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This chapter explores the relationship between religion and “the novel” by focusing on a cross-section of religious questions having to do with belonging (domestic, national, global) and identity. It begins with a consideration the Evangelical Hannah More’s Coelebs in Search of a Wife (1809), moves to a cluster of novels that contemplated domestic religious differences in the form of Catholics and Jews, and concludes with a shift outside the geographical boundaries of the United Kingdom and Ireland to examine early novelistic responses to overseas missionary movements, which raised challenging questions about empire, race, and religious community.
The Order of Preachers, or Dominicans, established themselves in the Holy Land because it represented an opportunity to fulfil two of the aims of the Order: missionary activity and aiding in parochial ministry. Most of the evidence for Dominican activity in the Crusader States comes from the former, where the Order was particularly active in trying to negotiate the acceptance of the primacy of the papacy among eastern Christians. In Cyprus, where the Order also founded houses after the Latin Conquest of the 1190s, the Dominicans also fulfilled their role as monitors of Christian doctrine through acting as inquisitors, notably in relation to the Greek Orthodox Church.
This paper investigates the long-term impact of historical missionary activity on HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. On the one hand, missionaries were the first to invest in modern medicine in the region. On the other hand, Christianity influenced sexual beliefs and behaviors that affect the risk of contagion. We build a new geocoded dataset locating Protestant and Catholic missions in the early 20th century, as well as the health facilities they invested in, that we combine with individual-level Demographic and Health Survey data. With these data, we can address separately these two channels, within regions close to historical missionary settlements. First, we show that proximity to historical missionary health facilities decreases the likelihood of HIV; persistence in healthcare provision and safer sexual behaviors in the region explain this result. Second, we show that regions close to historical missionary settlements exhibit higher likelihood of HIV. This effect is driven by the Christian population in our sample. This suggests conversion to Christianity as a possible explanatory channel. Our findings are robust to alternative specifications addressing selection.
New visible and infrared data of minor bodies, including minor planet 1 Ceres, asteroids 4 Vesta, 21 Lutetia, 2867 Steins and comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (hereafter 67P/CG) have been collected in the last years by remote sensing instruments aboard NASA-Dawn and ESA-Rosetta missions. These minor bodies are among the most primitive bodies in the Solar System, and the understanding of their composition, surface morphology and evolution history is a fundamental step to shed light on the processes that occurred during planetary formation.
By merging spatial and spectral information retrieved from the surfaces of these objects it is possible to infer their composition and physical properties and to correlate them with local morphology and geological processes. A discussion about spectral indicators, modeling, and mapping is given for both asteroids and comet 67P/CG. Given that the remote sensing observation techniques are very similar between Dawn and Rosetta missions, a comparative approach is used for the entire chapter and methods and interpretation for the results of these different objects are given together.
The chapter examines the systems of taxation, tributes, and donations that maintained the mission enterprise. In modern scholarship, studies continue to recycle old tropes of mendicant poverty and development projects. Departing from these analyses, this chapter examines the mission’s economic dependence on native tributes and forced labor systems. Arrangements between native rulers and missionaries constituted a colonial economy that sharply contradicted the mendicants’ self-image as ascetic hermits. The chapter begins by contrasting Spanish claims that the mission was financed through royal patronage with colonial records that demonstrate the myriad ways in which indigenous communities supported it with finances, goods, and labor. The chapter then examines the consequences of the missionaries’ dependence on native economies. Far from their imagined lives as desert hermits in a pagan land, friars lived in close proximity to indigenous towns and faced a plethora of temptations. This section examines numerous reports of misconduct by friars, as well as efforts by mendicant Orders to regulate material wealth. The missionaries’ material dependence on indigenous communities challenged ideals of poverty and chastity at the core of their identity. Thus, while indigenous people paid dearly for the mission with their labor, friars paid for it with their racked consciences.
This chapter examines the interdependent relationships between indigenous rulers and missionaries between 1530 and 1560. From its very beginnings, the mission in New Spain was a hybrid enterprise. Native territorial politics and everyday practices of governance largely determined the shape of mission organization. The chapter begins by examining the political foundation of the mission enterprise, which consisted of an expanding web of local native-missionary alliances. The mission was a vital factor in the geopolitical reshuffling of territorial power in post-conquest Mesoamerica, while indigenous territorial divisions served as the basis for the mission system of doctrinas (mission bases) and visitas (outlying mission churches). The chapter then examines the ways in which these alliances of missionaries and native governments adapted pre-conquest political and religious offices to the needs of the mission enterprise. In hundreds of doctrinas (mission bases), officials known collectively as the teopantlaca, or “church-people” – indigenous fiscales (church officers), alguaciles de doctrina (church constables), and cantores and trompeteros (singers and musicians) – oversaw the everyday experience of the mission. By adapting native hierarchical structures, territoriality, and officialdom to the mission enterprise, native rulers and missionaries furthered their respective efforts to reassert local indigenous authority and expand the mission’s doctrinal program.
