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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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Rethinking Christianity and Colonialism in the Wake of Total War

Rethinking Christianity and Colonialism in the Wake of Total War

(p.199) 5 Rethinking Christianity and Colonialism in the Wake of Total War
The Communion of Women

Elizabeth E. Prevost (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter places Anglican missionary feminism in the broader context of internationalism and anti‐imperialism between the wars. In the wake of the destruction of the First World War, missionaries reassessed Christianity and colonialism relative to one another, and used gendered ideals of maternalism and humanitarianism to construct a discourse of material and spiritual regeneration. Informed by other supra‐national experiments of the 1920s such as the League of Nations and the ecumenical movement, missionaries and supporters construed a new world order in which ‘Christian internationalism’ would replace imperialism, and female religious authority would enact a comprehensive transformation of social relations that would mitigate hierarchical constructions of gender, class, and race. Maude Royden was among the more vocal critics of an imperialist, capitalist, patriarchal status quo; yet she also personified an uneasy balance of optimism and ambivalence about how to reconcile the mixed record of the global church as well as the empire.

Keywords:   great war, internationalism, maternalism, humanitarianism, anti‐imperialism, female regeberation

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