Dorothy Louise Hodgson. The Church Of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai And Missionaries. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005. xvii + 307 pp. $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-253-34568-4; $24.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-253-21762-2.
Eliza F. Kent. Converting Women: Gender and Protestant Christianity in Colonial South India. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. vii + 315 pp. $49.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-19-516507-4.
Reviewed by Steve Maughan (Department of History, Albertson College of Idaho)
Published on H-Women (May, 2006)
Women and Christian Missions: Gender, Religion, Power
In the last fifteen years studies of modern colonialism and European empires have been invigorated and transformed by the influence of historical anthropology and postcolonial theory. Most prominently the work of Africanists like Jean and John Comaroff has introduced a new, fluid conception of culture as an interactive, transformative process, shifting the focus of studies of colonialism to the "colonial encounter." Similarly, influenced by postcolonial theorists and scholars following Edward Said--who insisted the production of knowledge of "the other" in the colonial field was fundamental to imperial power--investigation of structures of colonial knowledge and, increasingly, how indigenous groups assimilated and used that knowledge for local purposes, has grown rapidly. Postcolonial studies have also drawn increasingly on feminist analysis that has revealed gender as a key constitutive field in the production of colonial knowledge. As historians have interrogated the general shape and particulars of various colonial encounters, the importance of gendered discourses to defining "civilizing" colonial projects as well as colonial nationalist and indigenous modernizing ones has become ever more apparent.
Given the growing scholarly preoccupation with colonial encounter, it seemed inevitable that a group previously either despised and dismissed as colonial functionaries or ignored as actors in triumphant narratives of liberatory colonial nationalisms would return as a legitimate and important subject of academic study: the western, Christian, foreign missionary. With the return of the missionary and the missionary encounter as focus of enquiry, another realm of human experience has also been increasingly brought to the fore in analysis of cultural negotiation and social change: the realm of spirituality, faith, and religion. In these two books by Eliza Kent and Dorothy Hodgson, although each falls into the "area studies" basket of South Asia and East Africa respectively, the threads of these analytical perspectives come together to focus on a particular question: how were gendered religious encounters in an era of developing modernities catalyzed and mediated by new languages and practices introduced by western Christian missionaries? In the process of pursuing this question, both books demonstrate the diversity of western missionary strategies and personalities, the varied nature of indigenous responses to and appropriations of Christian ideas and institutions, and the complexity of the uses of multivalent languages of faith in colonial and postcolonial settings. They also both demonstrate what a deep oversimplification it is to assume missionaries to have been simple, active, efficient colonial oppressors and indigenous peoples, particularly indigenous Christians, to have been the passive recipients of effective regimes of control.
All of this is not to say that missionaries did not enjoy the substantial advantage of access to rich networks of western resources, often favorable association with the colonial state, and a deep, motivating sense of cultural superiority and divine mission to transform non-western societies. Eliza Kent acknowledges and exposes the realities of these material and ideological facts in her investigation of Christian missions, and more specifically women's missions, to the Tamil populations of South India at the height of the British Raj. Kent’s focus is on the roles played by English and American missionaries, Indian Christians, and their Hindu interlocutors in the production of new Christian community identities used to advance group social standing, particularly that of the Nadars of the Madras Presidency, the lowest caste group in the region. In Converting Women the unsettled environment of colonial India operates as a field of opportunity for aspirant communities like the Nadars to reinvent themselves, and Kent focuses on the crucial place of gendered discourses in that process of reinvention.
