Overcoming “Domination”: A Vulnerable Approach to Inter-cultural Mission and Translation in Africa


  • Jim Harries Alliance for Vulnerable Mission


This article considers how the African mission field can be a level playing field for Westerners and locals. Mission presenting of the gospel must be contextually appropriate. Choice of language is a part of this. Use of English as global language today is different from use of Greek in New Testament times. This article shows how terms can travel between cultures with or without their ‘cultural roots’. Local cultural characteristics, such as the prominence of witchcraft in much of Africa, should not be ignored. Africa in the 1970s called for a moratorium on Western mission. This article considers the implications of this not having happened. Western education is found to create an ‘island’ of knowledge in Africa. Vulnerable mission is proposed as the way forward, keeping Western missionaries on the ground.

Author Biography

Jim Harries, Alliance for Vulnerable Mission