Resurgence Publishing Corp.
Book Summaries
New!  First Printing Released
October 16, 2011

Bending History: Talks of Joseph Wesley Mathews

Volume II: Societal Reformulation - toward a New Social Vehicle


William A. Holmes, Retired United Methodist Church Baltimore-Washington Conference: “Hardly anyone, upon hearing Joe Mathews speak, was ever the same. He spoke from "the deeps” of his own life to "the deeps” of every life. In this important book, he's still addressing "the deeps," while also offering methods of effective social action leading to a New Social Vehicle.” Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.. 

Shankar Jadhav Executive Director of ICA: India, working with ICA since 1982: “I have been using the ToP®- Technology of Participation - Methods with various communities such as villages, schools/colleges, slums, industries, NGOs, police force and individuals in societies for 33 years. These methods bring miracles where ever I facilitated the programmes. Particularly honoring people to invite their participation, at three levels- individually, team and as big group to make consensus. People feel honored when given their views. It is not only the impact but people internalize the methods and move for implementation/ ownership. It unlocks the potential, it motivates, it brings the creativity and enables to take the ownership of created plan for implementation. I found these methods to be effective only when the facilitation style is appropriate and genuine, therefore when ICA shares these methods with people and group, both methods and facilitation skills are provided simultaneously. While using these methods I personally have seen my life changed. I have become a person who walks the talk. I use it myself and in my family and I am proud that my family is happy because we all participate in creating our own future.”  Mumbai, India 

Jim Troxel, USA Adjunct Faculty, DePaul University: “I am sometimes asked, "Where did you acquire the community and organizational change methods you use?" I can honestly tell you now it's all in this book.”  Partner, Millennia Consulting, Chicago, IL,  Chicago, IL, USA 

Joaquina Rodriguez, ToP Facilitator: “Every human brain was built to express and share creativity and action; in the common journey the brain becomes frightened and the heart oppressed. Then, I encountered the Participatory Methods of the Institute of Cultural Affairs. From then on I saw the creativity, hope and action spark in people’s life in groups of society, in companies, in villages and among professionals, so they are surely transformational tools, and it is great to be an agent of it.” Technologies of Participation Community Development Facilitator, and Leadership Training Specialist, Guatamala 

Maureen Jenkins, Noted Author and Leadership Skills Trainer: “In “Bending History Volume 2,” John Epps once again seeks to bring the rich legacy of Joseph Wesley Mathews to the attention of those who are concerned about social change that is grounded in a well-reflected spirituality. Whereas the first volume focused on Mathews’ theological and spiritual reflections, this book turns attention to his role as stimulator and spokesperson for the active experiments in social change being carried out across the world throughout the 1970s by the members and volunteers of the Institute of Cultural Affairs. As with Volume I, this book provides a much-needed reminder of the thinking out of which the unique ICA approach to managing change emerged. For those involved in social developments that have come to their work through the ICA tradition, this is a marvelous compendium of source documents. For those social architects who know little of the ICA or its history, here is a glimpse into the exciting working reports of a group working together to invent ways to affect change in the most difficult of circumstances. John Epps´ careful editorial work can provide inspiration and nourishment for today´s struggle to develop approaches and tools for the new century.”  Co-Author with Jon C. Jenkins, The 9 Disciplines of the Facilitator, The International Facilitator's Companion; Co-Editor with Jon C. Jenkins, The Social Process Triangles, The Other World in the Midst of this World Director, Imaginal Training in group facilitation and leadership development 

Clarence J. Mann, JD, Dr. Jur. Professor & Executive Director, Institute for Global Management University of Maryland University College: “Organizations of all kinds will find the social process model, pioneered by EI/ICA and discussed in this book, to be useful in analyzing and appreciating the social environments of their operations.”  Maryland, USA 

Mirja P. Hanson, MBA, Ed. D. Partner, Millennia Consulting LLC: “Bending History provides a unique way for today’s community leaders to tap the insights of past pioneers, shed light on contemporary dilemmas and perhaps discover integrated development “wheels” they may not have to re-invent. Joseph Wesley Mathews’ passion, principles, and practices for seeking robust local solutions to pressing global problems are timely resource in an era of renewed interest in community-based action and sustainable development initiatives -- from locavore food movements, small business growth in the e-marketplace, inter-sector partnerships, webs of community-based, green, fair and living economies, social entrepreneurs driven by social impact vs. financial profit and everything in between.”  Chicago Illinois, USA 

Eunice Shankland, Consultant-trainer for the United Nations: “Reading this book is like coming to a wellspring of wisdom. These transcendent methods, models and tools are essential resources for those who work on transformation at all levels of intervention. The book is a powerful guide that will broaden our perspectives, and deepen our spirit resolve and equip us in our service.” Shankland & Associates, LLC;  Past Chair of the IAF, USA 

John & Elaine Telford, Global/Local development practitioner: “We have found the foundational understandings for working in society as described in this book to be extremely effective in a diverse range of communities, and in a range of cultural settings including Australia, Asia and Africa. By using the participative approaches described, the creative ideas of all are captured and communities are transformed.”  Hazelbrook, NSW, Australia 

Park, Si Won, D. Min, Bomoon First Methodist Church, Seoul, Korea: “I believe Joe Mathews’ theology and methods for human development are remarkable. I have experienced that his method is appropriate for both rural and urban projects in the Korean context. I have also applied this approach for our Indonesian mission. Over the last twenty-four years my church and I have built more than four hundred churches and more than ten mission centers and social projects such as rice barns for people starving due to the tsunami in North Sumatra, Indonesia. I also believe someone who reads this book finds out how to revitalize local community and actualize the Kingdom of God anywhere in this world.” Senior Pastor, Bomoon First Methodist Church, Seoul, Korea   

