Post-classical history

Missions and Empire - History of the British Empire

Missions and Empire - History of the British Empire

The explosive expansion of Christianity in Africa and Asia during the last two centuries constitutes one of the most remarkable cultural transformations in the history of mankind. Because it coincided with the spread of European economic and political hegemony, it tends to be taken for granted that Christian missions went hand in hand with imperialism and colonial conquest. In this book historians survey the relationship between Christian missions and the British Empire from the seventeenth century to the 1960s and treat the subject thematically, rather than regionally or chronologically. Many of these themes are treated at length for the first time, relating the work of missions to language, medicine, anthropology, and decolonization. Other important chapters focus on the difficult relationship between missionaries and white settlers, women and mission, and the neglected role of the indigenous evangelists who did far more than European or North American missionaries to spread the Christian religion - belying the image of Christianity as the "white man's religion."

List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction - Unfinished Business

Plan and Scope of This Volume

Placing Missions and Empire in a Global Historical Context

2. Prelude: The Christianizing of British America - American Indians

Settler Indifference

The Protestant Awakening

African Americans

The American Revolution

3. An Overview, 1700-1914 - I







4. Humanitarians and White Settlers in the Nineteenth Century - Anti-slavery, Thomas Fowell Buxton, and Imperial Humanitarian Networks

Dr John Philip and the Cape

The Aborigines Committee


New Zealand

Humanitarian Marginalization

5. Where the Missionary Frontier Ran Ahead of Empire - Missionaries and Chiefs

Missionaries and Converts

Missionaries, Traders, and Settlers in the Field

6. Christian Missions and the Raj - Church, Missions, and ‘Hindu Raj’

Receptivity on the Margins

Missions and Anglican Imperialism

Catholic Recovery and Expansion

Educational Infrastructure


7. New Christians as Evangelists

Tiyo Soga

Maretu and Ta’unga

Arthur Wellington Clah

Moses Tjalkabota


8. ‘Trained to Tell the Truth’: Missionaries, Converts, and Narration

9. Women and Cultural Exchanges

10. Language - Literate Nations: Yoruba and Kikuyu

Pacific Translations

The Baptists of Bengal

The Tswana: How Ancestor Became God

Missionaries, Language, and Identities

11. New Religious Movements - Declarations of Independence

Churches of the Spirit

Promised Lands

New Heavens and New Earths

12. Anthropology - Missionaries as Commentators on Indigenous Society

Contributions to the Methodology and Theory of Anthropology

A Gulf Opens between Missionaries and Professional Anthropologists


13. Education and Medicine - Education

Medicine and Healing

14. Decolonization - Missionaries and Colonialism

Missions and Decolonization

The Making of the African Church

The African Church and Decolonization