Heavenly Fatherland: German Missionary Culture and Globalization in the Age of Empire

By Jeremy Best

© 2021

Motivated by a theology that declared missionary work was independent of secular colonial pursuits, Protestant missionaries from Germany operated in ways that contradict current and prevailing interpretations of nineteenth-century missionary work. As a result of their travels, these missionaries contributed to Germany’s colonial culture. Because of their theology of Christian universalism, they worked against the bigoted racialism and ultra-nationalism of secular German empire-building. Heavenly Fatherland provides a detailed political and cultural analysis of missionaries, mission societies, mission intellectuals, and missionary supporters.

Combining cases studies from East Africa with studies of the metropole, this book demonstrates that missionaries’ ideas about race and colonialism influenced ordinary Germans’ experience of globalization and colonialism at the same time that the missionaries shaped colonial governance. By bringing together religious and colonial history, the book opens new avenues of inquiry into Christian participation in colonialism. During the Age of Empire, German missionaries promoted an internationalist vision of the modern world that aimed to create a multinational, multiracial "heavenly Fatherland" spread across the globe.

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Product Details

  • Series: German and European Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 344 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP005530

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2021

    From: $56.25

    Regular Price: $75.00

    ISBN 9781487505639
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2020

    From: $56.25

    Regular Price: $75.00

Quick Overview

A history of German Protestant missionaries, Heavenly Fatherland investigates the theological, cultural, and political activities of missionaries and their allies in Germany and the German colonial empire before World War I.

Heavenly Fatherland: German Missionary Culture and Globalization in the Age of Empire

By Jeremy Best

© 2021

Motivated by a theology that declared missionary work was independent of secular colonial pursuits, Protestant missionaries from Germany operated in ways that contradict current and prevailing interpretations of nineteenth-century missionary work. As a result of their travels, these missionaries contributed to Germany’s colonial culture. Because of their theology of Christian universalism, they worked against the bigoted racialism and ultra-nationalism of secular German empire-building. Heavenly Fatherland provides a detailed political and cultural analysis of missionaries, mission societies, mission intellectuals, and missionary supporters.

Combining cases studies from East Africa with studies of the metropole, this book demonstrates that missionaries’ ideas about race and colonialism influenced ordinary Germans’ experience of globalization and colonialism at the same time that the missionaries shaped colonial governance. By bringing together religious and colonial history, the book opens new avenues of inquiry into Christian participation in colonialism. During the Age of Empire, German missionaries promoted an internationalist vision of the modern world that aimed to create a multinational, multiracial "heavenly Fatherland" spread across the globe.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: German and European Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 344 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    "Heavenly Fatherland is an impressive, well-researched, and timely piece of work, which sheds considerable light on German missionary enterprise both at home and abroad and complicates our understandings of German discourses on race."


    Robbie Aitken, Professor of Imperial History, Sheffield Hallam University

    "Bringing German Protestant missionaries to the forefront of the history of German imperialism and colonialism, Jeremy Best highlights a group that has been largely overlooked in English language scholarship and makes it his focal point. Rounding out the increasingly complex history of German interactions with the wider world in the modern period, Best provides an important service to the discipline."


    Sara Pugach, Professor of History, California State University, Los Angeles
  • Author Information

    Jeremy Best is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Iowa State University of Science and Technology.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    1. Preach the Gospel to All Creation
    2. Speaking in Tongues
    3. Give…to God the Things that are God’s
    4. Go In and Take Possession of the Land
    5. Tending the Flock
    6. Iron Sharpens Iron

    Conclusion

    Bibliography

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