Missionary calculus : Americans in the making of Sunday schools in Victorian India (eBook, 2019) [WorldCat.org]
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Missionary calculus : Americans in the making of Sunday schools in Victorian India

Author: Anilkumar Belvadi
Publisher: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2019.
Series: Religion, culture, and history series.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
As debates over globalization and multiculturalism intensify, missionary archives are increasingly being seen as important sources of relevant history. This text, based on extensive archival research, shows how Americans in the late 19th century tried to transplant a type of religious institution, the Sunday school, from their homeland into British colonial India. How, in doing so, their methods conflicted with
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
(OCoLC)1091587878
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Anilkumar Belvadi
ISBN: 9780190052454 0190052457 9780190052447 0190052449
OCLC Number: 1125341724
Notes: Also issued in print: 2019.
Target Audience: Specialized.
Description: 1 online resource : illustrations (black and white).
Series Title: Religion, culture, and history series.
Responsibility: Anilkumar Belvadi.

Abstract:

As debates over globalization and multiculturalism intensify, missionary archives are increasingly being seen as important sources of relevant history. This text, based on extensive archival research, shows how Americans in the late 19th century tried to transplant a type of religious institution, the Sunday school, from their homeland into British colonial India. How, in doing so, their methods conflicted with their aims is the subject of this work. The resulting institution was hybrid-Christian in intent, 'heathenized' in form, but, ultimately, universal in aspiration. Told as a story, this volume holds appeal for anyone interested in religion, education, and transnational history.

How are religious educational institutions built? In histories of evangelical institution-building in the Victorian Indian colonial period (1858-1901), this question has mostly been addressed from the perspective of the religious ends that Christian missionaries sought to achieve and the ideological obstacles they encountered. This may be called the 'values' approach. Missionary Calculus sets this aside and examines, instead, the most routine transactions of missionaries in building an evangelical institution, the Sunday school. Missionaries daily struggled with and acted upon certain questions: How shall we acquire land and money to set up such schools? What methods shall we employ to attract students? What curriculum, books, and classroom materials shall we use? How shall we tune our hymns? Shall we employ non-Christians to teach in Christian Sunday schools? The makers of colonial Sunday schools focused obsessively on the means, the material and symbolic resources, with which they felt they could achieve certain immediate objectives. Such a transactional or 'instrumental' approach resulted in stated religious 'values' being insidiously compromised. Using insights from classical Weberian sociology, and through a close scrutiny of missionary means, this book shows how the success or failure of meeting evangelical ends may be assessed. With extensive archival research, chiefly on American missionaries in colonial India, this work examines the formation of Sunday schools at the point of transnational, intercultural contact. Readers interested in religion, education, and colonial history should find the matter, method, outcomes, and narration of Missionary Calculus new and thought-provoking--Dust jacket.

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The author's commentary remains skillfully outside the missionary habitus, and his perceptive critique brings alive a key aspect of the transactional nature of religion and empire. A very fine read Read more...

 
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