Churches, Cultures & Leadership


Books on Anthropology and Worldview

We recommend these books on anthropology and worldview. Our friend Craig Hendrickson helped prepare this list. We welcome your comments and recommendations.

Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. Small Places, Big Issues. London: Pluto, 2001. An introduction to cultural anthropology, providing insights into different cultural subsystems such as economics, marriage and family, religion, power and organization, modes of thought, and ethnicity.Hiebert, Paul G. Transforming Worldviews. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008. Hiebert’s magnum opus discussing how missionaries can work toward the spiritual transformation of worldviews to induce lasting spiritual change.

Lingenfelter, Sherwood G. Transforming Culture. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998. Assists Christian missionaries in interpreting and understanding the social structures, characteristics and practices of different culture groups.

Strauss, Claudia, and Naomi Quinn. A Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. The first four chapters present an excellent description of how individuals and groups make meaning in their contexts.

Posted in: Books, Part II: Sociocultural Perspectives

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Site Overview


By engaging ethnic histories and hearing personal autobiographies we are participating in God's creative work of shaping and reshaping church life and mission.

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Part I: Theology and Context

Using the frameworks of practical theology and missional ecclesiology, we provide an introduction to the work of leadership and to social theory, including matters of social contexts, cultural variables, and ethnic identity.

Part II: Sociocultural Perspectives

Cultural anthropology provides insights into social power and human dynamics that vary among cultures. Topics include worldviews, relationships, identity, language, and perception and thinking.

Part III: Leadership, Communication and Change

We need to develop the skills and capacities for communication and leadership in intercultural settings in order to engage the challenges of church life and mission in multicultural contexts.


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