Merging Cultures Book Review by experts

Merging Cultures
An analysis of the book "From Longhouse to Village" by anthropologist and missionary R. Daniel Shaw, regarding the study of mixing Christianity and native cultures together.
# 6542 | 850 words | 0 sources | 2002 | US

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This paper examines Shaw's study and shows how he focuses specifically on the Samoan culture and its familial, organizational, and political structure. Shaw suggests that the introduction of Christianity profoundly changed the course of Samoan life through the process of "syncretism," or a blending of new cultural life with the old, a result of introducing outside religious structure in combination with indigenous social structures.

From the Paper:

"Can a person worship Christ on Sunday and visit a witch doctor on Monday morning for a healing remedy?" This question forms the central thesis of the book, From Longhouse to Village by anthropologist and missionary R. Daniel Shaw. (Shaw, p. 17) In his text on Samoan social and religious life from its inception to the present, Shaw puts forth a radical thesis viewed through a Christian, missionary lese. He suggests the anthropological thesis that apparently minor changes in the level of technological and philosophical religious development and the social and political organizational structure of a culture can have a profound effects on the way that culture changes and develops."

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