Conflict Mediation Across Cultures: Pathways and Patterns

by David Augsburger. Westminster John Knox Press, 1995.

This thoroughly researched presentation surveys ways of conflict resolution in many cultures. Flow charts, tables, and diagrams present results from many studies worldwide, enlivened by examples from folk tales, proverbs, and case histories from African, Asian, Latin American, native American, and western European societies. Traps for westerners who are unaware of other ways than their own of resolving conflict are discussed. Conflict is shown to be both necessary and positive in human relations, and anger a necessary step in conflict transformation (the term preferred by the author). Diverse congregations in multicultural areas might find long and careful study of this book especially rewarding: congregations with little experience of other cultures can benefit from its thought-provoking conclusions, which may be eye-openers for mission possibilities.