably always have a need of using not even the majority language of the country, but English and/or German. That is true for Sweden... for most Old Testament books there are no commentaries in Swedish existing.


Even if the pastor needs some English, he/she will at least be able to preach and teach in the native language.


But I do really agree to your last sentence. Not only for the sake of language but also for the sake of perspective. A commentary written from a Saami or a Lisu or a Lakota perspective will probably be quite different from one written from a European-American perspective.


03.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ GerardWillemsen:

Thanks Gerald and Ralph,


"Theologians and even pastors will probably always have a need of using not even the majority language of the country, but English and/or German". If you remove probably, you’ll arrive at my view. Bible translators are struggling against resources (human and material) to put the Bible in the hands of evrybody in their local languages. Look at what needs to be done from their websites despite the eneormous work they have done to appreciate my point.


Yes, I agree that it is best to give the message in ’reciever-comprehensible terms’ (in the case of local people, their indeginous language) the message sinks deeper. But what happens to the diaspora if we stop using western languages? Take the example of Igbo people of Nigeria who are born in non-Igbo cities who neither understand Igbo very well nor the host language? What happens to the children of cross-cultural marriages who fall within similar category? This is just a tip of the problems. What language do we use in Nigeria, Kenya and other non-western nations where Western llanguages are spoken?


How do we get translators for this GOOD work? how long does it take and at what cost totrain one? Where do we get the resources (given the problems of translators) to publish and market the work? What do we do in between (from now till we get these stuff)?


Meanwhile, there are fairly trained people from all over the world who already can communicate in western languages. There is a vast array of materials in these languages that these people can understand with a little further help (if need be).


I therefore propose that we recruit and empower this non-western people, building their capacity to join the army. Partnership for capacity building is the answer. it is possible that it may be easier for a black skinned Igbo man who is adequately equipped to penetrate a nigeria terrain than a white skinned American who is superbly equipped. Let the American work with the Igbo man, they will definitel do a better job and quicker. Remain blessed!


15.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить GerardWillemsen (2)
Швеция
@ besoman:

Thank you Mbah. You have some good points there. In the imost ideal of worlds we would have the Bible and all the theological rescources available in any local language, but in reality we will always have to balance between what would be ideal and what is possible. And I understand that language situations are quite complex in many places. I think we should do the utmost to translate the Bible in the peoples heart language. But further we will need to use the majority languages, English in many cases, French or Spanish in others, or even Chinese or Russian in other cases.


More valuable to me than translating all kinds of theological material in local languages is to stimulate the people to write original theology from their own local perspective. That would be enriching the whole Church. I think it would be fascinating to read Igbo, Lisu, Xhosa or Lakota theology and if it was written in the local language I’d have it translated into English!


What you say about the Igbo and the American working together is very true. That is how mission should work. Working in partnership.


15.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения
@ GerardWillemsen:

Hi Gerard,


Thanks for these additional comments. 


You say that, should something be written in ... whatever other language, then you would like to have it translated into English ...


But isn’t that one of the points at which we are hitting problems? Then the author-to-be thinks that he’d rather just write in English in the first place, or when he/she writes in Kikuyu (whatever language) he will still be writing while bearing in mind that his work will receive ’fame’ once translated into English, so will write with an English speaking audience in mind and in a way that seems to be translatable ...


I have already posted this conversation: http://conversation.lausanne.org/conversations/detail/10258 which is just one of the sources of research that point to untranslatability.


Writing, as well as speaking, happens in a context. That means that translation into another context, is in some ways ‘impossible’ … so it is as if native English speaking scholars who use ‘translations’ (or English written by non-Westerners) to inform themselves of the rest of the world need to have their knuckles rapped …


I would put this issue at the root of what I frequently hear to be the plight of ‘native peoples’ in North America. If we don’t learn our lesson fast, and surely the church should be in the front line of doing so, whole continents can soon end up in a similar predicament?


16.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить GerardWillemsen (2)
Швеция
@ Jim_Harries:

You are perfectly right Jim. This is a problem. The last thing I would want is an indiginous person writing with an English/western audience in mind. I was just thinking that what I see developing in (in my case) Saami theology is also a valuable input into the church as a whole. I am convinced that the discussion and the dialogue should go in the local language. But at some point an input can be made to the wider community, and that probably has to be in a wide spread language.


Probably not a translation, but something written in the language, be it English or Spanish or whatever.  Translation is always difficult as you point out. You only have to compare an average English translation of Karl Barth with the original to see that ;-)


16.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Jim_Harries:

Thanks Jim,


"Writing, as well as speaking, happens in a context. That means that translation into another context, is in some ways ‘impossible’" There’s no disputing that but the Bible is written in Hebrew, Aramaic and ’poor Greek’. So why don’t pack up? I just hope you are not glorifying Babel!


