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Missionary Families Find a Sense of Place and Identity


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: History of a Mission Chapter 2: Place and Religion in the Childhoods of the Missionary Generation Chapter 3: Place and Religion in the Childhoods of the Second Generation Chapter 4: The College Experience for Both Generations Chapter 5: "The Call" for Two Generations Chapter 6: Making Sense of an Alien Place: Tanzania Chapter 7: The Adult Lives of the Second Generation: Finding a Partner Chapter 8: The Occupational Choices of Adult Children of Missionaries Chapter 9: The Second Generation Forming Connection to Places as Adults Chapter 10: Faith of Our Fathers Living Still Chapter 11: Placing Our Lives

About the Author

John Benson is professor in the School of Teaching and Learning, Minnesota State University Moorhead.


Its interviews and reflections, reminiscent of Clifford Geertz's `thick description,' truly take the reader into the lives of a missionary generation and its progeny, into the details that mattered for them in formulating their worlds, and into the multiple ways in which responsiveness to a sense of calling for one affected entire life stories for another.... It is a kind of social autobiography, that I commend not only to church people and students of the missionary movement.... [but] to sociologists, psychologists, and educators as well. * Lutheran Quarterly *
As a geographer, Benson offers a perspective seldom seen in missiology.... Missionary Families is informed by and contributes to the genre of missiology focused on the psychology and spirituality of missionary families.... While the book focuses on American missionary families serving in Africa, missionaries and missionary trainers from Africa, Asia, and Latin America may find this volume helpful in considering issues impacting missionaries and their children. Finally, this book is important as a general contribution to missiology. Geography as a discipline seems to be overlooked in our missiological discussions. Benson's emphasis on "place" is a helpful step toward correcting that oversight. * Mission Studies *
Missionary Families Find a Sense of Place and Identity is a careful memoir of growing up cross-culturally and cross-nationally. The single theme is that of place and identity, reflecting Benson's training as a geographer. This book is broader than any single discipline and will be of interest in religious studies, east African history, intercultural psychology, missiology, and perhaps most importantly, for social scientists interested in how identity plays a role in human interaction. -- Tony Waters, California State University, Chico, and Payap University
In this simultaneously intimate and sweeping narrative, John Benson provides a unique window into the lives of a particular band of "missionary kids" who grew up in East Africa. For those of us who shared some of his experiences as missionary kids, Benson's account is a mirror, stirring reflection on how our roots have shaped who are and who we have become. For others, his account is a window into the complex processes of forming a sense of identity and place across two cultures on two continents. -- Eugene Roehlkepartain, Research and Development Search Institute

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