…it is from the far more difficult achievement of seeing ourselves amongst others, as a local example of the forms human life has locally taken, a case among cases, a world among worlds, that the largeness of mind, without which objectivity is self-congratulation and tolerance a sham, comes. –Clifford Geertz, Local Knowledge
It recently dawned on me that to an outsider this blog may appear a rather incomprehensible smattering of international living, cultural provocation, and spirituality. To me, however, this blog reflects my dual callings to ordained ministry and to a scholarly career in cultural anthropology, and my conviction and willingness to consider the two simultaneously. While anthropology and Christianity (particularly missiology) have often found themselves at odds, I find that cross-cultural encounters challenge me and enlighten my fullest understanding of God, while it is my faith that anchors not only my eternally-curious and gracious outlook on my life, but also my conviction that we are all made in the image of God, and that the God I worship revels in diversity.
In sum, I refuse to leave my anthropology at the door as a pastor, and my faith behind as anthropologist, and so I’ve created a blog where I can do both and call it sacred. I hope you will enjoy reading my attempt to juggle ministry and anthropology, and my ultimate journey to love and understand people around the world just a little bit better.
This blog represents my own personal viewpoints, and does not reflect the official stances of any of the institutions, academic or religious, with which I am affiliated. I aim to cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to my areas of personal and scholarly interest in Chinese culture, life in Guangxi, where I recently completed two years of dissertation fieldwork, foster care, adoption, and family life (my research areas), as well as yoga, running, prayer, ministry, good wine, food, beer, travel, and books.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information, and please comment frequently. And thanks for visiting my little sacred space.