In November 1880 the Reverend Charles Thompson arrived at Kherwara, Rajasthan, India, to establish the first Anglican mission to the Bhils, a primitive tribe, by going amongst them as a healer. This book sets out the history of the interaction between the missionaries and the Bhils, a history of missionary medicine, and how certain Bhils forged their own relationship with modernity. During the 1870s, the Church Missionary Society declared its intention to open more missions 'among the non-Aryan hill-people', and the Bishop of Lahore wanted more missions to work amongst the 'aboriginal' Bhils. A great famine that began in 1899 brought radical changes in the mission to the Bhils. After the famine, many of the Bhagats, a local sect, became convinced that the sinless deity was the God of Christians, and they decided to convert en masse to Christianity. The missionaries working amongst the Bhils believed that Satan was in their midst, who was constantly enticing their hard-won converts to relinquish their new faith and revert to their 'heathen' ways. It was argued that 'heathen' beliefs and culture could be attacked only if female missionaries were required to work with native women. Mission work had always been hampered by a lack of funds, and at one time, the hospital at Lusadiya had to dissuade many would-be inpatients from coming for treatment due to lack of beds. The book also deals with the work of the mission in the post-colonial India, which laid more stress to healing than evangelism.
The first British Methodist missionaries came to Upper Burma in 1887 and the last left in 1966. They were known as 'Wesleyans' before 1932 and afterwards as 'Methodists'. This book is a study of the ambitions, activities and achievements of Methodist missionaries in northern Burma from 1887-1966 and the expulsion of the last missionaries by Ne Win. Henry Venn, the impeccably evangelical Secretary of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), was the most distinguished and inspiring of nineteenth-century mission administrators. Wesleyan missionaries often found property development more congenial than saving souls. In Pakokku in December 1905, a 'weak' American missionary from Myingyan and a couple of Baptist Burman government officials began 'totally immersing' Wesleyans. Proselytism was officially frowned upon in the Indian Empire. The Wesley high schools were extraordinarily successful during the early years of the twentieth century. The Colonial Government was investing heavily in education. A bamboo curtain descended on Upper Burma in May 1942. Wesley Church Mandalay was gutted during the bombing raids of April 1942 and the Japanese requisitioned the Mission House and the Girls High School soon afterwards. General Ne Win was ruthlessly radical in 1962. By April 1964 Bishop was the last 'front-line' Methodist missionary in Upper Burma and the last European of any sort in Monywa. The book pulls together the themes of conflict, politics and proselytisation in to a fascinating study of great breadth.
Medical missionaries and government service in Uganda, 1897–1940
One of the distinctive features of
Western medical practice in early colonial Uganda was the high level of
collaboration between mission doctors and the Colonial Medical
Service. 1 In the period
before 1940, a number of ChurchMissionarySociety (CMS) doctors
negotiated dual roles as missionaries and colonial medical officers. An
even greater number participated in
subject peoples. Missionary societies built hospitals, clinics and schools as practical
expressions of their Christian love, although critics dismissed them as instruments of
cultural domination. 8
Henry Venn, the impeccably evangelical Secretary of the ChurchMissionarySociety (CMS), was the most distinguished and inspiring of nineteenth-century mission
administrators. In 1865 he formulated a radical ideology based on the premise that Western
missions were transitional phenomena. Venn saw beyond the current scramble for
2014), pp. 23–24.
Eugene Stock, The history of the ChurchMissionarySociety: Its environment, its men and its work ,
vol. 1 (London: ChurchMissionarySociety, 1890), p. 264.
CMS/ACC – ChurchMissionarySociety
unofficial papers, Accession 362
Bhils have disciplined themselves to become good Christians, but it was Christianity on their own terms. This chapter examines their society, their history and their healing practices. C. S. Thompson had come to work amongst the Bhils in 1880 in accordance with a new strategy that the Church Missionary Society (CMS) was adopting at that time in India. The chapter also examines how the Bhils were made to fit into an evolutionary schema. In his report, Thomas Hendley claimed that in general 'The Bhils are a healthy race.' In making this claim, he appears to have been guided more by certain notions current at that time about the 'healthy primitive' than by any reality on the ground. Hendley observed that the Bhils believed that some people, mainly women, had the ability to cause sickness, misfortune or death.
During the 1870s, the Church Missionary Society (CMS) declared its intention to open more missions 'among the non-Aryan hill-people', who it was feared were coming under Hindu influence. The Bishop of Lahore felt that more missions were needed to work amongst the 'aboriginal' Bhils. A new mission to the Gonds of central India had been opened and efforts had been made from time to time to reach the Bhils, particularly in Khandesh, where the society had a base at Malegaon. In the Bhil areas, the thakors established themselves as the patrons of particular Bhil pals, providing support for them when they raided pals that were under the protection of a different thakor. The leader of the Bhil Bhagats, Surmaldas, lived in the village of Lusadiya. This lay within the small estate of the Thakor of Karchha, a Rajput who was a tributary of Idar State.
evolved the formula that the wives in a
polygamous marriage could be baptised if true converts, but no man could
be baptised if he retained more than one wife. In 1856, Henry Venn, the
Secretary of the ChurchMissionarySociety, decisively supported this
formula, ruling that ‘a state of polygamy is unlawful within the
Church of Christ, even though commenced in ignorance’. A challenge
to this position came
Missions, the colonial state and constructing a health system in colonial Tanganyika
deliverer was becoming harder to sustain. The mission contribution in
this area, fragmented as it was, was nonetheless critical in any claim
to be meeting the welfare obligations of colonial rule under the
Trusteeship mandate. Even where government hospitals were situated close
to mission hospitals, the two often worked to complement, rather than
compete with, each other. The ChurchMissionarySociety hospital in