African writers, some of whose example I’ve given, have done great works in English. Take Chinua Achebe for example, he wasn’t writing for the West but he is understood and even honoured in the West. His work is being translated into several Western languages. The Africans understand Achebe. An "Achebe" theologian cannot be beaten for he understands Africa better than you ever can and yet is able to reach the world. When you finish training your monolingual theologians, where will they operate, whithin their cultuere? How will they relate with the rest of the world? What will I be doing with you if I dont understand English?


Thank God I read some English and Igbo and even give an opinion where I think the translators of either Language are not perfect. Finally Jim, Most indeginous languages are inferior to Greek in terms of vocabulary power. Think about the number of Greek words translated into love. Those who read only the Igbo Bible cannot differentiate between faith and belive because both are rendered ’okwukwe’. There is no view that does not have problems and these problems have no end. But we are talking about practicability, we are not writting a doctoral thesis.


 


18.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить GerardWillemsen (2)
Швеция
@ besoman:

I do agree with you, Mbah, that it is always better to know more languages for a theologian. Without English, this conversation could never take place. But I protest strongly when you state that " Most indeginous languages are inferior to Greek in terms of vocabulary power." You have the example of the several words for love in Greek. In that case (and for atheologian that is always good) we should learn Greek, Hebrew and Arameic. For English is of  no help. It lacks those words for different kinds of love, as well as many other nuances in the Greek language. Differntiation between Faith and Belief is lacking in both German, Dutch and Swedish, but is there in Saami, one of those "inferior" indigenous languages.


In reality each and every language can express some things much better than other languages and other things less. That has to do of course with the culture. This is what makes translation difficult. This is why knowledge of the biblical source languages is beneficial. English is also beneficial, but just as a common means of communication (much like koine greek in NT times).


I cuold give many examples where Greek is not superior. For instance, Swedish has two words for peace where Greek and Hebrew have only one (eirene, shalom). Which makes translation difficult for what kind of peace does the NT mean? Saami has many words for mountain, more than Greek. As wall as numerous words for snow. Which one do we chose for "white as snow"? And which language is superior in terms of vocabulary?


I do not know Igbo, but I am quite convinced that the language must have richnesses in its vocabulary which lack in both Greek and English. There is no superior language. But language is closely connected to environment and culture.


18.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ GerardWillemsen:

Thanks Gerald for your comments. I’m not an expert on languages and my knowledge as you can see from my examples are mostly African but I’d talked with a translation worker whose opinion is that on the average, Greek has more word power than most languages. That’s not saying that it has more power than ALL. Your examples may be some of the languages that prevent saying ALL.


However, the key point of my position is that English is not to blame for most of the problems we have with missions work neither is money (donating or recieving, more or less). Thus I strongly advocate that we encourage the use of western languages without diminishing the local language as understanding sticks better with the local language. There are more problems with using only the indeginous language than in using both, for instance, how will they operate in today’s globalizing situations? I, therefore advocate that we exploit the rich materials that are available in the European languages to train indeginous peoples in multi-cultural settings (as we are doing now) and guide, ’walk with them’ into discovering deeper meanings in their world-view, which values their language express. If you have money, use it if, if you don’t have, find a way of doing your work without giving the impression that those who have more money are the cause of your problems. Thanks for enriching the conversation.


21.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения

Hi Ralph, Absolutely on the ball and absolutely correct.

Let me say a bit more of what we are up against if I may. We need to remember that commercial powers are promoting the ‘dummification’ of many ethnic peoples, by doing things (business) in English. Sadly, many (almost all?) charitable activities connected to the ‘Third World’ are moving with them hand in hand. So languages like English come onto indigenous communities like unstoppable warships.

Encouraging (oral) people to write in their own languages IS GREAT and important. But, the opposition to this succeeding are monumental.

This discussion to me links in closely with that of the prosperity gospel. I believe it was at a previous Lausanne conference (1974), that a green light was given to combine ‘gospel’ with ‘development’ activities. That came to be called the holistic gospel. (see http://conversation.lausanne.org/conversations/detail/10357 for more discussion on this) It means that the church in the poor world has been increasingly oriented to making money. Telling them then to return to their own languages is reintroducing them to poverty.

The church is too much in the world! The Western church has followed the world in its efforts at organising people’s lives for development from thousands of miles away, from a position of non-accountability (the West is not held accountable for messes made by its ‘aid money’).

