American Women in Mission: A Social History of Their Thought and Practice

Front Cover
Mercer University Press, 1996 - Religion - 444 pages
The stereotype of the woman missionary has ranged from that of the longsuffering wife, characterized by the epitaph Died, given over to hospitality, to that of the spinster in her unstylish dress and wire-rimmed glasses, alone somewhere for thirty years teaching heathen children. Like all caricatures, those of the exhausted wife and frustrated old maid carry some truth: the underlying message of the sterotypes is that missionary women were perceived as marginal to the central tasks of mission. Rather than being remembered for preaching the gospel, the quintessential male task, missionary women were noted for meeting human needs and helping others, sacrificing themselves without plan or reason, all for the sake of bringing the world to Jesus Christ.Historical evidence, however, gives lie to the truism that women missionaries were and are doers but not thinkers, reactive secondary figures rather than proactive primary ones. The first American women to serve as foreign missionaries in 1812 were among the best-educated women of their time. Although barred from obtaining the college education or ministerial credentials of their husbands, the early missionary wives had read their Jonathan Edwards and Samuel Hopkins. Not only did they go abroad with particular theologies to share, but their identities as women caused them to develop gender-based mission theories. Early nineteenth-century women seldom wrote theologies of mission, but they wrote letters and kept journals that reveal a thought world and set of assumptions about women's roles in the missionary task. The activities of missionary wives were not random: they were part of a mission strategy that gave women a particular role inthe advancement of the reign of God.By moving from mission field to mission field in chronological order of missionary presence, Robert charts missiological developments as they took place in dialogue with the urgent context of the day. Each case study marks the beginning of the mission theory. Baptist women in Burma, for example, are only considered in their first decades there and are not traced into the present. Robert believes that at this early stage of research into women's mission theory, integrity and analysis lies more in a succession of contextualized case studies than in gross generalizations.
 

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User Review  - Chang Hyun Geer - Christianbook.com

It is excellent book for learning about modern global history. I learned so much about where I came from in the context of social history. I have questions to ask in re "Woman's Work for Woman" Why ... Read full review

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What a great book! I have only read a few pages and already have found that my degree, Home Economics Education was founded at Mt. Holyoke! I am from a Methodist family; my grandmother attended U. of Chicago, Hull House under Jane Adams and received a MS in Sociology. She put herself through using money she earned picking cotton in Ft. Worth, Texas. In 1912 she married Rev. H.M. Ratliff, and they spent their lives raising 8 children in S. Texas, where they missioned to Hispanics of the Methodist persuasion. Here's to health and imagination and the spirit of mission! J. Acord 

Contents

The Missionary Wife
1
1 Background of the Missionary Wives
4
2 Missionary Motivation and Gender
24
3 The Coalescence of Womens Mission Theory
36
The Missionary Wife Models and Practice of Mission
39
Martyr or Failure?
48
3 Baptist Wives in Burma
51
4 American Board Wives in Hawaii
56
3 Women in Holiness Missions
231
4 Women Missionaries and Early Pentecostal Missiology
240
5 Evangelism and Gender
253
Chapter VI The Ecumenical Womans Missionary Movement
255
2 The Missiology of World Friendship
272
3 The Decline of the Womans Missionary Movement
302
Chapter VII The Emergence of Missionary Sisters
317
1 America as a Mission Field
318

5 Cultural Context and the Creation of Mission Theories
75
Chapter III The Missionary teacher
81
1 The Evolution of the Mission Boarding School
83
2 Mary Lyon and the Systematization of Missionary Preparation
92
3 The Collapse of the LyonAnderson Consensus
114
4 The Missionary Teacher Comes of Age
124
Womans Work for Woman and the Methodist Episcopal Church
125
Womans Work for Woman
130
2 The Mission and Missionaries of the Womans Foreign Missionary Society
137
3 The Womans Foreign Missionary Society in China
170
4 A Womans Theory for World Conversion
188
Chapter V Women and Independent Evangelical Missions
189
1 Women and the Emergence of Faith Missions
192
Women of the Africa Inland Mission
205
2 The Founding of Womens Foreign Mission Communities
335
3 The Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Americanization of Catholic Missions
343
Mary Josephine Rogers and the Foreign Mission Sisters of St Dominic
349
5 The Mission Motivations of American Catholic Women
360
Chapter VIII From Auxiliary to Missioner
363
1 Catholic Domestic Mission Theory
365
2 Missionary Sisters from 1920 to Vatican II
368
3 Maryknoll Sisters after the Second Vatican Council
380
4 Catholic Women Rediscover Mission
403
A Concluding Note
409
Selected Bibliography
419
Indexes
445
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