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Transnationalism and Mission History

For more content, please see Le Fait Missionnaire.

Mission history is in multiple ways transnational: it involves ongoing activities across national borders by non-government actors. Despite being sent by national mission societies, missionaries’ lived experiences involved a type of Christian internationalism with contacts, friendships and professional relationships with a variety of foreigners and missionaries from other countries and denominations. Transnationalism, defined as a perspective rather than a theory or methodology, seems well suited for small-scale and local cases rather than the larger ambitions of global history with which it is often confused. The concept of the transnational space invites comparative work on single missions and missionaries that combines the local and the transnational. It enables us to see similarities without losing appreciation of the explanatory power of cultural specificities. Ours is a project to complicate the relation between metropole and colony and our contributors pay attention to ‘national’ and ‘non-national’ at the same time.

Affiliations: 1: York University ; 2: University of Oulu


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