I think it is imperative that the church gets off the back of the West (at the moment what Christian mission promotes is very little different from what the UN promotes), and begins operating in some ways independently. This means a separation of masses of donor money from Christian ministry. Then Christian ministry can begin to be oriented to local and not foreign contexts. Then local relevance can begin to be a factor, and then writing in indigenous languages begins to be relevant … and will be found after all to be ESSENTIAL. Thanks again Ralph.


04.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Jim_Harries:

Hi Ralph, Gerard, Jim and all and thanks for your views. You are all experienced workers, so I have no doubt that we understand these issues far more than we can afford to put up here. I just hope that we remember that there is no way of doing this work without a foreign language. To do a good translation or write a commentary in any language one MUST master two languages and culture, especially their world-view. You all know how long it takes to get a mastery of Greek and Hebrew to do a good Bible study let alone a translation. So where and when are we going to get these wonder commentators of the Bible in every nation? Will the world stand still waiting for us to get them trained, equipped and sent?


It strikes me that all the Apostles of Jesus were Jews who trained with their own laguage. It looks to me (history suggests so) that they started with Diaspora Jews and were even litterary forced to speak to Gentiles who could understand them and from there they moved on. Then Paul started working with local people and training them up ( I think that was what he did with Barnabas in Antioch) and so on and so on.


It seems to me as if we need to train up some folks from different tribes in a general language say English. Give them assignments that will make them look inwards and guide them to discipling their people (Ask the Nigeria Evangelical Missionary Institute Jos Nigeria). Some good commentaries are just beginning to appear in English. I wonder, for example how long it would take Jim to understand the Igbo of Nigeria (if he was working here) better than an igbo priest. The problem we have is caused mostly because the missionaries who trained our fathers did not know any better. Most of them laid down their lives in the process. I am persuaded that if they knew any better, they would have put it in. We gain nothing spending our time criticizing them instead of improving on the good work they had done sincerly wrongly.


The next issue raised here is a criticism of developmental missions. Again I think that someone is getting it all wrong! The fact that there is a continual tilt away from the core of missions is only unfortunate. However, I was informed once that the most faked currency in the world is the American Dollar. I asked why and was told that it is the most important. "The proliferation of fakes may be the greatest pointer to the importance of the original". Development is God’s Idea. Someone had suggested that God put Gold in the Garden of Eden and asked man to work it. He expected the man to learn mining. Ultimately the Holy City Jerusalem will have streets of Gold, the glory of the Lamb will give light to the city round the clock. The difference between the Garden and the City is that of natural Development - the Gold of the Garden was mined to tar the streets of the City. The creation is waiting in eager expectation for us and here are we argueing about development and its demerits. Why not show the correct way to do development missions. What’s wrong in getting money in America to build a Hospital in Kenya and putting Christian Doctors there? Or is someone saying something different?


Brethren, let’s train up and equip the local people, where we’ve got them to finish the job. Where we don’t have them, let’s get in and form clusters that would train out those who will definitely get this job going faster than our feeble efforts. Get me English training materials and let me train five people in two or three years and they will go to five places and plant Christ there. At the moment, denominations that started in Nigeria are planting churches in Britain, America and the rest of the world. What we have is mutual. If we get off the back of the west, we shall have to trek. Let’s put the west right and together we can fly. Ask the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) for her experience with the Homo-sexual advocates. Today there’s a Church in North America standing up with Africa on Biblical standards. Improve on it!


07.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения
@ Jim_Harries:

My concern in many ways wouldn’t be with ‘commercial’ interests. Many commercial interests on this continent, that I am familiar with, are actually drawing off governmental and intergovernmental ‘interests’. That is, inter-government aid gives people money, then commercial interests come for them to spend it on them. (Maybe Nigeria with its oil is different?)


The ‘real harm’ of English is often not appreciated. See article ‘Name of God in Africa’


http://www.jim-mission.org.uk/articles/the-name-of-god-in-africa.pdf


Not clear just what you mean in your ref’s to Hebrew, etc. etc.


Not clear either – why local languages can’t be studied without foreign languages?


Is printing English books and distributing them around Kenya ‘empowering’ Kenyan people? I don’t think so. Being empowered is something to do with identity, independent thought, knowing God (Nyasaye, Ngai, etc.?). The use of English as LO1 in the globalised world by non-native speakers is a serious problem.


It does not cease to amaze me – how the ‘Westerner’ whose help people value, has to be ‘as Western as possible’. The more someone adjusts to African ways (language, lifestyle, economics even …) the less ‘value’ they are perceived to have. This is akin to seeking for a ‘magical’ advance. http://www.jim-mission.org.uk/articles/the-magical-worldview-in-the-african-church.pdf In that sense, I don’t want to believe in magic, and I perceive ‘magic’ as not being very helpful to anyone … There is something wrong when experience counts against someone … aside from the fact that the gap is not to close, but apparently ever to widen.


