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Envoys of a Human God

The Jesuit Mission to Christian Ethiopia, 1557-1632

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Andreu Martínez d'Alòs-Moner

In Envoys of A Human God Andreu Martínez offers a comprehensive study of the religious mission led by the Society of Jesus in Christian Ethiopia. The mission to Ethiopia was one of the most challenging undertakings carried out by the Catholic Church in early modern times.
The book examines the period of early Portuguese contacts with the Ethiopian monarchy, the mission’s main developments and its aftermath, with the expulsion of the Jesuit missionaries. The study profits from both an intense reading of the historical record and the fruits of recent archaeological research. Long-held historiographical assumptions are challenged and the importance of cultural and socio-political factors in the attraction and ultimate estrangement between European Catholics and Ethiopian Christians is highlighted.

Mission Station Christianity

Norwegian Missionaries in Colonial Natal and Zululand, Southern Africa 1850-1890

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Ingie Hovland

In Mission Station Christianity, Ingie Hovland presents an anthropological history of the ideas and practices that evolved among Norwegian missionaries in nineteenth-century colonial Natal and Zululand (Southern Africa). She examines how their mission station spaces influenced their daily Christianity, and vice versa, drawing on the anthropology of Christianity. Words and objects, missionary bodies, problematic converts, and the utopian imagination are discussed, as well as how the Zulus made use of (and ignored) the stations. The majority of the Norwegian missionaries had become theological cheerleaders of British colonialism by the 1880s, and Ingie Hovland argues that this was made possible by the everyday patterns of Christianity they had set up and become familiar with on the mission stations since the 1850s.

Series:

John Flannery

In The Mission of the Portuguese Augustinians to Persia and Beyond (1602-1747), John M. Flannery describes the establishment and activities of the Portuguese Augustinian mission in Persia. Hopes of converting the Safavid ruler of the Shi’a Muslim state would come to naught, as would the attempts of Shah ‘Abbas I to use the services of the missionaries, as representatives of the Spanish Habsburgs, to forge an anti-Ottoman alliance with the papacy and the Christian rulers of Europe. Prevented from converting Muslims, the Augustinians turned their attention to Armenian and Syriac Christians in Isfahan, later also establishing new missions among Christians in Georgia and the Mandaeans of the Basra region, all of which are described herein. The history of the Augustinian Order is generally under-represented by contrast with other Orders, and this study breaks new ground in existing scholarship.

Building God’s Kingdom

Norwegian Missionaries in Highland Madagascar 1866 - 1903

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Karina Hestad Skeie

Building God’s Kingdom studies how the encounter with nineteenth century Madagascar influenced the Norwegian Protestant mission. Drawing upon rich Norwegian and Malagasy sources, entangled and multivocal stories are allowed to unfold, revealing the complex dynamics of mission encounters. Tracing Malagasy agency and pursuit of churchly independence in pre-colonial and colonial Madagascar, this study explores the power-struggles between the Malagasy, the missionaries and between the mission in Norway and Madagascar. Through careful attention to context and agency, Karina Hestad Skeie provides new perspectives on the interplay between the local and the global in Christian missions, and on the centrality and restrictions of local agency on mission policy.