By the end of the nineteenth century the Nadars, after a century of growth following significant conversion movements dating from the closing decades of the eighteenth century, made up the majority of Christian converts in the South Indian Tirunelveli Diocese. Contemporary evangelicals constructed conversion as an intensely private act of faith but Kent, following recent work on changing conceptions of religious conversion that see it as a deeply socially inscribed phenomenon, explores its social meaning in the South Indian context of caste, class, colonialism, ethnic identity, and the Indian contest for group mobility. Western missionaries’ own class assumptions dictated different responses to high- and low-caste converts with Nadars facing missionary suspicion and an insistence that their conversion be understood as gradually developed and proven only by exterior signs of respectability. Despite missionary reticence, however, conversions continued to occur en mass among low-caste Nadars (rather than individually from among the high-caste Brahmins that missionaries had targeted for a top-down evangelization strategy) producing large, and even independent Indian churches. For the Nadars, operating in the larger field of Indian social rivalry, conversion provided a route for social mobility that ultimately operated beyond the control of missionaries. Thus far, Kent follows a well-trodden path in South Asian studies.
Kent's contribution to the study of South Indian Christianity lies instead in her emphasis on gender definitions as crucial to the sometimes violent social negotiation between converts, the higher castes, and missionaries regarding normative, "respectable" behavior for the new Christian communities. Definitions of respectability and thus claims for caste advancement revolved crucially around definitions of female respectability and norms of domestic behavior. Arguing that Indian Christian converts drew both on discourses of western Christian respectability nested in the gender norms of companionate marriage and the nuclear western family, and also the respectable gender traditions of high-caste Brahmins that centered on controlling and containing women within the Hindu household, Kent outlines the emergence of a hybrid set of gendered definitions of respectable feminine behavior upon which the claims to higher-caste status of the Nadars substantially rested. Kent compellingly argues that the Nadar campaign for caste advancement, which for over a century drew on colonial forms of knowledge such as ethnology and philology to attempt to redefine the Nadars as higher-caste Kshatriyas, rested just as heavily on contesting the social respectability accorded Nadar women. In the process she suggests that Indian Christians were able to effect cultural changes that reflected the economic advancement of the Nadars and that shielded Nadar women from the implicit threat of sexual exploitation, but, she stresses, at the cost of a more restrictive set of ideals of femininity that reduced the public freedom of Indian Christian women. In the context of colonial South India, the complex interaction of missionary, Indian Christian, and upper-caste rivals revolved around gendered religious discourses that, despite the paucity of historical sources, can be untangled to show the Nadars and Nadar women as vigorous agents of change in a deeply contested Indian social field.
Kent examines in considerable detail the underlying belief structures both of western missionaries and the Indian castes in South India. In her examination of the emergence of women's missions and their deeply gendered strategies for Indian social transformation--from educational work in the women's quarters of the Indian upper castes (zenanas) to education for girls, running boarding schools, and attempts to westernize social practices surrounding marriage and child rearing--Kent provides an analysis of a significant evolution in western missionary strategy in the late nineteenth century: the increasing use of western women to carry out female missions designed to renovate indigenous family life and, through the family, achieve the moral and social reform upon which Christianization was presumed to depend.
By the end of the nineteenth century, despite the systematic downplaying of women's work by male missionary bureaucrats, an American and British Protestant missionary movement that had always been strongly influenced by an increasingly feminized Christianity unambiguously became a majority women's movement. Increasingly the purported degradation of women in non-Christian societies became a key claim legitimizing missionary activity. This resulted in an even more deeply gendered missionary project that appealed to western women precisely because it elevated their lived experience in the naturalized nuclear monogamous family of separate gender spheres to a position of social agency. This aspect of the western Christian missionary movement has not received the attention that it deserves and, to her credit, Kent takes seriously the theological underpinnings of the evangelical movement that operated at its core. Focusing in particular on the praxis of evangelicalism in the everyday lifeways of the faithful--on outward "respectable" appearances and attitudes to marriage, dress, adornment, and public behavior--she emphasizes the ways that evangelical culture stressed the outward manifestation of inward spiritual transformation, particularly as it revolved around notions of domesticity. These cultural practices, in tension and conversation with upper caste Hindu respectability, thus became the material upon which Indian Christians drew. In this insight Kent gets to the heart of a crucial cultural and social process.