Gary Forbes, Past President International Association of Facilitators (IAF): "The social methods pioneered by the Institute of Cultural Affairs in the 5th City Chicago project, North American Town Meetings, and the International Human Development Projects have continued to develop and adapt to new settings. These methods were based on the values of active and inclusive participation, focused dialogue, bottom-up consensus-building, and collective empowerment leading to action. They have now been embedded in a bundle of refined methodological tools that are being increasingly utilized in development projects around the world. Good methods are critical in this field that is committed to assisting institutions, communities, and organizations in the developing world to strengthen their ability to affect positive change and facilitate on-the-ground improvements. Facilitators, trainers and consultants are successfully using these methods in development projects focused on humanitarian aid, community mobilization, strengthening governance and democratic institutions, environmental management, health sector improvements, and food policy development."  International Development Consultant, Africa, and USA.  

Laura Hsu, Open Quest Facilitation Technology: "I've received a gift, a methodology built with spirits and integrity. Joe left behind this gift--the secret of engagement. I pay it forward every single day."  IAF Certified Professional Facilitator & Assessor Taipei, Taiwan 

David W. Scott, Ed. D. Professor: “Joe Mathews was an intellectual and spiritual luminary of the 20th Century Church. As you read the pages of this book, you realize his work was a road map for understanding the 20th Century world and grasping the role of the People of God in the recreation of that world. Whether it was a local congregation in China, Texas or a rural village in Maharashtra, India, Joe’s insights for renewal were a beacon for those called to address the word of hope and life to any human community.” Philosophy and Religion, Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell, MT.

Publishers Comments

M. George Walters, M. Div. is currently Corporate Secretary, Resurgence Publishing Corporation, provides technical editing and preparation for publication, and maintains the RPC website.

About the Authors

Colleagues of Joe Mathews who worked closely with him in the development, implementation and refinements of the societal transformation methods described in this publication provide introductions to the main sections and each of the chapters in those sections. The introductions describe both the contexts in which these methods emerged and how they are being used and/or may be applied today. Their editing of the original talks by Joe Mathews within each subject area is only to provide clarification of terminology within those talks, graphics that illustrate what is being said, and footnotes that would direct the reader towards both original and new resources related to the subject matter. The following indicates the subject area each was responsible for and their current engagement. A fuller description of their current work is contained in the book. 

General Editor and Introduction

John L. Epps, Ph. D. is currently director of LENS International Malaysia-Singapore-Denver; and resides in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & Denver, Colorado. John served ICA as Director of Research in Chicago then in Kuala Lumpur and Denver. John with his wife Anne have worked extensively on developing ICA programs and projects and the formation of profession networks based on ICA methods including the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and the Technologies of Participations (ToP) worldwide. John has conducted seminars and consultations on an in-house basis for more than 300 organizations throughout Southeast Asia, the U.S.A., and Europe and is an adjunct faculty member in the graduate school of University of Maryland University College.


James Campbell, B.S. is currently Co-Director of the Institute of Cultural Affairs: Brussels, Belgium and an instructor of facilitation methods in the ALBA (Adult Learning Bachelor of Arts) Programme at All Hallows College (a College of Dublin City University) in Dublin, Ireland. Jim co-authored a book applying ToP to local parish situations entitled, Parish Pastoral Councils, A Formation Manual published by Veritas, the Catholic Publishing House in Ireland. Jim has been on the Institute of Cultural Affairs staff since its founding in 1972.

Section I: Responsibility and Action in Society

James F. Wiegel, B. A. Currently, Jim is currently a member of ICA International and also TRANSFORM, e.V. Developers of the Kumi method. In the USA, Jim is part of the ToP® Trainers Network and also the Kellogg Action Lab. In Arizona, Jim is part of two communities of practice: the technical assistance network with St. Luke’s Health Initiatives and the Arizona ToP® CoP. Currently dividing his time between Tolleson, Arizona, USA, and Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada. With his wife Judy, Jim served in ICA programs and projects for over 30 years.

Section II: Social Process Dynamics

Clarence J. Mann, J. D., Dr. Jur.  currently Professor and Executive Director, Institute for Global Management, at University of Maryland University College Graduate School of Management & Technology, College Park, Maryland. Clancy and his wife Marianne served on the staff of the ICA in Chicago, 1972-1980. He has used ICA LENS methods extensively in launching over 20 USAID projects in Jordan and Egypt (1987-2004). His law and MA degrees from Yale, University of Bonn (Fulbright Scholar) and the Management Development Institute in New Delhi (Fulbright Fellow) have focused on international strategic management and country risk analysis.

Section III: Methods and Principles for Effective Development

Marilyn R. Crocker, Ed. D. President, Marilyn Crocker & Associates, Inc. West Newfield, ME Marilyn has focused for the last thirty years on educational consulting and evaluation, management and strategic planning. She earned her B.A. from Smith College, her M.A.T. in history from Harvard University, and took an Ed. D. in Educational Administration, Training & Policy Studies at Boston University in 1994. During the 1970s with her husband Joe, Marilyn was Director of International Education and Community Development Programs for the Institute of Cultural Affairs: Bombay; Hong Kong; Nairobi; Singapore; Sydney; & Chicago, IL.

Section IV: Comprehensive Development Experiment

George R. Holcombe, M. Div. Currently pastors Asbury UMC, Austin, Texas, and serves as a consultant to GBGM’s Cameroon Mission Initiative. George with his wife Wanda worked in the 5th City and Uptown Projects in Chicago, and in Human Development Projects in Asia. He has acted as consultant and missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.
by John L. Epps, General Editor
Foreword by James Campbell.

Copyright 2011
Cover Price: $19.95
Pages: 322