From anesthetic to advocacy through Mission as Accompaniment : towards a more effective response from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Global Mission to Mechanistic Dehumanization.
Mechanistic dehumanization is “the objectifying denial of essentially human attributes to people toward whom the person feels psychologically distant and socially unrelated” (Haslam, 2006). This condition is a source and sustainer of mass production, an excess of consumption, and the pursuit of unrestrained economic growth, damaging both people and the planet. This study considers how the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Global Mission can more effectively respond to mechanistic dehumanization. Mission as Accompaniment emerges from both Latin American theology and development methodology; it involves “walking together in solidarity that practices interdependence and mutuality” (ELCA, 1999) and is thus viewed in this study as a suitable starting point for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Global Mission response to mechanistic dehumanization. This study argues that Mission as Accompaniment has not yet offered an adequate response to mechanistic dehumanization. It argues further that two additional elements – the African concept of Ubuntu, and an Olive Agenda – when integrated into Mission as Accompaniment, will better equip the ELCA Global Mission to respond more effectively to mechanistic dehumanization.