However, Kent is primarily a South Asianist and if there is a weakness in this study it lies in the over-generalized discussion of evangelical theology across a suspiciously wide swathe of time, as well as a tendency to speculatively attribute theological or religious party attributes where, in the context of Victorian religion, they do not comfortably fit. Thus, for example, in her attempt to construct a theological context for foreign missions Kent lumps High Church Anglicans and dissenting Nonconformists together as "evangelicals" employing a looseness of terminology that would have horrified contemporary High Churchmen who quite particularly despised what they saw as simplistic, overly emotional, canting evangelicalism (p. 94). In marking Society for the Propagation of the Gospel missionary and orientalist Robert Caldwell as an evangelical Kent misses entirely the theological and ecclesiological distinctions that divided High Church Anglicans of the Oxford Movement from the Low Church evangelical Anglicans in the 1840s. These distinctions contributed to divisions between Tamil Christians and arguably contributed to Caldwell's fascination with Tamil philology and commitment to more scholarly forms of colonial knowledge, as well as his attitudes toward episcopal authority. Similar distortions surround Kent's use of the terms Calvinism and Arminianism to describe late-nineteenth-century missionary theology despite the virtual disappearance of predestinatarian Calvinist theology by the early nineteenth century (pp. 94-99).
In short, Kent often describes the Victorian evangelical and western Protestant tradition--characterized by the development of deeply charismatic as well as incarnation-centered religious movements from the Salvation Army, Young Men's and Women's Christian Associations, and Student Volunteer Missionary Union to Anglo-Catholicism and liberal Christianity (which Kent does attempt to incorporate into her analysis)--in theological terms more appropriate to the eighteenth century than the nineteenth. And while the late-nineteenth-century revivalistic Keswick holiness movement receives its due for inspiring western women to spiritual activism, its larger context of theological and social development, including the largely middle-class and culturally conservative nature of the Keswick movement, does not. Finally, there are some troubling inaccuracies in her account of the development of western missionary organizations. For example, in her description of the emergence of women's auxiliary organizations she indicates that in 1881 the women's work committee of the Church Missionary Society branched off to become a more independent society, the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society (p. 93). In fact, the situation was much more complex, the CEZMS being founded out of a sectarian split of the interdenominational Indian Female Normal School and Instruction Society with Anglican supporters seeking closer association with the CMS, and ultimately the CMS founding its own more dependent Women's Department in 1892. For evangelical Anglican women at least, who made up the significant majority of British women sent to India, this set of developments represented a reduction of independence, not an advancement.
Kent, then, is certainly correct to emphasize a deeply significant evangelical context for the missionary movement and in many cases her observations and readings are shrewd, such as her emphasis on evangelical obsessions with outward signs of inward spirituality, and the deeply historical vision of evangelicals who interpreted the past in terms of spiritual struggle and progress that extended into the future. But the devil, here, is in the details. While her close textual readings of specific writers can be very suggestive, her creation of a nuanced context within which to understand them inspires less confidence. However, Kent still has to be given credit for the effort. Rather than constructing a simple and simplistic evangelicalism as a backdrop to missionary endeavor, she makes the effort to tease out with real attention the beliefs and underlying paradigms by which missionaries operated and to acknowledge the real difference and varieties of belief and emphasis within missionary practice. She is also right to insist that regardless of whether missionaries emphasized "civilization" as integral to Christianization or pressed for the emergence of indigenous churches, they could not avoid being deeply involved in the cultural context of the receiving societies and transmitting some species of westernization, particularly as long as missionaries remained in control of indigenous churches. She also, in some of the most interesting treatments in this area, reads suggestively the lives and trajectories of two particular evangelicals, Amy Carmichael and Eva Swift, whose Indian experiences demonstrate the opportunities that the colonial environment provided to western women and the varieties of style and approach that they were enabled to employ. In doing so, even if her explanation of theological motivation and background is not always entirely convincing, she further demonstrates the importance of the effort central to her larger project and vision: taking seriously the religious culture, intellectual foundations, and social practice of all of the parties involved in the South Indian encounter she investigates.
