Sociology and Anthropology as Promising Areas of Insight and Research for Christian Education

From: Volume 5, Issue 1: Spring 2008, College & Young Adult Ministry Pages 101-115


Sociology and anthropology have not often been the focus of attention for insight into Christian education. A survey of the first 25 years of the Christian Education Journal found the term sociology was used in 61 articles, while anthropology was found in 36 articles-about half of those refer to the discipline of anthropology, in contrast with a subcategory of theology or philosophy. Only three authors include sociology as part of their qualifications (an author of the present article was one of them), while only one includes anthropology in their qualifications. Usually sociology or anthropology is in the title of a cited reference, yet when mentioned in the body of an article they are mentioned without positive or negative comment. Positive comments were increasingly common, most frequently found in the last few years, while negative comments were fairly rare. Perhaps the most vivid example of a negative reaction is Kenneth Gangel's (2004) heading titled "Enemies of Spiritual Values" under which he lists sociology and may imply anthropology should be included.1



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