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Center For Faith And Culture 

Carver Barnes Lecture: The World the Missionaries Made

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The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting and defending the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.

The Center has a two-fold purpose: (1) To convey graciously and apply effectively the Christian worldview to all areas of culture and to the human condition; (2) To encourage and support the Church in its redemptive work.


What kind of impact have missionaries made on the world?

Is their influence lasting?

What should you know before you GO?

Many people have strong ideas about how missionaries have influenced the world and many assume that their impact has been mostly negative. Yet, few have tested these assumptions carefully – until recently. In this lecture, Dr. Woodberry will discuss the power impact missionaries have had on health, education, printing, social reform, economic development and democracy.

About the Lecture Series: The Carver-Barnes Lecture Fund was established in 1961. It is funded by income from gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Fechner of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Mrs. W. Lee Beaver of Chesterfield, Missouri. The Lecture is named in honor of Dr. W. O. Carver (1868-1954), Professor of Missions at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dr. W. W. Barnes (1883-1960), Professor of Church History at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The stated purpose of these lectures is to invite recognized scholars from America and abroad to address issues regarding the history and mission of the church

Robert D. Woodberry is director of the Project on Religion and Economic Change, associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore, and visiting fellow at the University of Notre Dame. His research uses both historical and statistical methods to analyze the long-term impact of Protestant and Catholic missionaries on the societies where they worked. His articles appear in the American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Journal of Democracy, and elsewhere. His research on social impact of missions has won four outstanding research awards from the American Political Science Association (including best article in comparative politics and in comparative democratization), two awards from the American Sociological Association, one from the Association for the Sociology of Religion, plus the Excellent Research Award from the National University of Singapore.

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