Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

Former Christian missionary challenged to rethink his faith after learning the Piraha’s concept of experiential liminality

Posted by prb3 on November 18, 2010

I was reminded of Daniel Everett’s book ‘Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes’ after a short discussion with a christian friend about people converting to Christianity.

Everett offers a great example, albeit rare, of a Christian missionary abandoning his faith due his experiences with the Amazonian tribe he was trying to convert. I particularly like this because he used to work for SIL (one of the organizations my father works for).

Check out these links to learn more, I guarantee that the Piraha tribe will fascinate you. I should also warn all you die hard Chomsky fans that some of Everett’s findings in the field of linguistics are challenging notions Chomsky has championed over the years…that said, I’m sure that if you are indeed a fan of Chomsky, it probably has little to do with his views on language and more to do with his political views, so you shouldn’t be upset 🙂

Full audio lecture:

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6 Responses to “Former Christian missionary challenged to rethink his faith after learning the Piraha’s concept of experiential liminality”

  1. Ann said

    Bob posted something about this guy a while back on this site:

    https://fffmks.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/sil-missionary-becomes-atheist-when-asked-for-proof/

    • prb3 said

      Oops, I guess I’m guilty of not doing my research…I’ll look around and try to find Bob’s post…either way, I think it doesn’t hurt to learn more about Everett and his work with the Piraha.

  2. dsc01 said

    “I don’t know anyone who saw him!”

    “Why are you telling us about him, then?”

    Brilliant!

  3. Ann said

    I think it’s interesting the Kuna people, who live on the San Blas Islands and in the rainforest of Panama, have no word for thank you. If you give a gift, or help someone out, it’s not acknowledged. They just do something for you when the time comes. Seriously! Crazy how we take our culture and ideological framework for granted.

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