Chapter

Missionary Militarism? The Armed Brothers of the Sahara and Léopold Joubert in the Congo

Bertrand Taithe

in In God’s Empire

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396447
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979318 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396447.003.0006
Missionary Militarism? The Armed Brothers of the Sahara and Léopold Joubert in the Congo

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Missionary language often borrowed from military tropes, most clearly in the common notion of religious workers as unarmed “soldiers of Christ.” While much could be said of the more traditional forms of missionary militarism, expressed through the writings and occasional collaborations of priests and conquerors of empire, this chapter focuses on literal forms of militarism that took place in the circumstances of the conquest of the Sahara and the Congo at the end of the nineteenth century. These literal examples of missionary militarism exposed the irreconcilable differences between practice and ideology and the chasm between the pragmatic rule of empire and the fantasy of godly conquest.

Keywords: Sahara; Congo; Africa; militarism; soldiers of Christ

Chapter.  9331 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Religion

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