Thinking in progress. Notes under construction. Expect typos and clarifying positions.


Globalization and Localization

Note in progress. This note needs exanded, and I need to find the exact reference in Hiebert's work so I can quote it and cite it here.

Paul Hiebert, in his work Transforming Worldviews makes the point that globalization will be accompanied by localization. We often speak of globalization and how the world is getting more like the Western world. There is this popular level assumption that cultures are all largely assimilating into what amounts to the American, English-speaking majority culture. The concepts are all part of Hiebert on ContextualizationHiebert on Contextualization
Paul Hiebert was one of the most significant missiological thinkers of the 20th century among evangelicals. Hiebert's work as both an anthropologist and missiologist set categories that are still employed in evangelical contextualization practices today.

In his work, Hiebert called for "critical contextualization." In a series of classic articles from the 1980s, Hiebert argued for this approach in opposition to twin errors which rest on either side. The first was the error of noncontextualiz...

The issue is much more complicated than this over-simplified explanation of what is occurring. While some things are globalizing, it is also creating pressue on each group to maintain it's own identity. Many peoples in the world do not want to lose their identity into this washing over a culture, growing out of a different worldview than their own, that many see as problematic or even evil. This mounting pressure results in the rise of localizing forces, as Hiebert notes. These forces resist globalization and seek a unique identity in the face of assimilation. Hiebert was a prophet on this point, as nationalist movements are springing up in most of the world's largest countries right now.