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: 307

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

Forrest Curo replied to Forrest Curo's discussion 'Scriptures: Can't do with them; can't do without them?'
"If everyone were continually consciously aware of the presence of God, we wouldn't need…"
9 hours ago
Keith Saylor replied to Forrest Curo's discussion 'Scriptures: Can't do with them; can't do without them?'
"Through the power and presence of the spirit of Jesus Christ in my conscience and consciousness, it…"
yesterday
Forrest Curo posted a discussion

Scriptures: Can't do with them; can't do without them?

[This is from my reaction to a discussion re George Keith on facebook. Thoughts?]The core…See More
2nd day (Mon)
Forrest Curo commented on Rainer Möller's blog post 'Quakers unto the Civil War'
"As I understand it, a lot of young men -- being young men -- went off eagerly to join in a battle…"
2nd day (Mon)
Rainer Möller commented on Rainer Möller's blog post 'Quakers unto the Civil War'
"As Wikipedia tells us, Whittier wrote a book "In War Time" 1864. Has anyone here read it?…"
1st day (Sun)
Rainer Möller left a comment for William F Rushby
"Hi William, thanks for the reminder of Wikipedia. They don't tell us much, but I see that…"
1st day (Sun)
William F Rushby left a comment for Rainer Möller
"Rainer |Moller describes himself as "Not literal enough to a good Anabaptist. Not liberal…"
1st day (Sun)
William F Rushby commented on Rainer Möller's blog post 'Quakers unto the Civil War'
""Does someone know how Whittier developed from that point onwards? I cannot think that he…"
1st day (Sun)

© 2020   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service