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COMM 301 (Fa '15) T02 - The Story Line of Intercultural Communication

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Hartmut Scherer

on 26 August 2015

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Transcript of COMM 301 (Fa '15) T02 - The Story Line of Intercultural Communication

The Story Line of Intercultural Communication
Benefits of Studying the History of Intercultural Communication
gain a deeper understanding of why we study what we study
avoid repetition of past studies and past mistakes
find valuable ideas for further research
Additional Biblical or Theological Reasons
learn from God's communication with his people
see how sin changes our listening capacity (Matt 13:14f)
. . .
Foundation, Origin and Influential Factors of Intercultural Communication
- cultural relativism (Franz Boas)
Values of one culture should never be judged by the standards of another culture. Each culture must be analyzed on its own terms.
Original cause
for intercultural communication studies:
the felt need for better diplomatic (and business) training for Americans serving abroad
(Foreign Service Institute - 1947)
Goal of training:
to know how they could better communicate in situations they would face in the field
Edward Hall's focus in FSI:
focus on interaction between members of different cultures
concentrated on elements related to the task
incorporated anthropologically oriented communication insights
implemented more professionally oriented teaching methods
Influence of the 1930s research on intercultural communication research today
- national identity controlled communication behavior
- each country has a typical set of patterns of
communicating that can be described
- studying culture at a distance
Christian Intercultural Communication
Critical issues:
- insensitive to local cultural values
- too closely linked to colonizers (esp. to Spain and
Missionaries have been accused of being
Good lessons:
- people “read” you in ways that make sense to them
(Acts 14:8-20)
- Paul’s first concern: Does the gospel itself will get its
proper hearing? (1 Cor. 10:33)
Matteo Ricci (1552–1610)
- saw an implementation of the command
to honor father and mother in the
Confucian virtue of filial piety
- loved them, listened carefully to them and could
share the gospel in their own language
Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg (1682–1719)
- was impressed by the harmony between
God the Creator and God’s creatures
- this orientation gave him a great respect for people
and the cultures in which they were embedded
Mary (Mitchell) Slessor (1848–1915)
- she fought vigorously against such practices as
twin murder and the killing of wives and slaves as
part of the funeral for a chief
local people are equal partners
reorient all questions about culture toward Jesus Christ
lower-caste converts are to be liberated in Christ from their old ways
- she demonstrated an orientation toward social action
- she believed that the colonial enterprise and
missionary work belonged together
Sources and Image Credit
Franz Boas; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Boas.
Adopted key thoughts from chapter two of our textbook
Effective Intercultural Communication.
Matteo Ricci; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matteo_Ricci.
Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartholom%C3%A4us_Ziegenbalg.
Lessons from History
- the actual history of missionaries is not as one-sided
as some assume
- paying attention to cultural factors is extremely
- missionaries need to treat people as people, not as
- personality can be a driving factor
Full transcript