April 1- Christian Missionaries - Debi's notes

April 1- Christian Missionaries - Debi's notes - 4/01/08...

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DANA ROBERT-History of Christian Mission; how Christianity became a world religion Christian Missionaries=cultural imperialists?? -missionary motivations -when and why? -were traditional religions fearful? -who converted and why? -consequences of conversion; political and social; eg. J Chilembwe CONC. Missionary motivation- -Mali Missionary’s experience; 20 years in Vietnam; Mali during drought; sank a well, etc. ; we were bringing the message of God’s love, that God is not indifferent; wanted to free people from the fear of spirits; goal not to buy loyalty due to relief work, etc.; developed side work as dentist; Important points: 1) need to be freed; implies that need to be freed from something Wylie’s points: 1) people came to him with their teeth problems; power of people being colonized to shape what they receive; important to keep in mind; missionaries didn’t, don’t and never did have power to “grab minds of people and steal them;” idea of cultural imperialism has to come to terms with fact that people who are choosing conversion have chosen this; they have an ability to choose; so even though imperialistic and bold rhetoric, never confuse stated intentions as indicated that always had impact that they intended 2) close relationship in missionary activity between healing the body and healing the spirit; the impact of the mission wing of colonialism had an intimate impact on people’s bodies; meant people to change smallest details of life (?); conversion, how deeply into details of daily life missionary impulse goes, frequently allied with idea of healing (goes with many world religions) When and Why? -mainly in 19 th century from Europe; began before the era of formal empire; one reason why people say missionaries were proto-imperialists; preceded era of Empire? Word evangelical-1) takes Bible very seriously to point of literality and puts emphasis on need to convert others; preaching salvation by faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ for our sins -evangelical spirit grew up in Europe in late 18 th century; lead to founding of mission societies; to send idealistic young people out to continents that were not yet Christian or colonized -mainly lower-middle class people who were looking at “dark continents” in same way that looking at their “dark, industrializing cities,” provoked by Industrial Revolution; motivation to convert “dark, heathen, other,” seen as a new working class. “hero” missionary-David Livingstone-poor, became medical doctor -moral leadership; priest hero who taught people to read and to reflect; to sell labor; (Christianity; commerce; civilization); appreciate the value of hard work; thrift; charity; preaching the “Protestant ethic,” hard work; amass wealth; don’t descend into luxury and idleness; -people who went out with idea to spread idea of atonement of Christ; were writing about what they experienced; based on observation often; learning local language, writing it down, translating bible, a lot of what we know about 19
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April 1- Christian Missionaries - Debi's notes - 4/01/08...

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