Marten, Michael: Attempting to Bring…

March 20th, 2009

Michael Marten, Attempting to Bring the Gospel Home: Scottish Missions to Palestine, 1839-1917

series: International Library of Colonial History

London: I.B. Tauris, 2006

ISBN: 9781850439837

The first comprehensive study of Scottish religious imperialism in the Middle East – highly topical in the light of parallels with American religious imperialism in the region – has interdisciplinary importance and appeal. Attempting to Bring the Gospel Home portrays the Scottish missions to Palestine carried out by Presbyterian churches. These missions had as their stated aim the conversion of Jews to Protestantism, but also attempted to ‘convert’ other Christians and Muslims. Marten discusses the missions to Damascus, Aleppo, Tiberias, Safad, Hebron and Jaffa, and locates the missionaries in their religious, social, national and imperial contexts. He describes the three main methods of the missionaries’ work – confrontation, education and medicine – as well as the ways in which these were communicated to the supporting constituency in Scotland.  Themes of reculturation, postcolonialism, and gender and identity formation are used to elaborate on and explain the missionaries’ thinking and actions.

It has been reviewed in:
Middle Eastern Studies, 2007, 43/4: 671-673 by Judy C. Laffan
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 2009, 60: 196-199 by Ábrahám Kovács

Submission: Michael Marten (author), 20.3.09

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