In the sixty years following the Spanish conquest, indigenous communities in central Mexico suffered the equivalent of three Black Deaths, a demographic catastrophe that prompted them to rebuild under the aegis of Spanish missions. Where previous histories have framed this process as an epochal spiritual conversion, The Mexican Mission widens the lens to examine its political and economic history, revealing a worldly enterprise that both remade and colonized Mesoamerica. The mission exerted immense temporal power in struggles over indigenous jurisdictions, resources, and people. Competing communities adapted the mission to their own designs; most notably, they drafted labor to raise ostentatious monastery complexes in the midst of mass death. While the mission fostered indigenous recovery, it also grounded Spanish imperial authority in the legitimacy of local native rule. The Mexican mission became one of the most extensive in early modern history, with influences reverberating on Spanish frontiers from New Mexico to Mindanao.
This article examines the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SSPCK) and its missions in the Highlands and Britain's American colonies. Constituted in 1709 and operating as an auxiliary arm of the Church of Scotland, the SSPCK aimed to extend Christianity in ‘Popish and Infidel parts of the world’. It founded numerous Highland charity schools, and from 1729 sponsored missions to Native Americans in New England and Georgia. Missions were increasingly important in British overseas expansion; consequently, historians have viewed the society as a civilizing agency, which deployed religious instruction to assimilate ‘savage’ heathens into the fold of Britain's empire. This article suggests that the SSPCK was equally concerned with Christianization: missionaries focused on spiritual edification for the salvation of souls, indicating a disjuncture between the society's objectives and the priorities of imperial expansion. It also challenges the parity assumed by historians between the SSPCK's domestic and foreign missions, arguing that the society increasingly prioritized colonial endeavours in an attempt to recover providential favour. In doing so, it sheds new light on Scottish ideas of mission during the first half of the eighteenth century, and reassesses the Scottish Church's role in Britain's emerging empire.
After 1571 Catholic sacred objects were outlawed in England, and the possession of such objects could be prosecuted under the statute of praemunire. Despite this prohibition sacred objects including rosaries, blessed beads, and the agnus dei (wax pendants blessed by the pope) remained a critical part of Catholic devotion. This article examines the role of the agnus dei in English Catholic communities and the unique political connotations it acquired during the reign of Elizabeth I. It assesses the uses of these sacramentals in Catholic missions to England, their reception amongst Catholics, and the political significance of the agnus dei in light of the papal excommunication of Elizabeth I in 1570.
This article explores the effects of music education carried out by Protestant missionaries on local forms of sociability in sub-Saharan Africa during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Based on a methodological framework of ideal types of musical communities, the examination focuses on examples of musical encounters between missionaries and the Yoruba in West Africa, the Lobedu in South Africa, and the Nyakyusa in East Africa. A closer look at the kinds of sociability facilitated by missionary music will reveal a colonial dialectic emerging from the contrasting forces of cultural hierarchy and belonging.
Between World War I and World War II, the World Day of Prayer (WDP) expressed Protestant women's Christian cosmopolitanism that combined rituals of prayer with a liberal program of social activism and humanitarianism. The WDP began as a way to unite Protestant women together across organizational denominational lines as women's missionary societies entered a period of decline in the 1920s. The WDP raised awareness of home and foreign missionary work and took up a collection to support designated home and foreign mission projects, but it quickly emerged as a site for ritual creativity. The planning committees and prayer service facilitated Protestant women's efforts to replace a traditional understanding of missionary work with a cosmopolitan Christianity that coupled American women's spirituality with a liberal program supportive of racial diversity and internationalism. The prayer services became sacred spaces to enact “unity in diversity,” even though this was always more an ideal than a reality. Churchwomen used the evident dissonance between a universalist vision of a united Christian world and the realities of racial, religious, and national difference to generate discomfort in the prayer services and to deepen participants' spiritual experiences. While the interwar era is understood as a period of theological schisms and Protestant declension, a gendered analysis of Protestantism through the World Day of Prayer shows that it was also a period of religious transformation as churchwomen formulated a modern social gospel that paired spirituality and action in ways that would shape Protestant churches for the next several decades.