In God's Empire: French Missionaries in the Modern World

ISBN : 9780195396447

Owen White; J. P. Daughton
336 ページ
162 x 242 mm

A collection of thirteen essays by leading scholars in the field, In God's Empire examines the complex ways in which the spread of Christianity by French men and women shaped local communities, French national prowess, and global politics in the two centuries following the French Revolution. More than a story of religious proselytism, missionary activity was an essential feature of French contact and interaction with local populations. In many parts of the world, missionaries were the first French men and women to work and live among indigenous societies. For all the celebration of France's secular "civilizing mission," it was more often than not religious workers who actually fulfilled the daily tasks of running schools, hospitals, and orphanages. While their work was often tied to small villages, missionaries' interactions had geopolitical implications. Focusing on many regions-from the Ottoman Empire and the United States to Indochina and the Pacific Ocean-this book explores how France used missionaries' long connections with local communities as a means of political influence and justification for colonial expansion. In God's Empire offers readers both an overview of the major historical dimensions of the French evangelical enterprise, as well as an introduction to the theoretical and methodological challenges of placing French missionary work within the context of European, colonial, and religious history.


Introduction: Placing French Missionaries in the Modern World, Owen White and J. P. Daughton
Part I: French Missionaries in the Atlantic World
1. When Catholic Worlds Collide: French Missionaries and Ecclesiastical Politics in Louisiana, 1803-1845, Michael Pasquier
2. Creating "The People of God": French Utopian Dreams and the Moralization of Africans and Slaves, Troy Feay
3. Bretons in Conquest of a Former Colony: French Catholic Missionaries in Haiti, 1860-1915, Philippe Delisle
Part II: The Ottoman Empire, North Africa, and the Middle East
4. Charity Begins Abroad: The Filles de la Charite in the Ottoman Empire, Sarah A. Curtis
5. Muslim Princes, Female Missionaries, and Trans-Mediterranean Migrations: The Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de l'Apparition in Tunisia, c. 1840-1881, Julia Clancy-Smith
6. Missionary Militarism? The Armed Brothers of the Sahara and Leopold Louis Joubert in the Congo, Bertrand Taithe
7. Flourishing in Exile: French Missionaries in Syria and Lebanon under Mandate Rule, Jennifer M. Dueck
Part III: East and Southeast Asia
8. Measuring Catholic Faith in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Northeast China, Ji Li
9. A Colonial Sacred Union? Church, State, and the Great War in Colonial Vietnam, Charles Keith
Part IV: Africa and Oceania
10. When French Protestants Replaced British Missionaries in the Pacific and Indian Oceans
Or, How to Avoid the Colonial Trap, Jean-Francois Zorn
11. The "Catechist War" in Interwar French Cameroon, Kenneth J. Orosz
12. A Mission in Transition: Race, Politics, and the Decolonization of the Catholic Church in Senegal, Elizabeth A. Foster
Afterword: The Missionary Experience in the British and French Empires, Norman Etherington
Select Bibliography


Owen White is Associate Professor of History, University of Delaware J.P. Daughton is Assistant Professor of History, Stanford University