Felicity Jensz
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The conclusion describes the constant struggle to reconcile missionary and government ideals, made all the more difficult by the necessity for both to compromise such ideals in the face of unforeseeable local realities. It argues that missionary groups constantly reshaped missionary schooling as the solution to moral anxieties throughout the British colonies. By the time of the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference, 1910, the self-critical nature of the report on missionary education considered missionary schooling to have failed in creating a new generation of Christians, as it struggled against the forces of secular modernisation, nationalism and Islam. Missionary schooling was too entwined within government structures and too engrained in missionary ideology to contemplate relinquishing control of educational institutions, or to transfer them to secular or non-Christian groups. Rather than a break with the idea of missionary schooling, Edinburgh was a moment of reinvention as missionary groups sought to professionalise, and refashioned themselves as educational experts, particularly in the context of adaptive education in Africa. Through providing advice to governmental committees, missionaries ensured that their concept of missionary modernity, including ongoing investment in educational enterprises and the moral (re)formation of local groups, was secured into the twentieth century.

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Missionaries and modernity

Education in the British Empire, 1830–1910


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