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'All for the greater glory of Jesus and the salvation of the immortal souls!' German Missionary Nuns in Colonial Togo and New Guinea

Dates:
  • Mon 25 Oct 2010 15.00 - 17.00
  Add to Calendar 2010-10-25 15:00 2010-10-25 17:00 Europe/Paris 'All for the greater glory of Jesus and the salvation of the immortal souls!' German Missionary Nuns in Colonial Togo and New Guinea

The last third of the 19th century witnesses the growing participation of women in the diverse Christian missionary ventures. This thesis explores the ambiguous roles of the Servants of the Holy Spirit, a German congregation of missionary nuns, in the (until 1918 German) colonies of Togo and New Guinea in the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.
Pursuing a feminist theoretical approach to the study of Christian missions in the colonial context, it privileges the sources that its principle subjects, Catholic missionary nuns, produced. These are mostly correspondence with Europe, travelogues, chronicles, reports and, to a lesser extent, articles, photographs and memoirs. In addition, it uses colonial records and ecclesiastical sources in order to scrutinize the power relations that structured the nuns’ missionary engagement and their ambiguous roles as enthusiastic missionaries that took their privileged position as “white Christians” for granted on the one hand yet subordinated to male religious and secular power on the other one.
Discussing the nuns’ activities, experiences and perceptions as travellers, evangelists, domestic workers, teachers and nurses in both fields of research, the thesis gives much room to the multiple tensions that emerged between the nuns’ religious identities/needs and their practical worlds in their gendered dimensions.

Cappella, Villa Schifanoia - SCHIFANOIA DD/MM/YYYY
  Cappella, Villa Schifanoia - SCHIFANOIA

The last third of the 19th century witnesses the growing participation of women in the diverse Christian missionary ventures. This thesis explores the ambiguous roles of the Servants of the Holy Spirit, a German congregation of missionary nuns, in the (until 1918 German) colonies of Togo and New Guinea in the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.
Pursuing a feminist theoretical approach to the study of Christian missions in the colonial context, it privileges the sources that its principle subjects, Catholic missionary nuns, produced. These are mostly correspondence with Europe, travelogues, chronicles, reports and, to a lesser extent, articles, photographs and memoirs. In addition, it uses colonial records and ecclesiastical sources in order to scrutinize the power relations that structured the nuns’ missionary engagement and their ambiguous roles as enthusiastic missionaries that took their privileged position as “white Christians” for granted on the one hand yet subordinated to male religious and secular power on the other one.
Discussing the nuns’ activities, experiences and perceptions as travellers, evangelists, domestic workers, teachers and nurses in both fields of research, the thesis gives much room to the multiple tensions that emerged between the nuns’ religious identities/needs and their practical worlds in their gendered dimensions.


Location:
Cappella, Villa Schifanoia - SCHIFANOIA

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Thesis defence

Supervisor:
Prof. Giulia Calvi (Università di Siena)

Examiner:
Prof. Edith Saurer (University of Wien)
Prof. Stephen Anthony Smith
Prof. Rebekka Habermas (Universitaet Goettingen)

Defendant:
Katharina Stornig
 

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