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Negotiating Identity

Exploring Tensions Between Being Hakka and Being Christian in Northwestern Taiwan
  • By Ethan Christofferson
Synopsis: Negotiating Identity addresses the missiological problem of why the Hakka Chinese Christian community in Taiwan is so small despite evangelistic efforts there for more than 140 years. Christofferson explores the tensions between being Hakka and being Christian in northwestern Taiwan and discusses what both Hakka non-Christians and Christians are doing and saying in the context of these tensions. This ethnographic study uses the lens of social constructionism and consequently offers an example of how social science scholarship can help missionaries and other Christian workers to gain significant insights into the thoughts, feelings, and actions of those living in their ministry locations. Of interest is Christofferson's conclusion that the missiological perspective which puts a primary focus on ministering to a "people group" is inadequate for explaining and engaging the complexities encountered in many ministry settings. He suggests that an awareness of the way people are negotiating their identities can help Christian workers to better understand and strategically engage people in a variety of ministry contexts throughout the world. Endorsements: "This book is theoretically sophisticated, empirically rich, and missiologically wise--an outstanding contribution to contemporary missiology. This is the single best missiological treatment of ethnic identity in relationship to Christian conversion currently available." --Robert J. Priest, Professor of Mission, Anthropology, and International Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School "Christofferson's Negotiating Identity is a significant contribution to the exploration of the complex reality of human identity as it relates to mission theory and practice. Contextually grounded in northwestern Taiwan, Christofferson's study offers insights to mission scholars and practitioners in other settings." --Tite Ti nou, Dean and Professor of Theology of Mission, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School "Negotiating Identity is a treasure for any missionary seeking to understand the nuances of a complex culture. His findings show ethnic identities are often more varied than sometimes thought, and he has courageously done the missionary community a great service by pointing out the limits of the homogeneous unit principle. This study is highly recommended for any missionary serious about understanding the people to whom he seeks to minister." --Joel Nordtvedt, PhD Candidate in Intercultural Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School "Focusing on the Hakkas in northwest Taiwan, Christofferson finds the traditional 'people group' lens insufficient to understand the tensions of being Hakka and being Christian. Through interviews with thirty-six cultural informants, Christofferson identifies the fixity and fluidity of the way Hakkas think and act. This study effectively moves beyond a static understanding of ethnicity to, in the conclusion, providing insights and recommendations for ministry in a globalizing world of hybrid ethnic identities." --Richard R. Cook, Associate Professor of Church History and Missions, Logos Evangelical Seminary "Christofferson has served Lutheran Brethren International Mission in Taiwan as a church planter among the Hakka and in academic and leadership settings as well. Without a doubt, this book will impact Hakka ministry, and it will serve the wider mission effort to peoples without Jesus as their Savior." --Matthew Rogness, Director, Lutheran Brethren International Mission Author Biography: Ethan Christofferson is a cross-cultural missionary working among the Hakka Chinese in Taiwan, a ministry he has been involved in since 1990. He has a PhD in intercultural studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

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  • Additional Details
    • SKU: 9781610975032
    • Manufacturer: Pickwick Pubn
    • Language of Text: English
    • ISBN 13: 9781610975032
    • Publication Date: 09/01/2012
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: Ethan Christofferson
    • Page Count: 316
    • Weight: 1.05 pounds
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