How Shall They Hear? The Interface of Urbanization and Orality in North American Ethnic Church Planting
MetadataShow full item record
SubjectChurch development, New.
Church work with immigrants.
This dissertation explores how urbanization and immigration affect the worldview and cultural identity of immigrants. Chapter 1 introduces the dissertation and presents the research problem. The chapter also defines key terms, gives the author's background, sets limitations and delimitations, and overviews research methods employed in the writing of this dissertation. Chapter 2 provides a literature review, synthesis, and analysis of works in the fields of urban anthropology, orality studies, and church planting. Chapter 3 explores the relationship of immigration and cultural identity. The chapter discusses ways in which urban areas encourage or limit cultural production of residents and how immigrants respond to those pressures as they express their cultural identity. The chapter concludes with an analysis of three models of assimilation likely to be found in urban contexts. Chapter 4 presents the oral worldview, including the nature of oral cognition, oral community, and methods of oral communication. After describing primary oral cultures, the chapter discusses the introduction of literacy to an oral people and the effects of residual orality. Chapter 5 draws together research presented in chapters 2 through 4 and discusses a grounded approach for identifying and reaching ethnic groups in the city. The first section presents methods to conduct ethnographic research so church planters can understand the specific dynamics in their communities. The second section discusses issues germane to reaching ethnic groups in the city including mono or multi-ethnic church, orality issues, critical contextualization, strategies for ministering in the three assimilation models presented in chapter 3, and the need for church partnerships. Chapter 6 concludes the dissertation by summarizing key points from each chapter. The chapter also describes the application of the dissertation to urban settings outside of North America and discusses the need for further research on related topics beyond the scope of this dissertation.