In God’s Empire. French Missionaries and the Modern World

Dernier ajout : 2 juin 2012.

In God’s Empire. French Missionaries and the Modern World

Edited by Owen White and J.P. Daughton

Jul 2012, 336 pages
ISBN13 : 978-0-19-539644-7
ISBN10 : 0-19-539644-8

A collection of original essays by leading scholars in the field, In God’s Empire examines the complex ways in which the spread of Christianity by French men and women shaped local communities, French national prowess, and global politics in the two centuries following the French Revolution. More than a story of religious proselytism, missionary activity was an essential feature of French contact and interaction with local populations. In many parts of the world, missionaries were the first French men and women to work and live among indigenous societies. For all the celebration of France’s secular "civilizing mission," it was more often than not religious workers who actually fulfilled the daily tasks of running schools, hospitals, and orphanages. While their work was often tied to small villages, missionaries’ interactions had geopolitical implications. Focusing on many regions - from the Ottoman Empire and North America to Indochina and the Pacific Ocean - this book explores how France used missionaries’ long connections with local communities as a means of political influence and justification for colonial expansion.

In God’s Empire offers readers both an overview of the major historical dimensions of the French evangelical enterprise, as well as an introduction to the theoretical and methodological challenges of placing French missionary work within the context of European, imperial, religious history, and world history.

First book to comprehensively address religion and empire in the French empire
Volume is global in scope, featuring chapters connecting France to Africa, Asia, North America, and the Caribbean.
International cast of contributors, from the United States, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong.

About the Author(s)
Owen White is Associate Professor of History at the University of Delaware and the author of Children of the French Empire : Miscegenation and Colonial Society in French West Africa, 1895-1960 (OUP, 1999).

J.P. Daughton is Associate Professor of History at Stanford University and the author of An Empire Divided : Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880-1914 (OUP, 2006), which won the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association and the Alf Andrew Heggoy Prize of the French Colonial Historical Society.

Table of Contents
Introduction : Placing French Missionaries in the Modern World, Owen White and J. P. Daughton

Part I : French Missionaries in the Atlantic World
1. When Catholic Worlds Collide : French Missionaries and Ecclesiastical Politics in Louisiana, 1803-1845, Michael Pasquier
2. Creating "The People of God" : French Utopian Dreams and the Moralization of Africans and Slaves, Troy Feay
3. Bretons in Conquest of a Former Colony : French Catholic Missionaries in Haiti, 1860-1915, Philippe Delisle

Part II : The Ottoman Empire, North Africa, and the Middle East
4. Charity Begins Abroad : The Filles de la Charité in the Ottoman Empire, Sarah A. Curtis
5. Muslim Princes, Female Missionaries, and Trans-Mediterranean Migrations : The Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de l’Apparition in Tunisia, c. 1840-1881, Julia Clancy-Smith
6. Missionary Militarism ? The Armed Brothers of the Sahara and Léopold Louis Joubert in the Congo, Bertrand Taithe
7. Flourishing in Exile : French Missionaries in Syria and Lebanon under Mandate Rule, Jennifer M. Dueck

Part III : East and Southeast Asia
8. Measuring Catholic Faith in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Northeast China, Ji Li
9. A Colonial Sacred Union ? Church, State, and the Great War in Colonial Vietnam, Charles Keith

Part IV : Africa and Oceania
10. When French Protestants Replaced British Missionaries in the Pacific and Indian Oceans ; Or, How to Avoid the Colonial Trap, Jean-François Zorn
11. The "Catechist War" in Interwar French Cameroon, Kenneth J. Orosz
12. A Mission in Transition : Race, Politics, and the Decolonization of the Catholic Church in Senegal, Elizabeth A. Foster
Afterword : The Missionary Experience in the British and French Empires, Norman Etherington
Select Bibliography

"A path-breaking collection that brings together outstanding scholars of France’s missionary presence overseas, In God’s Empire is imperial history at its best. Ranging across the French colonial empire and beyond it, the book is both transnational in focus and global in coverage. The missionary activity depicted here defies classification, let alone caricature, with missions revealed as adjuncts to imperial authority in some places, as critics of government in others, at certain points transgressing racial boundaries, at others enforcing them. An immensely rewarding study, the collection adds new layers of complexity to our understanding of missionary activity and the march of French imperialism after 1800." – Martin Thomas, University of Exeter

"This subtle and illuminating collection of essays brilliantly uses French missions and missionaries as prisms for understanding some of the most important questions facing contemporary historical scholarship : the ambiguities of modernity, the tensions of empire, the limits of secularism, and the persistence of European influence in a globalized, postcolonial world. In God’s Empire is rich with intellectual rewards." – Edward Berenson, New York University

"These beautifully contextualized case studies illustrate the complexity of relationships between colonial authorities, missionary workers and indigenous populations around the world. By shedding light on the activities of religious workers at the local level, the authors offer a model of scholarship that engages with arguments about ’modernity,’ while rooting their arguments in careful analysis of practices on the ground." – Rebecca Rogers, Université Paris Descartes

"In God’s Empire is at once highly original, impeccable in its scholarship, and remarkably wide-ranging, in both its themes and geographic scope. The result is a book about religion, to be sure, but also about much more, for missionary activity needs to be considered in light of migration, global trends, colonialism, class, and gender." – Eric Jennings, University of Toronto

"Catholic and Protestant missionaries played a critical role in extending French political and cultural influence abroad, within but also beyond the formal empire. This superbly edited collection maps out new directions and approaches to the study of religious encounters in the modern era and deploys an array of sophisticated conceptual and methodological frameworks that will inspire future research. White and Daughton are to be congratulated for restoring to view this neglected and fascinating facet of French global history." – Alice L. Conklin, Ohio State University