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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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Christianizing Womanhood in Uganda, 1910–1930

Christianizing Womanhood in Uganda, 1910–1930

(p.156) 4 Christianizing Womanhood in Uganda, 1910–1930
The Communion of Women

Elizabeth E. Prevost (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the next generation of Anglican women's mission work in Uganda through the growth of the Mothers' Union. Concerns about ‘nominal Christianity’ persisted after the institution of the Church of Uganda, and the MU provided a new way to interrogate the relationship between outward, corporate manifestations of Christianity and inner spiritual life. The fluidity of Christian and non‐Christian parameters and the persistence of polygamy made missionary women confront their prior understandings of marriage, domesticity, ‘progress,’ and national identity. British and African women approached motherhood as a shared medium of religious and social authority, and used prayer and revivals to construct a hybrid discourse of evangelicalism that appropriated male clerical functions. The MU's influence in the mission church and its potential to transgress clerical and social boundaries were revealed by the widespread resistance to the organization by African men.

Keywords:   colonial Uganda, mothers' union, evangelicalism, motherhood, marriage, polygamy, domesticity, resistance to Christianity

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