KeywordsMissions, English -- India -- History, 19th century.
Missions, English -- Polynesia -- History, 19th century.
Missions, English -- Australia -- History, 19th century.
Imperialism -- History, 19th century.
London Missionary Society
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AbstractAnna Johnston analyses missionary writing under the aegis of the British Empire. Johnston argues that missionaries occupied ambiguous positions in colonial cultures, caught between imperial and religious interests. She maps out this position through an examination of texts published by missionaries of the largest, most influential nineteenth-century evangelical institution, the London Missionary Society. These texts provide a fascinating commentary on nineteenth-century evangelism and colonialism, and illuminate complex relationships between white imperial subjects, white colonial subjects, and non-white colonial subjects. With their reformist, and often prurient interest in sexual and familial relationships, missionary texts focused imperial attention on gender and domesticity in colonial cultures. Johnston contends that in doing so they rewrote imperial expansion as a moral allegory and confronted British ideologies of gender, race and class. Texts from Indian, Polynesian and Australian missions are examined to highlight their representation of nineteenth-century evangelical activity in relation to gender, colonialism and race.
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