The real value of Converting Women lies precisely in both the attention Kent give to the traditional suite of western sources and her attempt to transcend them in order to tease out the deeper cultural understandings and dynamics. Her project is unambiguously inspired by feminist postcolonial theory and historical anthropology. Some readers may at times find the deference paid these and the use of analytical jargon obtrusive. Yet it is from these commitments that Kent derives her focus on unheard, poorly documented voices, and the broader Indian intellectual and social context as essential to understanding missions, conversion, and religious transformation. This is a framework that does not accept that indigenous societies were simple and uncomplicated receptors of western colonial ideas, values, and social patterns, whose histories can be fit into "neat dualities" such as metropolitan and colonial, western and eastern, oppressor and oppressed.
Thus, Kent's approach leads her to direct attention away from economic and political analyses to emphasize the "importance of religion as a discursive space" (p. 35). It is through this focus that Converting Women advances understanding of Christian missions, conversion, and South Asian Christian communities by drawing out a series of social dynamics, particularly organized around gender. This approach allows Kent to reread controversies surrounding cultural practice--such as the 1858 Breast Cloth Controversy in which Tamil Christian women attempted to break caste restrictions by adopting higher-caste dress or the debate surrounding some Indian Christian women's rejection in 1909 of the wearing of jewelry--in ways that allow a reconstruction of women's voices and agency. Of necessity, these reconstructions, as Kent herself indicates, push the evidence, as when she reasonably speculates that the adoption of breast cloths not only represented a caste-oriented strategy by Tamil Nadars to achieve higher-caste respectability, but also by Nadar women to actively withdraw themselves from both real and culturally imagined sexual exploitation. There are quite simply few ways to gain insight into these dynamics, given both the silences and the highly conventionalized and particularly focused textual remains left by missionaries and prominent, higher-caste Indian Christians. She is at her best when analyzing social and cultural dynamics on the ground and synthesizing her work into that of anthropologies and histories of South India, where she succeeds in presenting a complex vision of women as agents and gender and religion as crucial fields of social change. Nevertheless she is at pains to emphasize that such change does not always accrue to the independence and autonomy of women as a group: the success of rising Nadar caste respectability came, she argues, at the expense of decreasing Nadar female public independence as the community, like both the Victorian middle classes and Hindu high castes, adopted practices revolving around the respectable home "that privileged women's enclosure over mobility, self-restraint over spontaneity, and self-denial over self-indulgence" (p. 4).
Dorothy Hodgson's anthropological and historical study of the gendered relations involved in Catholic church growth among the Maasai of Tanzania, The Church of Women, similarly investigates the relationship between belief, culture, and social and political power. Much like Eliza Kent, Hodgson is interested in the appeal of Christian missionary religion to women in proselytized communities and the ways that complex negotiations of identity and gendered power operate in the context of modernizing social change and advancing colonial and postcolonial state power. Hodgson focuses on Catholic Spiritan missionaries, that is, members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit who sent missionaries to East Africa from the 1880s, but first began to live and work full time among the Maasai in the 1950s, and poses a key question: why, when Spiritan missionaries crafted explicit strategies from their earliest contacts with the Maasai to educate and convert men into positions of church leadership, did the Catholic Church among the Maasai become by the 1990s a "church of women"? Like Kent, at the core of Hodgson's study is the conviction that spirituality, faith and "religion" have been under-appreciated as fields of human identity formation and endeavor through which gendered struggles for power and social authority have operated. Feminist historians have concentrated upon the realms of economics and politics as the primary sites where gendered understandings have been contested in the redefinition of femininity and power in the modern era, but Hodgson insists that as a realm of special female authority--particularly in the case of Maasai women, but by implication in other societies as well--the spiritual has been underutilized as a field of analysis necessary to understand the dynamics of gendered power, authority and autonomy. Thus, Hodgson's subject is the ways that gender contributed to the shaping of the encounter between Maasai women, men, catechists, converts and missionaries particularly from the 1950s to the present. Like Kent, Hodgson's goal is to uncover the experiences of women and the dynamics of gender in the spiritual realm, but unlike Kent, Hodgson's project extends beyond the colonial era and is based substantially in anthropological research as well as the history of religion.
