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Critical ChristianityTranslation and Denominational Conflict in Papua New Guinea$
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Courtney Handman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520283756

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520283756.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Linguistic Locality and the Anti-Institutionalism of Evangelical Christianity

Linguistic Locality and the Anti-Institutionalism of Evangelical Christianity

The Summer Institute of Linguistics

(p.64) Chapter 2 Linguistic Locality and the Anti-Institutionalism of Evangelical Christianity
Critical Christianity

Courtney Handman

University of California Press

This chapter is a broad introduction to the work of SIL International, formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics, an organization with over five thousand members working in hundreds of different language communities around the globe. The SIL’s work usually centers on translating the New Testament into local vernacular languages. SIL evangelistic goals and methods are contextualized through the lens of another major movement in mid-twentieth century missionary evangelism, the Church Growth movement. SIL theorists of translation, especially Eugene Nida, tried to create a translation methodology (called “dynamic equivalence translation”) that would at once domesticate biblical language in receptor communities while also sparking Holy Spirit–inspired critical reflections on local traditions that would produce conversions. Accessing the linguistically defined subjectivity of speakers was key to the model.

Keywords:   Summer Institute of Linguistics, Bible translation, Eugene Nida, dynamic equivalence translation, missiology, Church Growth, liberalism, evangelicalism, linguistic subjectivity

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