Pitfalls of Trained Incapacity
The Unintended Effects of Integral Missionary Training in the Basel Mission on Its Early Work in Ghana (1828–1840)
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
"Twenty-first-century people are as prone to ethnocentric reaction to other cultures as were explorers, traders, and missionaries two centuries ago. Postmodern people need all the resources they can get if they are to become sensitive to what is involved in constructive cross-cultural interaction. Pitfalls of Trained Incapacity graphically shows that what is learned in one culture as 'state of the art' theory and practice can create enormous barriers to effective engagement with people of another culture. This carefully researched and well-written case study of the group of German missionaries trained at the Basel Missionary Training Institute and sent by the Basel Mission to establish their work in Ghana throws fresh light on the challenges of crossing cultural boundaries.
--Wilbert R. Shenk, Senior Professor of Mission History, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
"The European Protestant missionary encounter with African societies from the nineteenth century remains one of the most complex and fascinating episodes in the history of Christian missions. In Pitfalls of Trained Incapacity, Herppich draws on educational theory and historical data to explore the unanticipated repercussions that missionary training can have on missionary practice and purpose in cross-cultural situations. This assessment, which focuses on Basel initiatives in Ghana, makes a valuable contribution to missiological understanding. It also draws attention to a key issue that remains palpably relevant in a new era of missions marked by the growing prominence of African missionary initiatives in Europe and elsewhere."
--Jehu J. Hanciles, Associate Professor, Brooks Chair of World Christianity, Candler School of Theology, Emory University