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Title: Modern evangelical mission in Mongolia, 1971-2011 : communication and mutual misunderstanding
Author: Gibbens, John William
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 01 Mar 2032
This study investigates how the evangelical message was communicated over 40 years of mission to Mongolia, taking into account that when it started in 1971, Mongolia had no churches, believers or Bibles available in contemporary language, and most people had never heard of Jesus Christ. The study aims to investigate mutual misunderstandings on the part of both missionaries and the recipients of the Gospel. It will show how missionaries have difficulty in understanding the society and its worldviews into which they entered. On the other hand, nationals had great difficulty in understanding the message and its relevance. They also distrusted the aims of the missionaries and their apparent wealth in a poor, isolated country. Mongolian society is verbal, heavily relying on information passing between people orally. It is also characterised by voluntary social isolation and wariness about whom to confide in. This means that the main source for the thesis could not be documents, questionnaires or formal interviews. However I took part in everyday conversations and discussions, continually listening to what people were saying, often casually. The results reveal that mission succeeded in establishing an extensive Christian movement, evangelical in name, but in character heavily influenced by syncretistic Mongolian worldviews. It is largely dependent on money from abroad, and concentrates on the teaching of material advantage as God's blessing for this life, rather than the tenets of classical evangelicalism. Although the State came to allow freedom of religion and the populace at first was interested in Christianity, later it largely rejected the evangelical movement. The principal conclusion is that whilst at first missionaries were idealistic and enthusiastic about the rise of the movement, later many Christian nationals and missionaries had cause to be less sanguine, posing questions on the viability of it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available