Why Are There So Few Christian Anthropologists

[As the current editor of PSCF, I gladly give you permission to place the article "Why Are There So Few Christian Anthropologists?" [Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 58, #4, December 2006] on your church planting website. We trust the article will be of benefit to your readers]

In his provocative book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, evangelical historian
Mark Noll decries the lack of an evangelical mind in the academy, and challenges evangelical
Christians to consider the importance of the cultivation of the mind as a divine calling.
Unfortunately, the Christian mind in anthropology lags behind many disciplines because,
among other reasons, there are so few Christian anthropologists. Why is this? According to
a Carnegie Foundation survey, anthropology is the most secular of the disciplines. It has
a record of hostility to Christianity that is borne out by the experiences by many evangelical
Christians. This essay elaborates some of the tensions between anthropology and Christianity
and provides a response to some of these tensions. It suggests that evangelical Christians can
influence the academy by immersing themselves in it and by pursuing pure research rather
than just focusing on more applied concerns such as missions, development and the church.

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