According to the “Status of Global Mission” (Bonk, 2011, p.29), widely considered as serious statistics of missionary population, in the year 2011 approximately 4,800 mission societies (“foreign-mission sending agencies”; line…
Abstract: This paper deals with the question of what experiences individuals do make, who aim for persuading and convincing others of their ‘own’ and how these experiences structure their everyday life and their self-image. To clarify this question a general and anthropological aspect of human being arises: the optimization and standardization of the human others under the provision of one’s own, which leads directly in the vibrant centre of modern societies in a globalized world. The idea of the ‘better man’ is best characterized by a variety of components, such as selfless service and charity to other, readiness to make sacrifices for fellow human being, self-flagellation, self-deception, and expediency of self-abandonment, which are necessary to one’s own task, especially to enforce a change, optimization, and equalization of other. Some of these strategies for alteration derive from previous theoretical considerations and reflexions on empirical research that has recently been accomplished: From the perspective of psychology of religion and culture, the current intercultural practice, the religious self and the meaning-making actions of contemporary Protestant missionaries have been investigated.As will be shown, missionary activity is rooted in both the process of the formation of experiences and the knowledge acquisition, in the course of which individuals ascertain oneself about their self by meanings and interpretations that are culture-specific and at the same time characterized by one’s own biography. Eventually, missionary activity is just one mode of a more general target-oriented human action, which aims at the improvement and perfection of other. The objective of the paper is at least twofold: both results of empirical research and new perspectives of methodological issues on inter- and transdisciplinary research in social, cultural, and religious sciences will be shown.
This paper focuses on the scientifically or technologically based program of the ‘Optimization of the Humane’ which can be best understood as a purposeful intervention in human life in order to enhance physical characteristics and personal-psychic disposition. Our investigation of the logics of human enhancement pursues two objectives: on the one hand, we will outline a description and critical review of the objectives and implications of different form of human self-design and desired alterations and enhancements of others. On the other hand, a criteria matrix will be developed which is based on the “Logical Propaedeutic” of Wilhelm Kamlah and Paul Lorenzen and which provides a basis for the methodical and systematic discussion of various optimization programs.
Arnold, M. & Bittner, U. (2011, manuscript). Das Programm der ‚Optimierung des Humanen’ und seine Wissensvoraussetzungen für eine methodisch-systematische Analyse: Kriterienraster zur Diskussion von Optimierungsprogrammen [The ‘Optimization of the Humane’ and its Knowledge Requirements for a Methodical and Systematic Analysis: A Criteria Matrix for the Discussion of Optimization Programs]. Ruhr-University Bochum.