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beth baron paper - 4 How the missionary project might have...

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Matthew Phillips 2/10/10 The topic I am researching is antebellum American missionaries to the Middle East, specifically Palestine. This is, I believe, an important subject for a number of reasons. For one, we see the beginnings of American religion shaping our relationship to the Holy Land. The current American Evangelical support for Israel has a long pedigree, going back to the restorationist movement that emerged as part of the missionary project in Palestine. We also see the germs of what later, in post-colonial circles, might be dubbed “Orientalist” attitudes towards Arab culture; that is to say, an American attitude of wonder coupled with contempt. Questions I would like to address, at this stage, are: 1) What were the exact goals of the missionaries, and to what extent were they achieved 2) What impression they made on the natives 3) How the views of the missonaries shaped American understanding of the region
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Unformatted text preview: 4) How the missionary project might have been part of the emerging paradigm of “manifest destiny” 5) What conlusions were drawn about the future of Palestine, and to whom Palestine rightfully belonged 6) The relative successes of the restorationist movement There is a great deal of primary source material left by missionaries. Edward Robinson, widely credited with establishing the field of biblical archaeology in the United States, published a great deal of research, as well as his impressions of the people he encountered. William Cresson and Hariet Livermore, two restorationists, left behind journals. I would imagine there are many other first hand accounts of missionaries who travleled to Palestine. I would also obviously like to include primary accounts of any responses from the natives....
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