Women and Missions: Past and Present
Anthropological and Historical Perceptions
This collection of essays by eminent anthropologists, missiologists and historians explores the hitherto neglected topic of women missionaries and the effect of Christian missionary activity upon women. The book consists of two parts. The first part looks at 19th century women missionaries as presented in literature, at the backgrounds and experience of women in the mission field and at the attitudes of missionary societies towards their female workers. Although they are traditionally presented as wives and support workers, it becomes apparent that, on the contrary, women missionaries often played a culturally important role. The second and longest section asks whether women missionaries are indeed a special case, and provides some fascinating studies of the impact of Christian missions on women in both historical material and a wealth of contemporary material.Of particular value is the perspective of those who were themselves objects of missionary activity and who reflected upon this experience. Women actively absorbed and adapted the teachings of the Christian missionaries, and Western models are seen to be utilized and developed in sometimes unexpected ways.
Table of Contents
F. Bowie, Introduction: Reclaiming Women's Presence - Part I: Women Missionaries - D. Kirkwood, Protestant Missionary Women: Wives and Spinsters - P. Williams, The 'Missing Link': The Recruitment of Women Missionaries in Some English Evangelical Missionary Societies in the Nineteenth Century - C. Swaisland, Wanted: Earnest, Self-Sacrificing Women for Service in South Africa: Nineteenth-Century Recruitment of Single Women to Protestant Missions - V. Cunningham, 'God and Nature Intended You for a Missionary's Wife': Mary Hill, Jane Eyre and Other Missionary Women in the 1840s - Part II: Mission Impact on Women - A. Hastings, Were Women a Special Case? - M. Lapodi, From Heathen Kraal to Christian Home: Anglican Mission Education and African Christian Girls, 1850-1900 - F. Bowie, The Elusive Christian Family: Missionary Attempts to Define Women's Roles: Case Studies from Cameroon - T. Kanogo, Mission Impact on Women in Colonial Kenya - A. Basu, Mary Ann Cooke to Mother Teresa: Christian Missionary Women and Indian Response - E. Isichei, Does Christianity Empower Women? The Case of the Anaguta of Central Nigeria - S. Lund Skar, Catholic Missionaries and Andean Women: Mismatching Views on Gender and Creation - J. Burke, These Catholic Sisters Are All Mamas! Celibacy and the Metaphor of Maternity
Fiona Bowie Lecturer in Women's Studies,Open University and Lecturer in the Anthropology of Religion, University of Wales, Lampeter Deborah Kirkwood Independent Researcher Mrs Shirley Ardener Centre for Cross-Cultural Research on Women, University of Oxford