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The Communion of WomenMissions and Gender in Colonial Africa and the British Metropole$
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Elizabeth E. Prevost

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570744.001.0001

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Beyond Baptism: The Politics of Conversion in Uganda, 1895–1907

Beyond Baptism: The Politics of Conversion in Uganda, 1895–1907

(p.83) 2 Beyond Baptism: The Politics of Conversion in Uganda, 1895–1907
The Communion of Women

Elizabeth E. Prevost (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the first decade of women's mission work in Uganda, which coincided with British colonization and the growth of Christianity through both elite and popular initiative. The collaboration between the Church Missionary Society, the colonial state, and the Ganda ascendancy seemed a mutually beneficial arrangement that led logically to a native church. But the political, material utility of Christianity in Uganda made missionaries suspect peoples' motivation for conversion as merely nominal, and led them to try to reassert control over the Christian message in a way that conformed to their evangelical sensibilities. They could not do this alone, and women missionaries had to rely on African women to engage meaningfully with literacy, scripture, and prayer. The controversy over instituting a native church revealed how women missionaries construed this collaboration as the basis for reserving a space for female authority apart from male social and ecclesiastical hierarchies.

Keywords:   evangelicalism, Church Missionary Society, colonial Uganda, native church, women's collaboration

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