Are you lighting a candle, or an electric light? Whose power line are you connecting to?


You will be aware that my concern is in many ways for the actions of ‘Westerners’, and not for Africans. Forums such as the Lausanne one however, ‘mix’. You can light as many candles as you want. …


I hope that when ‘global people’ come from around the world into Nigerian cities, they find something Nigerian, and not just (poor?) imitations of what they left at home? Especially linguistically.  ?


09.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Jim_Harries:

Thanks Jim,


Especially for the reading assignments. your concerns were obviously over-generalised to attract my comments and you still refuse to see it even when i pointed it out at the on set. Yes foreign languages do a lot of harm but highlighting harms while suppressing benefits in order to express your point can at best be said to be unscolarly ( my opinion).


I dont see the technique for two illitrate people from different languages understanding each other without a third language that is common. In the case of Christian missions where you MUST translate the Bible, you must know Hebrew and Greek. So another language must come in sir.


Yes, Printing and distributing English books is empowering people. They’ll strat reading, making it easier to read their own language, I’ve given several examples and if they stand against me, too bad! help can only be true when real needs are approached through felt needs if thats your magic, then you need the magic passport to any people - ask cultural anthropology. There are no super Westerners helping any body. Western Christians who know what they are doing are obeying a command from Christ. You are helping yourself preaching the gospel you have been commanded to preach and until you do it right - no crown.


I invite you to Enugu and asure you that you’ll find Professors of even English Language who can stand up to anybody in the West. You’ll also find a growing Church that speaks English mixed with Igbo or Hausa of chinese wherever necessary but you’ll note that it’s an Igbo Church. Singing English hymns, beating English drums, mixed with local ones, singing English songs, Igbo one, swahili songs but dacing it the Igbo way. You’ll also find the Igbo speaking Church that sings translated hymns and other ones written by Igbos. You’ll find that we are planting more Churches among us and outside our shores.


However, you’ll find that we need communication equipment to be able to add our voice to stop you from overgeneralizing. How else would we have known what you are doing? Yes, come and I’ll pray that you are not kidnapped. Yes, that’s what our brothers learnt from your films. Don’t smile and say, "that’s my point" because its not. We cant stop your "warships" (that’s what you call them) so you have no right to abandon us with them in the pretext that empowering me to combart them will make me dependent on youu. Tell your folks Jim!


11.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения
@ besoman:

Afraid I don’t get the ‘kidnap point, but I see what you mean abou thte language to teach Greek / Hebrew. The main point I think I was making in ‘language’, is not that there shouldn’t be a language of international communication, but that a people’s adopting someone elses language as their LOI (language of instruction) throughout their formal schooling system is very problematic.


Distributing English books empowering people … ? By following this process, the West has got itself into an eternal trap, where they will always be ‘leading’ and others always following, and then (today) seem to be morally obliged to help the followers, to such an extent that the followers are distracted from doing anything else … So you say you have professors of English who can stand up to anyone in the West, and that is the problem! The top elite of the African university system is made up of people who consider themselves to be / are required to be like Americans.


Globally, you will struggle to find a country that uses someone else’s language in its schooling sytem that is making any ‘progress’ (development). Japan does very well for itself in ‘development’ using Japanese, it seems. To aspire to be like someone, you don’t imitate the way they talk, rather you try to understand what they are dong and why, then to do something parallel to it using your own language / intelligence (according to Japan).


I like to value African people’s languages. Now, what if I interact with people using their languages, and at the same time tell them ‘read this book it is great’ and the book is in English? They will either get tired of me, or force me to teach them English. Again going back to another point – is every Westerner morally obliged in all their relationships in Africa to behave like a Westerner, or may some be ‘allowed’ to intereact using local tongues, which means thay cannot at the same time be advocating the reading of English language books?


12.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Jim_Harries:

Hi Bro Jim,


Looks like you’ve not been hearing news about Nigeria. Some Nigerians are kidnapping everybody thay think has money especially if they have white skin. I get you, we are struggling to find America on the mao of glabal affairs because they speak Emglish or is English the original Language of America? The chinese, Arabs, Africans and all who live in America were English speaking people or are under?


