Change across Cultures: A Narrative Approach to Social Transformation

Article excerpt

Change Across Cultures: A Narrative Approach to Social Transformation. By Bruce Bradshaw. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002. Pp. 264. Paperback $24.99.

Bruce Bradshaw, currently assistant professor of economics and business at Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas, draws on his many years as director of transformational development research and training for World Vision International to give us a helpful book on the whole gospel and holistic ministry and the implementation and consequences of change across cultures.

Working with the phrase "managing change across cultures," Bradshaw argues convincingly that the goal of mission is to introduce into every culture the story of God's redemptive relationship with creation. He believes that when people understand and experience this redemptive story, then their own community narrative will be transformed. He argues for the narrative approach to introducing change because cultures change when values change, and since "values are transmitted through stories, the values won't change unless the stories change" (p.9).

Bradshaw begins by demonstrating the value of a narrative approach for understanding the ethical dimensions of culture change. He then practices what he preaches by beginning each chapter with an illuminating story illustrating various aspects of culture change and holistic mission. …


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