Chapter

From ‘Maniacs’ to the ‘Best of its Manhood’: the Appropriation of the Missionary as Scottish Empire Builder

Esther Breitenbach

in Empire and Scottish Society

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780748636204
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653485 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636204.003.0007
From ‘Maniacs’ to the ‘Best of its Manhood’: the Appropriation of the Missionary as Scottish Empire Builder

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This chapter examines the profile of the foreign mission enterprise outside church and missionary circles. It opines that biographies of missionaries can be seen as appropriating ideas from the missionary experience and transmitting them to a wider public, both church-going and otherwise. It notes that most biographies of missionaries had a wider reading public than active supporters of missionary work or subscribers to periodicals, and since they often contained narratives of adventure and accounts of achievements of a scientific or technical kind as well as religious content, they clearly aimed at a wider audience, not just in Scotland but in other English-speaking countries. It observes that most biographies of leading missionaries were written by others who were not missionaries themselves, though they might be ministers or other leading church figures, such as George Smith and W. P. Livingstone, who both served as editors of Free Church publications and were professional writers.

Keywords: foreign mission enterprise; biographies; missionaries; Scotland; George Smith; W. P. Livingstone; Free Church

Chapter.  10852 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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