Whose Vision, Which Morality?


This article explores moral diversity considered ethnographically and presents implications for cross-cultural service.  It is drawn from an ethnographic study done in a Nepali village which identified the primary moral values of community peace, cooperation, and solidarity.  These values were discovered to be in tension with the modern Western moral values of personal independence and advancement found in a modern consumer economy, education, democracy and in Western initiated development projects.  From these observations, four implications are presented for missionaries working among communalistic people groups.  These implications are, the missionary must understand the local moral order, second, the missionary must be aware of the possible presence of conflicting moral visions, third, with a changing moral vision comes a changing set of virtues and moral practices, and finally, development ministries will have an, often unconsidered, impact on the local moral order.

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Copyright (c) 2024 Donald C Grigorenko