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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."
British and US historians explore linkages between Christian churches, and in particular their missionary bodies, and the dynamics of anti- colonial nationalism and decolonization in the non-Western world during the 20th century. The 13 papers were originally presented at a September 2000 conference
This is the only book that addresses the relations between religion, Protestant missions, and empire building, linking together all three fields of study by taking as its starting point the early eighteenth century Anglican initiatives in colonial North America and the Caribbean. It considers how the early societies of the 1790s built on this inheritance, and extended their own interests to the Pacific, India, the Far East, and Africa. Fluctuations in the vigor and commitment of the missions, changing missionary theologies, and the emergence of alternative missionary strategies, are all examined for their impact on imperial expansion. Other themes include the international character of the missionary movement, Christianity's encounter with Islam, and major figures such as David Livingstone, the state and politics, and humanitarianism, all of which are viewed in a fresh light.
This book is the first to investigate the role of religious conversion in the long history of Russian state building, with geographic coverage from Poland and European Russia to the Caucasus, Central Asia, Siberia, and Alaska.
Utilising a range of source material and a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, this ground-breaking collection offers the reader new ways of assessing the uneven paths of mission endeavours, and examines the ways in which Indigenous peoples responded to -- and took ownership of -- aspects of Christian and Western culture and spirituality.

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