Ever Hear of Andrea Palpant Gilley? Robert Woodberry?

The January/February 2014 issue of Christianity Today ran a cover story entitled: "The World The Missionaries Made".  The author is Andrea Gilley.  The author ID said that she "spent part of her childhood in Kenya as the daughter of Quaker missionaries."

Her essay focusses on the research of Robert Woodberry, a sociologist who teaches at the U of Texas.  For his dissertation, he examined the impact of "conversionary" Protestant missionaries on the world.  The research was quite rigorous, and Woodberry found, according to  Christianity Today, that where " [conversionist and non-government funded] Protestant missionaries had a significant presence in the past", the areas they worked in "are on average more economically developed today, with comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption, greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women), and more robust nongovernmental associations."

Woodberry controlled for lots of variables which could provide alternative explanations for his findings, and the correlation between missionary activity and these positive social outcomes held up strongly.  The missionaries, he wrote, didn't set out to be political activists.  Instead, "they [cared] about other people, saw that they'd been wronged, and [wanted] to make it right.

Were all missionaries this enlightened and compassionate? No, of course not.  But the evidence still strongly supports Woodberry's thesis, regardless of controls for other variables.  Woodberry has received a half million dollars from the John Templeton Foundation to carry out further research.

Thanks, Andrea Gilley, for your fine essay!  See http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/january-february/world-mis...

Views: 278

Comment by catherine shaw shanley on 1st mo. 10, 2014 at 4:19pm
This will upset the "All Missionaries were evil imperialists" crowd.

Comment

You need to be a member of QuakerQuaker to add comments!

Join QuakerQuaker

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.


You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Mike Shell posted a blog post
5 hours ago
Kirby Urner posted a discussion

From the Underground Railroad

From the Underground Railroad is a story I published on Medium, which one may read at no charge. …See More
yesterday
Mike Widney liked Jim Wilson's blog post Why I'm Not a Progressive Quaker
2nd day (Mon)
Patricia Dallmann posted a blog post

New Essay at Abiding Quaker: Introduction to "The Gospel and Self-Knowledge"

The following paragraph is an excerpt from a new essay of mine at…See More
7th day (Sat)
Karl Malachut added a discussion to the group Liberal Quakers
Thumbnail

I converted to Judaism,Yet I am still a Friend

Dear Friends,Three years ago I left the Clearness Process relieved I had made the right decision.…See More
2nd month 14
Keith Saylor commented on Keith Saylor's blog post 'Online Version of William Rogers 1680 text "The Christian Quaker..."'
"Quaker Research Document List The COMPLETED documents are Published on:…"
2nd month 13
Keith Saylor commented on Keith Saylor's blog post 'Online Version of William Rogers 1680 text "The Christian Quaker..."'
"In summer 2016, I set out on a journey to publish a facsimile copy of William Rogers' The…"
2nd month 10
Kirby Urner replied to Mike Shell's discussion '"From the Editor's Desk" - January/February Western Friend'
"Good interview of my mom in this issue too."
2nd month 4

© 2019   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service