Thursday, April 27, 2017

Kraft, Hiebert, and Conn: A Comparison

I have found the work of Charles Kraft, Paul Hiebert and Harvie Conn very helpful as I have tried to get my head around the topics of religion, culture and worldview. But the three authors use the terms quite differently. Here is a comparison of their terms and below an attempt to diagram that and add my own proposal.


Worldview
Religion
Culture
Kraft
“the culturally structured assumptions, values, and commitments/allegiances underlying a people’s perception of reality and their responses to those perceptions”[1]
“… a means of relating to and dealing with an important part of the nonhuman universe.”[2]
“A religion, then, is a set of cultural forms in terms of which a faith is expressed.”[3]
“a society’s complex, integrated coping mechanism, consisting of learned, patterned concepts and behavior, plus their underlying perspectives (worldview) and resulting artifacts (material culture).”[4]
Hiebert
“A worldview provides people with their basic assumptions about reality.”[5]
“the foundational cognitive, affective, and evaluative assumptions and frameworks a group of people makes about the nature of reality which they use to order their lives.”[6]
“Religion provides them with the specific content of this reality ….”[7]
“Religion … is the model man uses to explain the reality of all things.”[8]
“the more or less integrated systems of ideas, feelings, and values and their associated patterns of behaviour and products shared by a group of people who organize and regulate what they think, feel, and do.”[9]
“… the integrated system of learned patterns of behavior, ideas, and products characteristic of a society.”[10]
Conn
“…the prescientific factories and bank vaults of presuppositions…”[11]
“[Religion] is the core in the structuring of culture, the integrating and radical response of humanity to the revelation of God. Life is religion.”[12]
“[Cultures] are integrated, holistic patterns structured around the meeting of basic human needs.”[13]





Kraft
Culture
Worldview
Religion
Other aspects of culture
Hiebert
Culture
Religion
Other aspects of culture
Worldview
Religion expressed
Conn
Religion/Worldview
Culture

My Proposal


Cultures/Religions
Worldview

Religion




[1] Charles, H. Kraft, Christianity with Power (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Servant, 1989), 20.
[2] Kraft, Anthropology for Christian Witness, 197.
[3] Charles, H. Kraft, “Is Christianity a Religion or a Faith?” in Appropriate Christianity (Charles H. Kraft, ed.; Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2005), 87 (original emphasis).
[4] Kraft, Anthropology for Christian Witness, 38.
[5] Paul G. Hiebert, Cultural Anthropology (2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1983), 371.
[6] Paul G. Hiebert, Transforming Worldviews: An Anthropological Understanding of How People Change (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008), 25-26.
[7] Hiebert, Cultural Anthropology, 371.
[8] Ibid., 356.
[9] Paul G. Hiebert, Anthropological Insights for Missionaries (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985), 30.
[10] Hiebert, Cultural Anthropology, 25.
[11] Conn, “Culture,” 254.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid., 253.

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