The Poor Indians: British Missionaries, Native Americans, and Colonial Sensibility
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006 - 264 páginas
Missionary work, arising from a sense of pity, helped convince the British that they were a benevolent people. Stevens relates this to the rise of the cult of sensibility, when philosophers argued that humans were inherently good because they felt sorrow at the sign of suffering. "Stevens has written a thoughtful study of British missionary culture. Most important, she reveals how philanthropy shaped the identity of a transatlantic British public and the ways that identity has resonated from the seventeenth century all the way up to our time."--"The New England Quarterly Between the English Civil War of 1642 and the American Revolution, countless British missionaries announced their intention to "spread the gospel" among the native North American population. Despite the scope of their endeavors, they converted only a handful of American Indians to Christianity. Their attempts to secure moral and financial support at home proved much more successful. In "The Poor Indians, Laura Stevens delves deeply into the language and ideology British missionaries used to gain support, and she examines their wider cultural significance. Invoking pity and compassion for "the poor Indian"--a purely fictional construct--British missionaries used the Black Legend of cruelties perpetrated by Spanish conquistadors to contrast their own projects with those of Catholic missionaries, whose methods were often brutal and deceitful. They also tapped into a remarkably effective means of swaying British Christians by connecting the latter's feelings of religious superiority with moral obligation. Describing mission work through metaphors of commerce, missionaries asked their readers in England to invest, financially and emotionally, in the cultivation of Indian souls. As they saved Indians from afar, supporters renewed their own faith, strengthened the empire against the corrosive effects of paganism, and invested in British Christianity with philanthropic fervor. "The Poor Indians thus uncovers the importance of religious feeling and commercial metaphor in strengthening imperial identity and colonial ties, and it shows how missionary writings helped fashion British subjects who were self-consciously transatlantic and imperial because they were religious, sentimental, and actively charitable. Laura M. Stevens teaches English at the University of Tulsa.
Comentarios de la gente - Escribir un comentario
No encontramos ningún comentario en los lugares habituales.
Otras ediciones - Ver todas
The Poor Indians: British Missionaries, Native Americans, and Colonial ...
Laura M. Stevens
Vista previa limitada - 2004
Account affective America Anglican asked assist audience become benevolence Bishop Brainerd Britain British called century charity Christ Christian Church claimed collective colonial compassion concern connected contributions convert culture David death Deists depictions described desire developed dying early efforts eighteenth-century Eliot emotion emphasized England England Company English especially established expressed feeling founded funds George gold Gospel in Foreign groups heart heathens helped History Hopkins humans images important included Indians John Journals King Knowledge land letters linked London Massachusetts Meeting ministers mission missionary writings moral native natural noted Occom offered pity poor prayer Preached present projects promoted Propagation Protestant published Quaker readers received relations Religion religious response rhetoric salvation Scotland sense sentimental Sergeant Sermon shared Society society's souls SPG's spiritual stressed suffering suggested term texts Thomas tion tracts trade transatlantic University Press vision wealth wrote York