Once, God decided and confused the language of the world, then latter He chose "ordinary unschooled men" to unite the world. Yes, you are "allowed" to chose which side of the divide you wish to stand but persuaded to change your mind even if means loosing some prestige. The unity the Lord asked for (not uniformity or communism) gives us the right to chose what to give, most times the excesses but sometimes even prefering our brethren - that’s why in becoming vulnerable you kept your websites - and allows us to chose methods and disagree provided we are careful to remain united in the fundamentals. I believe that the Evangelical Missionary World is at liberty and had always worked with divers methods. We are simply sharing our opinions as in school dabate where siblings can be at either pro or con without fighting as a result of their positions. May we preserve our ethnic identities bearing in mind that it will not count in eternity - holding onto the things that will count!


14.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения

Hi Mbah (responding to Mbah, below),

Thanks for your lively comments on the language issue. Indeed again, this seems (a bit like the prosperity gospel) to be an issue for the Westerners!

This issue however, is even more internal. We are talking about the need for English or otherwise, using English. That is, already we have twisted what we say we want to do, or as good missionaries as you point out, we’d be talking to you in Igbo. This means that the issues concerned are already concealed in and from this conversation.

You say ‘let’s get in and train the local people’. But isn’t that it? Africa is saying to the West ‘come and help us to do the job properly’? Meanwhile some in the West are saying ‘goodness, what’s gone wrong, why do they need our help? Our grandparents forgot about Nigeria … but they still need us?!!’

We are now in the fascinating situation, where we have various different peoples engaging in one language, in this case English, together with native speakers. Now, I wonder how it would be if I opened an ‘Igbo’ school in California, and taught Igbo to people, so that they could communicate to people in Nigeria? What would the response of the Igbo themselves be if they started getting requests / questions / proposals and expressed needs from the other side of the globe in what was supposedly their mother tongue, but learned in a very foreign context? I think they might baulk!

Sometimes it can feel like there is a time-bomb ticking away. I don’t think in many ways we can blame the church, or even less the early missionaries, if anyone is to blame, then it is that even secular organisations are subsidising the promotion of English as first language (e.g. in education and government) around the world (especially Africa). E.g. we get ‘text-book-aid’ in Kenya from various sources, of English language texts … The UN and others almost invariably bring in their money with ‘English labels’, instruction books, chief executive officers etc. etc. … Is that the source of the hidden-immorality?


08.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Jim_Harries:

Hi Jim,


Thanks to the internet, since we cant meet, at least we are sharing. It’s not as if I do not understand the problems you are raising or that they are not real. I’m rather saying that it seems to me that you are over-generalising (I hope there’s something like) or underating the issues. For example, neither the language or the prosperity issue is completly Western. I think they are rather global ecclesiastical (not just missionary) issues, Prosperity is Godly. God’s people should prosper physically and spiritually. you seem to face the extremes.


We are having problems here with getting Igbo people to communicate with monolingual Igbos in Igbo. However, at the same time we are having a growing global congregation in the cities. Indians, Americans, Britons etc. they are all here and some of them are not Christians.


Where I differ with you is that you seem to give the impression that because multi-nationals and others who have business intrests are forcing English on us to protect and enhance their business; they may even have to pretent that the are donating (for example) a road when the truth is that they want to get out our raw materials faster/cheaper and get in their finished goods; we should avoid English. English is doing havoc, creating dependence, hampering the use of the local language etc. I am saying, yes, but let them come and let’s think about how to get the road and and build factories.


Late F. C. Ogbalu studied economics but wrote several excellent books on Igbo grammer. What’s wrong with that? Aniezi Okolo is a medical doctor but his novels are richly Igbo. The very first Igbo teachers were trained in America and England but today, just today, I heard an Igbo word for democracy (Ohakrasi). They took the "oha" which is people added it to a transliteration of ’cracy’ and we understand.


Most Local languages CANNOT be studied without a western language (English, French, German, Latin) plus Greek and Hebrew and there is nothing we can do about that. my advice, set up training Institutes in Kenya where Kenya tribal pastors from various languages will come to train, give them English books and send them back home to disciple their people. stop wasting your time fighting (?) (on paper) the multi-nationals, the United Nations and their donor population, exploit them. Let them print good English books and distribute in Kenya, you print or empower Kenyan Christians to print vernacular ones. use both to glorify the Lord.


On the prosperity angle, let me share a personal example. The Church I’ve been pastoring for the past two years was planted in the prosperity style. They brought clothes and even cooked food periodically to them. I didn’t waste time telling everybody that what these people had done was wrong ( that may be the best they knew). We finished our Church hall without taking a second offering or calling for donations. For the second year running, we have been the first to finish paying our Assesment (contribution to the Diocesan overhead) in the Diocese. This year we finished in the second month. The name of the Church is Holy Trinity (Anglican Church) Amorji Nike Enugu Nigeria. It’s in the Diocese of Nike, near Enugu. I thaught the people to enlarge what they were doing, make faith promises and believe God to help them pay up. We set a time frame, when the time is up or a project is completed, we cancell all promises. I don’t have time to curse the darkness, I light a candle. That’s my point. Let’s go on Bro!


