Introduction to the Sociology of Missions

Introduction to the Sociology of Missions

Introduction to the Sociology of Missions

Introduction to the Sociology of Missions

Synopsis

While much work has been done to apply anthropological insights to the study of missions, the sociological perspective has been generally neglected by missiologists. This volume defines the sociology of missions as a discrete subdiscipline within the sociology of religion and provides a working set of conceptual resources for those involved in mission work to use in furthering their understanding of their task. The author reviews the major areas of sociology that are most relevant to missions and presents his findings as a basis for discussion and a stimulus to further exploration of relevant sociological concepts and theories. One of his main goals is to increase dialogue between missiologists and sociologists of religion, by providing the former with a sociological perspective and the latter with a deeper understanding of the missionary enterprise.

Excerpt

This book is addressed to anyone who is serious about the study of missions. I take this to be primarily missionaries and missiologists (and those who aspire to be one or both), there being a generous overlap between the two. As a second audience, however, I hope to attract sociologists of religion (or those aspiring to be), who see the potentialities of the sociology of missions. With an increasing interest in historical and global studies, I expect there will be an increase of sociologists who see the importance of mission studies. Of course, I also welcome as readers the broad group of religious leaders who know that mission is basic to religious life and may want to initiate and encourage specific studies in missions.

The fact is, of course, that many missionaries and missiologists have been introduced to the social sciences in their training and not a few have become professional anthropologists and linguists. Of all the social sciences, anthropology, because of its extensive investigations in the non-Western world, has understandably become the most familiar of the social sciences to missionaries. There is a long tradition of interaction between anthropologists and missionaries, which, in fact, has been quite ambivalent, with both sides having both criticism and words of respect for each other (Salamone 1986; also Stipe 1980, Schreiter 1991).

The perspective of this book is that missiologists may not have had an overdose of anthropology, but at least they need a balancing dose of sociology. In principle, the two fields of anthropology and sociology may be considered as almost completely overlapping. This seems to be especially true

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.