Nevertheless, The Church of Women bears many similarities to Converting Women. Like Kent, Hodgson is careful to detail the history and assumptions of western missionaries. She provides critical historical background to the colonial and postcolonial evolution of Tanzania and the place of the Maasai in that history. And central to her project is a detailed analysis of Maasai culture and world view, as well as a clear delineation of Maasai experience with processes of modernization and social, economic and political change. But with its grounding in anthropological field work, Hodgson's study has a depth, a specificity, a complexity, a fine-grained quality to it that Kent, because of the timeframe of her study and nature of her sources, cannot achieve. Meeting, interviewing, and interacting with the principle actors engaged in the process by which a Catholic "church of women" has emerged allows Hodgson to incorporate a much deeper dimension of individual experience and individual voice. While Hodgson integrates realms of culture, ideology, politics, and economics, she enriches the analysis with an account of spirituality and belief that foregrounds the agency of women and the importance of gendered negotiations in the day to day lives of the Maasai. Like Kent, she emphasizes a detailed and complex intersection of forces that takes the historical contingency and transformation of missionary strategy as seriously as it takes the context of Maasai historical development and social dynamics. However, Hodgson is also able to transmit effectively the specificity of individual human experience and voice in a way that allows the theoretical framework of her analysis to recede into the background as she focuses on the lived experience of missionaries and Maasai men and women alike.
What Hodgson uncovers is a set of social and cultural interactions in which the braided histories of missions and indigenous conversion operated within a larger set of political and modernization processes. The missionary project did operate within a framework of colonial history and legacy, did represent an effort to impose western ideals of cultural, as well as spiritual, transformation, but also provided a realm within which Maasai women could respond to a series of cultural and social changes that had diminished their moral and social power. Hodgson faces the question of missionary complicity in colonialism and notes missionary cultural aggression, yet she attempts to deliver the same sensitivity of interpretation to the missionary priests as she applies to the Maasai themselves. In this way she seeks to move beyond analyses that stress missionary "hegemony" to focus on the practices, ideas, and meanings that developed out of the encounter. This is no apologetic. While Hodgson does provide a clear outline of Spiritan missionary ideas and history, and sensitive portraits of individual missionaries, her primary focus is on uncovering the historically specific legacies of missionary influence by tracing the changing missionary impact on the Maasai. Her touchstone remains specifically gendered responses to shifting missionary strategies, particularly recent individualist evangelistic approaches that have opened the appeal of the church to Maasai women. Hodgson's goal, in her own words, is to "analyze the nuances, ambivalences, and tensions that informed, shaped, and were produced by the encounters between these men [the Spiritan missionaries] and Maasai men and women" (p. 68). In doing so, Hodgson provides a sensitive analysis that takes account of broader social and cultural forces as well as the lived experience of individuals involved in this multivalent, multilayered encounter.
Hodgson's account of the interaction between Maasai and Spiritan missionaries is deeply historicized and situational. Spiritan missionaries employed three different evangelization strategies sequentially. First, the "school" approach of the late 1950s aimed at pre-evangelistic cultural preparation of the Maasai. Utilizing Maasai catechists to teach boys, the intention was to produce westernized, male converts, catechists, and Maasai Catholic leaders. Second, the "boma" approach of the 1960s brought direct evangelization to Maasai homesteads with the goal of community conversions. The shift resulted from the striking lack of Catholic converts produced by the school system and utilized a different method: inculturation designed to meld Christian messages with Maasai cultural forms. Finally, the "individual" approach provided classes and meetings to all willing individuals and was made possible by the forced relocation of the nomadic Maasai into villages by the government of Julius Nyerere in the 1970s. From the inception of the boma approach, despite the missionary goal of converting male patriarchs and through them their families, the numbers of women regularly attending instruction outstripped that of men, as did the number of female converts, a process that accelerated as missionaries shifted to individual instruction. By the 1990s, few Maasai men were members of the church, but largely female churches--churches of women--had emerged. It is in seeking to explain this development that Hodgson illuminates the ways in which Christianity could and did act as a means of expanding and reclaiming old patters of female social and moral power.
