Empires of Religion - HI6030
The information below applies to the 2015-16 session
Hilary M Carey, Empires of Religion, p. 1.
This module will critically interrogate Careys above assertion by asking how far can missionaries be considered agents of imperialism? In so doing it will interact with issues of how we define imperialism, how useful the idea of cultural imperialism can be to the modern historian, and how we might talk meaningfully about 'the colonising project'. Students will be introduced to the history of the British Empire and more broadly the history of British cultural engagement and encounters with indigenous peoples within and outside of the empire. You will analyse and discuss the socio-economic, cultural and religious impact of Christian mission in the 'age of expansion', and will tease out issues of cultural encounters, indigenous agency and resistance, race, racism and cultural chauvinism. We will explore the impact of mission literature and experience on the British public's own imaginative engagement with non-western peoples, and will use an exciting and diverse range of textual, visual and oral sources. Students will emerge with a complex understanding of colonialism, in all its variegated forms, and how it has shaped (and continues to shape) the modern world in which we live today.
Method of assessment
- Carey, Hilary M. (ed), Empires of religion (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). Cox, Jeffrey, The British missionary enterprise since 1700 (London: Routledge, 2008). Etherington, Norman, Missions and Empire, Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Oxford University Press, 2005). Hall, Catherine, Civilising subjects: metropole and colony in the English imagination, 1830-1867 (Oxford: Polity, 2002). Levine, Philippa, The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset (2007). Porter, Andrew (ed), The Imperial Horizons of British Protestant Missions, 1880- 1914 (Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 2003). Porter, Andrew, Religion versus empire? British protestant missionaries and overseas expansion, 1700-1914 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004). Robert, Dana L., Christian Mission: How Christianity became a world religion (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). Stanley, Brian, The Bible and the flag: Protestant missions and British imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Apollos, 1990).
- As a consequence of taking this module all students will have 1. acquired a thorough knowledge of Britains colonial encounter in the years 1780-1914. 2. developed strong analytical and critical skills and be able to evaluate and assess the imperial history of Christian mission. 3. developed the ability to understand and critically engage with complex historiographical debate and dispute. 4. developed an ability to critically analyse a range of primary sources including letters, diaries, journals, memoirs, published and unpublished material (among many others). 5. demonstrated independent learning skills by being able to make use of a wide range of high-level resources, including up-to-date research in peer-reviewed journals, information technology, relevant subject bibliographies and other primary and secondary sources. 6. demonstrated an ability to digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment, in either written or oral form. 7. demonstrated an ability to think critically about a range of complex and diverse topics relating to Britains history of global encounter.