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'But We are Concerned with a Greater Imperium': The New Zealand Protestant Missionary Movement and the British Empire, 1870-1930

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For more content, please see Le Fait Missionnaire.

Using a largely 'non-metropole' perspective, this article seeks to shed further light on New Zealand's Protestant missionary movement in the decades of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. It argues that New Zealand missionaries and their supporters, in the period of 'high imperialism', held a range of both positive and negative positions towards the Empire. The article outlines the general contours of New Zealand Protestant missionary thinking about the British Empire, contours that reflected wider 'British' opinion of the period. However, it also argues that patterns of geographical and organisational affiliation both supported and confounded this thinking, which was complicated by the intersection of localised and globalising influences. The article considers certain missionary 'sites' of operation and influence as well as denominational and other factors. It situates its argument both in the context of debate over historiographical paradigms for settler societies like New Zealand, and in recent attempts to locate discussion of mission and imperialism within more discretely defined temporal and geographical parameters. En partant d'une perspective largement «non-métropolitaine,» cet article vise à éclairer d'une lumière nouvelle le mouvement missionnaire protestant néo-zélandais durant les dernières décennies du 19e siècle et le début du 20e siècle. Il montre que les missionnaires néo-zélandais et leurs soutiens adoptèrent, durant la période de l'«impérialisme triomphant,» une série d'attitudes à la fois positives et négatives en relation à l'Empire. L'article dessine les contours de la pensée du mouvement missionnaire néo-zélandais par rapport à l'Empire, et montre en quoi elle était le reflet de l'opinion «britannique» de l'époque. Cependant, l'implantation géographique et les affiliations organisationnelles des missionnaires, si elles étaient parfois en adéquation avec cette pensée, la contredisaient également, à l'interface entre influence locales et globales. L'article considère enfin certains «sites» missionnaires d'activité et d'influence ainsi que des facteurs confessionnels et autres. Il se situe à la fois au sein de débats historiographiques a propos des sociétés de colons comme la Nouvelle Zélande, et dans les tentatives récentes de recentrer la discussion à propos de la mission et de l'impérialisme dans une temporalité et un espace définis par des paramètres plus fins.


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