09.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Jim_Harries:

Hi Jim,


Thanks to the internet, since we cant meet, at least we are sharing. It’s not as if I do not understand the problems you are raising or that they are not real. I’m rather saying that it seems to me that you are over-generalising (I hope there’s something like) or underating the issues. For example, neither the language or the prosperity issue is completly Western. I think they are rather global ecclesiastical (not just missionary) issues, Prosperity is Godly. God’s people should prosper physically and spiritually. you seem to face the extremes.


We are having problems here with getting Igbo people to communicate with monolingual Igbos in Igbo. However, at the same time we are having a growing global congregation in the cities. Indians, Americans, Britons etc. they are all here and some of them are not Christians.


Where I differ with you is that you seem to give the impression that because multi-nationals and others who have business intrests are forcing English on us to protect and enhance their business; they may even have to pretent that the are donating (for example) a road when the truth is that they want to get out our raw materials faster/cheaper and get in their finished goods; we should avoid English. English is doing havoc, creating dependence, hampering the use of the local language etc. I am saying, yes, but let them come and let’s think about how to get the road and and build factories.


Late F. C. Ogbalu studied economics but wrote several excellent books on Igbo grammer. What’s wrong with that? Aniezi Okolo is a medical doctor but his novels are richly Igbo. The very first Igbo teachers were trained in America and England but today, just today, I heard an Igbo word for democracy (Ohakrasi). They took the "oha" which is people added it to a transliteration of ’cracy’ and we understand.


Most Local languages CANNOT be studied without a western language (English, French, German, Latin) plus Greek and Hebrew and there is nothing we can do about that. my advice, set up training Institutes in Kenya where Kenya tribal pastors from various languages will come to train, give them English books and send them back home to disciple their people. stop wasting your time fighting (?) (on paper) the multi-nationals, the United Nations and their donor population, exploit them. Let them print good English books and distribute in Kenya, you print or empower Kenyan Christians to print vernacular ones. use both to glorify the Lord.


On the prosperity angle, let me share a personal example. The Church I’ve been pastoring for the past two years was planted in the prosperity style. They brought clothes and even cooked food periodically to them. I didn’t waste time telling everybody that what these people had done was wrong ( that may be the best they knew). We finished our Church hall without taking a second offering or calling for donations. For the second year running, we have been the first to finish paying our Assesment (contribution to the Diocesan overhead) in the Diocese. This year we finished in the second month. The name of the Church is Holy Trinity (Anglican Church) Amorji Nike Enugu Nigeria. It’s in the Diocese of Nike, near Enugu. I thaught the people to enlarge what they were doing, make faith promises and believe God to help them pay up. We set a time frame, when the time is up or a project is completed, we cancell all promises. I don’t have time to curse the darkness, I light a candle. That’s my point. Let’s go on Bro!


09.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Jim_Harries:

Hi Jim,


Thanks to the internet, since we cant meet, at least we are sharing. It’s not as if I do not understand the problems you are raising or that they are not real. I’m rather saying that it seems to me that you are over-generalising (I hope there’s something like) or underating the issues. For example, neither the language or the prosperity issue is completly Western. I think they are rather global ecclesiastical (not just missionary) issues, Prosperity is Godly. God’s people should prosper physically and spiritually. you seem to face the extremes.


We are having problems here with getting Igbo people to communicate with monolingual Igbos in Igbo. However, at the same time we are having a growing global congregation in the cities. Indians, Americans, Britons etc. they are all here and some of them are not Christians.


Where I differ with you is that you seem to give the impression that because multi-nationals and others who have business intrests are forcing English on us to protect and enhance their business; they may even have to pretent that the are donating (for example) a road when the truth is that they want to get out our raw materials faster/cheaper and get in their finished goods; we should avoid English. English is doing havoc, creating dependence, hampering the use of the local language etc. I am saying, yes, but let them come and let’s think about how to get the road and and build factories.


Late F. C. Ogbalu studied economics but wrote several excellent books on Igbo grammer. What’s wrong with that? Aniezi Okolo is a medical doctor but his novels are richly Igbo. The very first Igbo teachers were trained in America and England but today, just today, I heard an Igbo word for democracy (Ohakrasi). They took the "oha" which is people added it to a transliteration of ’cracy’ and we understand.


