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A Christian modernity for tribal India
Author: David Hardiman

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.

Methodist missionaries in colonial and postcolonial Upper Burma, 1887–1966

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.

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Michael D. Leigh

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 Church Missionary Society (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

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
Open Access (free)
Medical missionaries and government service in Uganda, 1897–1940
Yolana Pringle

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 Church Missionary Society (CMS) doctors negotiated dual roles as missionaries and colonial medical officers. An even greater number participated in

in Beyond the state
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David Hardiman

(July 1909), 236–7. 48 Jane Birkett, ‘Lusadia Medical Mission’, BMR (1913), 7. 49 Jane Birkett, Lusadiya, ‘Church Missionary Society (Western India Mission) in Maharashtra and Bhil Land 1920

in Missionaries and their medicine
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David Hardiman

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.

in Missionaries and their medicine
David Hardiman

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.

in Missionaries and their medicine
Ronald Hyam

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 Church Missionary Society, 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

in Empire and sexuality
Missions, the colonial state and constructing a health system in colonial Tanganyika
Michael Jennings

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 Church Missionary Society hospital in

in Beyond the state
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Meeting Esther Roper
Sonja Tiernan

begin work at a young age. Edward’s father, Thomas Roper, was a labourer and later a watchman in a local factory. Edward’s three sisters became cotton weavers in Manchester and his younger brother trained as a glass blower.16 Edward worked hard to achieve middle-class respectability as a Church of England Minister. He received this opportunity through his commitment to a local Sunday-school, St Jude’s in Manchester. When the Church Missionary Society (CMS) appealed for missionaries in the Juvenile Instructor magazine, Edward put himself forward. His life took an

in Eva Gore-Booth