Should outsiders try to change others’ cultural practices? Academic anthropologists have long boomed a resounding “No!” And not a few Christians have swayed along to the beat of a cultural relativism that preserves cultural practices in the name of liberation from Western colonialism and cultural superiority.
In the next few weeks I will introduce professors, pastors, and other leaders in the northeast Indian state of Manipur to the story of Christianity’s contribution to the development of nations. One topic I will address is finding the proper balance between entrepreneurship and environmentalism, a balance that, in the gloomy twilight of the early 21st century, clearly tips Green in the post-Christian West. Finding the right balance not only concerns development, but has everything to do with what it means to be human.