Most Local languages CANNOT be studied without a western language (English, French, German, Latin) plus Greek and Hebrew and there is nothing we can do about that. my advice, set up training Institutes in Kenya where Kenya tribal pastors from various languages will come to train, give them English books and send them back home to disciple their people. stop wasting your time fighting (?) (on paper) the multi-nationals, the United Nations and their donor population, exploit them. Let them print good English books and distribute in Kenya, you print or empower Kenyan Christians to print vernacular ones. use both to glorify the Lord.


On the prosperity angle, let me share a personal example. The Church I’ve been pastoring for the past two years was planted in the prosperity style. They brought clothes and even cooked food periodically to them. I didn’t waste time telling everybody that what these people had done was wrong ( that may be the best they knew). We finished our Church hall without taking a second offering or calling for donations. For the second year running, we have been the first to finish paying our Assesment (contribution to the Diocesan overhead) in the Diocese. This year we finished in the second month. The name of the Church is Holy Trinity (Anglican Church) Amorji Nike Enugu Nigeria. It’s in the Diocese of Nike, near Enugu. I thaught the people to enlarge what they were doing, make faith promises and believe God to help them pay up. We set a time frame, when the time is up or a project is completed, we cancell all promises. I don’t have time to curse the darkness, I light a candle. That’s my point. Let’s go on Bro!


09.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить StuWard (0)
Объединенное Королевство

I propose an interesting counter to this debate

In Spain, there are many people who would kick against being "spanish" and prefer to use their own language for many things - in the Catalonia region (of which Barcelona is part of) everything is Bilingual between Catalan and Spanish. Interestingly though, the majority of evangelical churches are based in Spanish - during the service everything is in spanish. This is done because in a country such as Spain Nationalistic pride can mean that others are excluded - in a region such as catalonia where although the majority of the people can speak catalan, there are some poor foreigners (such as myself!) and other Spanish nationals who can’t. The fact that the church portrays itself as Spanish means that a nationalistic and at times xenophobic people (catalans) have to admit that they are part of a larger body of believers that extends throughout the country. I am unsure of the impact that this has on evangelism to the native people.

I guess it depends on how much power the people group in question has and how they use it. obviously it is not good to use language to supress people, but at the same time it can be used as a tool to challenge people to wider thinking...


01.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить GerardWillemsen (2)
Швеция
@ StuWard:

I did notice that same thing in talks with people in churches in Cataluna and in the Valencian region. The same thing is seen in other regions. There is an unwillingness to use both Saami and Finnish in the regions speaking those languages in Northern Sweden and Norway in the churches. Or Frisian in Friesland. To name some examples. I know churches in India who always use Hindi even if almost everyone, pastor included, uses the local language in all conversation.


I think this is not ok, I think it creates a barrier. In some cases bilingual meetings might be a solution, when too many do not speak the local language, in other cases the local language can be used without problem. Not using the local language sends a signal that the language, and with that the culture, is not "good enough" for the church.


02.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения
@ GerardWillemsen:

The same thing happens in my home church, with Kiswahili and Dholuo (Western Kenya). Basically I agree with Gerard; that it is problematic if the mother tongue gets put aside in favour of a regional language. (My home church is relatively close to a tribal boundary.) The solution we have found, is to use both languages through translation.


The above is not ideal. Especially if a Luo speaker uses Kiswahili, and some of the depth of what might have been said in Dholuo (mother tongue) is lost. On the other hand, both Kiswahili and Dholuo are African languages. I think the ‘alienation’ occurring is much greater if / when the languages used are European languages. 


02.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 2 Одобрить Осудить GerardWillemsen (2)
Швеция

It should be self-evident to use the mother tongue of the people we are working with, I completely agree with Jim Harries and others as well as with you Dewi. But it is more than language, it is also about culture. It makes me sad, visiting a church in a remote area in Asia, hearing people singing hymns, surely in their own language, but almost exclusively translated European/American hymns. The wonderful musical style of their own is left outside the church. Missionaries should actively teach to use the local culture in praise of God.

And that means, that the whole issue should be part of the teaching in our Seminaries. Still a long way to go there!


01.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения
@ GerardWillemsen:

Gerard, I am in agreement with you. How to do this? I ‘fear’ that even the conference in Cape Town will not work to this end – but that English will dominate the agenda and all conversations. We are trying to encourage mission using local languages (and resources). Welcome if you want to join the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission (www.vulnerablemission.com). Or tell us – how are you engaged to promoting this end?


