Defining your terms
- There are a lot of definitions out there - they do not all
agree, but you have to make a decision you can explain and defend.
- A postgraduate research student must be able to
responsibility for their own understanding of and definition of key terms.
- While you have to be able to define terms in your own
words and not hide behind what a dictionary or other authority says, at the
your definition should bear some relationship to both derivation and other
- Usage is at least as
important for determining meaning as
derivation - you need to be familiar with both.
- Make use of dictionaries, encyclopaedias and journals in
and what you can find on the Worldwide Web!
- Before you can answer a question,
you need to know what
your question means, and what are the indicators of that meaning. If you
ask the question "What is mission?" you need to know what you mean by
"mission" and what indicators provide evidence of that meaning of mission.
Check out what these people think:
Kirk,. “Missiology” in S B Ferguson and D F Wright, eds.,
of Theology, Inter-Varsity Press, 1988, 434-436.
Moreau, “Missiology” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Revised
Edition, forthcoming, 2000. Available at
Scherer, J A. “Missiology as a discipline and what it
includes” Missiology 15(4) 1987 507-522.