Robert Woodberry lectures on The World the Missionaries Made

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Woodberry presenting to groupAlmost 100 people attended Robert Woodberry’s lecture on “The World the Missionaries Made” at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).

Woodberry sought to answer the questions, “What kind of impact have missionaries made on the world?, Is their influence lasting?, and What should you know before you go?”

The Carver-Barnes Lectureship hosted this event at Wake Forest Baptist Church on April 23rd through the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture.

Woodberry is the 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 effects of Protestant and Catholic missionaries on the societies where they worked.

Woodberry’s works can be found in “The American Political Science Review,” “Social Forces,” “American Sociological Review” and “Journal of Democracy.” He received awards from the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Association, the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and the Excellent Research Award from the National University of Singapore for his research on the social impact of missions.

Woodberry discussed the ways missionaries have influenced healthcare, education, printing, social reform, economic development and democracy.

He called the audience to look at global historical patterns and statistics to determine how missionaries shaped those they sought to serve.

Woodberry’s data focused on the time period between 1820 and 1920. He believes that missionaries made an overall positive impact. For example, Christians were the first to purse educational opportunities for all people, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Mass printing also spread through missionaries seeking to educate populations about Christ. “Christianity has profoundly shaped what we consider to be modernity,” Woodberry said.

To view photos from this event, please click here.

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