01.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить GerardWillemsen (2)
Швеция
@ Jim_Harries:

I have many years worked and still work as pastor for the Saami (indigenous people in Scandinavias north) and promote use of Saami language and culture. Besides, my main task now is at the International Missions Department of our denomination (Mission Covenant Church) and there I do meet indigenous people in various regions, seeing the problems being the same everywhere. I am quite active in the field of indigenous church and indigenous theology. I will look at your web-site.


01.06.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить Jim_Harries (-3)
Кения

Thanks Dewi for this valuable contribution, that has already received much acclaim.

I agree with the other commentators, that there is a desperate need for missionaries who are ready to carry out their commission using the language(s) of the people whom they are reaching. This is not easy. It is VERY tempting to use other available (typically European) languages. They have their place also. But … For matters of God I think mother tongue is vitally important. Certainly not to give the kind of example as missionaries that Dewi refers to – i.e. using Spanish (in this case) when preaching. It is not a bad rule of thumb for a missionary not to start preaching, until he can do so using the people’s mother tongue.

Here’s a reference for the more scholarly minded that says, in relation to sustainable development but I think just as applicable to mission, why use of local languages is essential. http://www.inst.at/trans/15Nr/06_4/bearth15.htm


09.05.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 1 Одобрить Осудить David_Markham (3)  
Соединенные Штаты Америки

Hello Dewi, I have lived in Mexico for many years doing research on ethnic peoples. This is common all over Latin America and presents a great challenge to the missionary movement to focus on cross-cultural missions. Of the hundreds of languages (ethno-linguistic peoples) in Mexico, almost half have a weak church because the missionary has not ministered to them in their language. Despite all the effort of Bible translators to finish New Testaments and Bibles in the languages, the indigenous people somehow think that Spanish is more sacred and therefore even the indigenous leaders preach and teach in Spanish and not their mother tongue. What can be done? It seems that many people want to travel the world doing "missions" but fewer and fewer have the conviction to translate the Bible and plant the church in the language of the people..


05.05.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 1 Одобрить Осудить Matthews (0)  
Нигерия

Human beings are born belonging to natural groups often differentiated by common culture and language, common residence involving access to natural resources, very often land, and sometimes by the myths of common ancestry, all providing a sense of identity. In Nigeria, ethnic identity has been at the core of the incessant religious violence in the country. This has come about largely because Islamic expansion and Christian evangelization coincided either with existing geographical or ethnic boundaries, so it is easy in some ways to identify one’s religion by one’s ethnic group. Although never intended, this has reinforced existing cleavages. Christians of every denomination has been caught up in religious violence in the country either as victims or sometimes as perpetuators of the violence. Many Christians claim that they have turned the other cheek so often and have suffered much while the state has not been able to provide security and protection. I am afraid that this violence will hinder Christian evangelism in the future.


12.04.2010
PhContributeBy
Ответить Отметить 0 Одобрить Осудить besoman (-2)
Нигерия
@ Matthews: Thanks Bro. Matthew for your comments which are true historically and con-temporarily. However, The Lords evangelisation mandate MUST be carried out across ethnic divides. Missions have gone ahead to suggests that nations must not be bound by geographical positioning such that we can talk about the Igbo people in Ibadan as different from the Igbo people in Sokoto. ’Long-Distance-Truck-Drivers’ may be targeted strategically as a people. The unfortunate situation is Jos may be deeper than we think since the plan may include expelling the foreigners who support Nigeria Christianity from Jos (mostly because of its weather). This has been accomplished with outstanding success. The challenge for the Church may include assisting Nigerian Christians to formulate plans for combating this and retaining the dwindling fortunes of Jos Christianity. This is more so because they are rejoicing at the success of the terror, which had worked so well in North Africa and Asia where even up until now, Christian communities are being wiped out. Sending used clothes to the Christians win and around Jos will not be enough!
19.04.2010

Вам нужно войти в систему, чтобы опубликовать комментарий. Если у вас нет учетной записи, вы можете зарегистрироваться сейчас (регистрация бесплатная и не займет у вас много времени)

Карта и статистика

 

просмотры: 17774
комментарии: 41
рекомендации: 1

Одно нажатие для действия

Связать меня с людьми интересующимися ресурс

Присоединиться к подходящим диалогам

Missions Africa Trust Fund Brochure
Missions Africa Trust Fund Brochure
Sas_Conradie

6 Simple Steps for Successful Campaign Planning
6 Simple Steps for Successful Campaign Planning
Sas_Conradie

Why the #IceBucketChallenge works
Why the #IceBucketChallenge works
Sas_Conradie

 

Условия использования | Политика конфиденциальности | Лозаннский глобальный диалог поддерживается World Wide Open | Что такое World Wide Open?