Westmont Magazine Revisiting His Missionary Roots
Jeff Swanson ‘79 has written, “Echoes of the Call: Identity and Ideology Among American Missionaries in Ecuador,” a book drawing on the personal histories of 100 evangelical missionaries in the country where he grew up the son of missionary parents himself. Oxford University Press published the book, which illustrates how missionaries are distanced from their culture, their homeland, and their era.
A sociologist and mental health researcher on the faculty of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical School, Jeff also co-directs a National Institute of Mental Health post-doctoral training program run jointly with the University of North Carolina. Jeff’s research at Duke includes a three-year study in New York City that will evaluate their pilot program of involuntary outpatient commitment for severely mentally ill people who refuse treatment. Since many of these people are homeless, Jeff’s challenge lies in collecting data over a significant period of time.