Community and Societal Development

We invite additional contributions on the topic of Community and Societal Development. Send inquiries to the Editor: beth.snodderly@wciu.edu. Respectful and thoughtful dialog is open to anyone through the comments sections on articles or blogs. Other topics include:

Strategy and Innovation (here)
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Environmental Studies and Creation Care
Community and Societal Development (here)
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Worldview Transformation
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Community and Societal Development

We stumbled into cross-cultural work late in our lives. Our initial efforts were targeted at the AIDS pandemic because of Carolyn’s medical background and experience in treating people with this disease. It seemed clear to us that the Church is the logical institution to lead the way in dealing with this pandemic. We now believe the Church is the best possible agent, in fact, to do development of all sorts. But today’s Church seems far from doing this, except in a token way. We now believe that only a very different kind of Church will accomplish the radical transformation of vulnerable people that God yearns to bring about as part of his kingdom’s coming.

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by Hakchul Kim
Founder of NIBC; Professor Emeritus of Architecture, Handong Global University, South Korea

For Cambodians to find the right way to develop their country, they need worldview education, biblical values education, and attitude or character education. NIBC has started many schools from kindergarten through college in order to provide a fresh start for the people recovering from the psychological and physical destruction caused by the Pol Pot regime and the killing fields. Through the love shown to the people and the knowledge offered and examples shown, perhaps Cambodia can become a nation that honors the Lord and bases its development on biblical principles, as Korea did when it began to recover from its disasters.

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If leading economists, sociologists, and historians for the past 250 years have argued that “culture matters” to development, why is it still debated? And, as a result, not integrated into development policy? Two explanations for this lacunae are (1) a fear of repeating past mistakes from the colonial era and (2) a lack of concrete, quantitative, internationally comparable data. The article points to way forward: create an statistical database using existing international indices of cultural variables to inform development policy and initiatives. 

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In Part 1 of this article, explanations were proposed for why the debate continues on the role of culture in relation to development. Quantitative data from international indices of cultural variables were given on the following topics: Gender, Education, and Critical & Creative Thinking. In this second part data is given on the broad topics of Faith Pluralism/Social Hostilities, Corruption Perception, and Sense of Community.

The article points to a way forward: create a statistical database using existing international indices of cultural variables to inform development policy and initiatives.

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