Postcolonial Cultural Hybridity and the Influence of the Gospel in Transnational French-Speaking Networks
A central feature of Christianity is the observable historical fact that the gospel of Jesus travels across cultural and geographic boundaries, influencing and transforming each new culture and place it touches. Postcolonial migration, urbanization, and the simultaneous development of global communication and transportation technologies have radically increased the frequency and duration of cross-cultural contact worldwide.
This study explores hybrid identity construction in a multicultural church in the Paris Region in order to understand the influence of the gospel within transnational French-speaking networks. I found that French hegemony, historically rooted in the colonial project, contributes both to the cohesion of multicultural churches and to the cross-cultural spread of the gospel within French-speaking networks.
Cultural hybrids serve as bridge people within transcultural, transnational, French-speaking networks. They maintain identities and social networks on both sides of given cultural, linguistic, geographic, and national frontiers. Unique hybrid identities offer equally unique opportunities to influence for Christ on both sides of a given boundary.
Cultural hybridity can be a privileged in-between space where the distinct nature of Christian faith becomes manifest. When observing one’s original culture as an outsider and taking on a new culture as an insider, both cultures are relativized. This critical posture unmasks totalistic ideologies and sends the cultural hybrid in search of a coherent identity, which participants found in Christ and his church.
While transnational French-speaking networks and cultural hybridity contribute providentially to the spread of the gospel, they can also be pursued as strategic resources for the mission enterprise. Transnational French-speaking social links can be intentionally followed across missional boundaries. These networks take many forms, each pregnant with unique opportunities. Cultural hybrids can lead strategically between diverse peoples for specific missional purposes within transcultural and transnational French-speaking networks. Hybrid leadership stands on a two-way bridge, bringing diverse peoples across in both directions for reconciliation, for cross-cultural collaboration, and to announce the good news where Jesus is not yet known.
Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)
Christianity and culture, France, Paris, Postcolonialism, Multiculturalism, Intercultural communication, Christian leadership, Missions, Christianity and culture
Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Missions and World Christianity