Chapter

The Review of 1884

Fiona Vernal

in The Farmerfield Mission

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199843404
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950546 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199843404.003.0006
The Review of 1884

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Chapter six explores the crisis of 1884 when the WMMS considered evicting the residents and dissolving the mission. Criticism of the mission was symptomatic of a general disillusionment with the anaemic pace of conversion, paltry membership rates compared to the overall population and displeasure with the growth of unorthodox, syncretic versions of Christianity. Missionaries took umbrage at African criticism of missionary paternalism and unorthodox interpretations of Christianity. Africans questioned the sanctity of freehold tenure as the only guarantor of land access. They also asserted the legitimacy of long-term occupancy as well as usufruct rights and pushed for autonomy to use the land in the way they saw fit, including leaving it fallow or sharecropping with non-residents. To avoid complicity in colonial dispossession, however, the missionary society reluctantly voted to give the mission a second chance to full its original blueprint, thereby and reviving some moral sway for missionary paternalism.

Keywords: syncretism; usufruct; tenure; sharecropping; Methodist Conference

Chapter.  13103 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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