Hugh Morrison
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Children, missions, empire and emotions
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The Introduction outlines a rationale for writing a history of Protestant missionary children. It traverses key trends in the scholarship, provides a broad conceptual framework and fleshes out lines of argument for each chapter. It argues that historical missionary children’s lives were complex and variegated. A focus on just one dominant analytical category (such as family separation) or on solely negative readings of their lives results in reductionist or emasculated historical understanding. Therefore, it engages with these complexities by expanding the historical and conceptual parameters. It locates the topic within the broader history of the Protestant missionary movement. As such, it indicates ways in which missionary children have been absent from this historiography while, at the same time, historians in other sub-fields have added value to what we know. Beyond this, the chapter provides an introduction to four conceptual foci that variously inform analysis throughout this book: the relationship between imperial and religious histories; histories of childhood; histories of emotion; and space/sites. The chapter concludes with an outline of the methodologies employed, their rationale and a broad map of the chapters that follow.

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