Missionary Families Find a Sense of Place and Identity

Two Generations on Two Continents

By (author) John S. Benson

Hardback - £85.00

Publication date:

17 June 2015

Length of book:

296 pages


Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9781498504850

Missionary Families Find a Sense of Place and Identity is a community history of members of nineteen Lutheran missionary families who served in Tanzania. Based on over ninety interviews and John Benson’s extensive knowledge of cultural geography, he compares the lives of the missionary generation who grew up in the United States and went to Tanzania as missionaries to those of their children who grew up in Africa but settled in the United States as adults. Benson blends his personal experiences as a child of missionaries in Tanzania to tell the story of both generations. Missionary Families is centered on the themes of connection to place and religious development and will appeal to scholars of geography, cultural studies and religion.
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.