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Cochrane's description of the failings of international aid can be painful to read but is relieved at various points by his dry humor. Festival elephants tend to operate through high-publicity and highly funded international relief projects based on the myth that there is one form of international poverty and one way - lots of money and big, one-size-fits-all programs - to solve it.
Book Reviews Atlas of Global Christianity. Edited by Todd M. Johnson and Kenneth R. Ross. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2009. Pp. xix, 361. £150 / $250. The Atlas of Global Christianity is being are because of emigration/immigration, world, and on various other topics. Most produced in conjunction with the births/deaths, and conversion/defection. of the regional essays are by scholars from centennial of the 1910 Edinburgh World The atlas even provides data on religious the areas they describe (i.e., not by Euro- Missions Conference. It self-consciously liberty at the province level for the whole peans or North Americans). The editors mirrors the Statistical Atlas of Christian world. The amount of work needed to have done a wonderful job recruiting not Missions, produced for Edinburgh 1910. collect and estimate these data is mind- only the most widely known scholars of The change in name reflects the change boggling. I do not fully trust many of the missions and world Christianity but also in focus between these two impressive numbers at the national level, let alone at a truly global sample of scholars. volumes. In 1910 the focus was on foreign the province, city, or people-group level, While the separate volumes of essays missions, and the atlas documented the but even having these best estimates is from 1910 were much longer and were locations of Protestant mission stations extraordinarily valuable. The data come designed to shape missionary strategy, around the world and the personnel at each from the World Religion Database (WRD) the essays in the 2010 atlas are designed to station. This earlier atlas was primarily a (which I and others review elsewhere give helpful overviews that are accessible planning tool for mission organizations in this issue of the IBMR). While I wish to ordinary people, yet informative to and contained tables of statistics by the editors made the imprecision of the scholars. I found them clear, concise, mission organization and country, contact estimates clearer, I still feel indebted to and helpful. Although a few regional information of the mission organizations them (and those who worked behind the experts I asked to read specific essays from each country, a series of maps, and scenes) for providing these incredibly disagreed with some of the information a list of mission stations. These maps detailed estimates. I plan to use them and interpretations reported in particular reveal the countries and provinces in in my research but would warn against essays, the essays provide a great intro- which Protestant missions had established taking any individual number too literally duction to each topic for nonexperts and stations and the types of services the and against doing statistical analysis with provide helpful short bibliographies for missions provided in each country; they the data without robustness checking. those who want more detail. In sum, while were valuable for working out comity Despite all the careful work that went into experts may quibble about particular agreements or identifying regions where creating these estimates, in areas without estimates or particular interpretations in missionaries had not yet gone. censuses and high-quality probability- individual essays (as will always happen The 2010 atlas, however, focuses sampled surveys, they are still estimates with a project of this size), the amount of on world Christianity. Rather than and contain random error and probably valuable information in the atlas is truly showing mission stations, it displays the some systematic error. extraordinary. While I encourage caution distributions of Christians (and of other The graphic presentation of the data in using the numbers, I plan to use them religious traditions) by country, province, both in the atlas and in the accompanying and am impressed that the editors and major city, and ethnolinguistic group. Atlas of Global Christianity Presentation those who helped them could pull off such The data highlight the localities and Assistant is extraordinary and makes an amazing collection of data and maps. people groups where few have convert- patterns much easier to see than flipping —Robert D. Woodberry ed, regardless of historical missionary through tables and tables of data (e.g., prevalence. The maps alone are an in the WRD). The CD allows people to Robert D. Woodberry is Director of the Project astonishing
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