The experiences of missionaries are experiences of otherness. Missionaries can only be successful in their main enterprise if they perceive and understand these others in their otherness, or at least if they try to do so. Moravian missionary John Heckewelder (1743–1823) was an expert, profoundly knowledgeable about the ways of the Indians of the Eastern Woodlands, especially the Delaware tribe, towards whom he was well disposed. After a brief summary of Heckewelder’s life and his Moravian mission, this essay addresses questions of authorship, structure, and composition in Heckewelder’s Account of the History, Manners, and Customs of the Indian Nations (1819). It analyzes Heckewelder’s experience with Indians as others: how he described, presented, and interpreted them. Special attention is devoted to Heckewelder’s presentation of the Indian concept of property and to his description of the Indians’ treatment of captives.
This article focuses on an aspect of Pietist education that may be regarded as a reform, namely a new way of upholding the role model to educational ends – or, more simply put, of teaching by example. This new approach to the example, according to my thesis, manifests itself in an implicit, narrative didactics of piety. This will be illustrated by reference to a popular genre of children’ and young people’s literature dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, namely ‘exemplary children’s stories’ (Kinderexempelgeschichten). Such stories consist of biographical model narratives concerning exemplary pious boys and girls. To demonstrate how this implicit, religious didactic was made explicit, I draw on the text ‘Christliche Lebens=Regeln’ (Christian Rules of Life), which was especifically conceived as a systematic elucidation of exemplary stories.