The modernization of the Maasai in the twentieth century, as Hodgson points out, involved a progressive reduction of women's ritual religious power and control over community resources and decision making as the British colonial state developed a policy of collaboration with male Maasai elders and Maasai men were endowed with cattle ownership. In the Catholic Church, Hodgson argues, after a long process of disenfranchisement, Maasai women found a vocabulary and means of reclaiming collective female worship, leadership opportunities, and influence in Maasai society. Although Hodgson is careful to emphasize the complexity of the space the Church provides--given the membership of some Maasai men, young and old, influential and uninfluential-- her primary emphasis is on the uses to which spirituality has been put by Maasai women. Drawing upon her earlier work that demonstrates the transformation of Maasai gender relations from complimentarity to patriarchal hierarchy over the past century, Hodgson demonstrates, using historical and anthropological methods, the ways in which Maasai women have appropriated the spiritual realm provided by the Church to redevelop female community and moral authority. Examining three Maasai communities in detail Hodgson shows how earlier patterns of female religiosity have adapted to the space provided by the Church. Pushed from the realms of economic and social power that women had possessed as active Maasai religious leaders in the early colonial period, Maasai women, despite an ambivalent missionary and male Maasai response, have in the past several decades normalized both the existence and the social utility of Christian practice. Unlike Kent's account of gender and Christian conversion in South India, Hodgson sees little in the way of decreased autonomy for women within the Church, but rather reveals the ways in which conversion provided the opportunity for the creation of new forms of female community beyond the control of men, beyond the hierarchies and commitments of a church bureaucracy, and beyond the development of any new set of restrictive domestic ideals associated with the Christian religion.
Thus, in Converting Women and The Church of Women we see a similar set of analytical concerns and questions. Both books represent the melding of the history of religion and historical anthropology, although Kent's work enmeshes itself far more deeply in postcolonial theory, Hodgson's in anthropology. But both emphasize the need to take seriously the agency of the full range of historical actors in the missionary encounter and to re-envision social change as ineluctably bound to the power dynamics of gender. And as both of these books demonstrate, the application of postmodern theory and historical anthropology has largely moved beyond a simple design to unmask colonial projects of control and oppression. Instead, drawing upon theories of social difference that engage the realms of class, race, gender and ethnicity, a new generation of scholarly investigation has increasingly emphasized the agency of the colonized in what were undeniably asymmetric relations of power, but in which outcomes were more the result of complex negotiations within highly fissured and stratified societies that faced colonial and modern realities in deeply uneven fashion.
Given these new interests, the study of mission Christianity has expanded rapidly in the last ten years, with a growing emphasis on constructing more deeply empirical and historically contingent analyses of the cultural encounter between missionaries and indigenous peoples. Study of Christian missions is changing rapidly as the focus shifts to the realities of lived experience on the part of missionaries, the indigenous missionized, and the converted "new Christians" who carried religious identity and power forward into new cultural patterns in the colonial and post colonial eras. Rather than adopting the easy assumptions that dominated postwar scholarship on missionaries and imperialism--that missionaries represent the most embarrassing and simple-minded facet of western imperialism and the colonial process--scholars have increasingly recognized the variety of missionary strategy and ideology, the complex, uneven, and extremely varied indigenous responses to proselytizing, and the often ambiguous place of missionary agency within colonial regimes. Thus recent scholarship has revealed the surprising ways in which the missionary encounter opened and mediated contests over social, economic, political and cultural politics within societies themselves stratified by ethnicity, class, age, gender, race, and other social differentiators.
Central to this new scholarship has been a growing appreciation of the surprising power of the realm of religion, spirituality, and faith to operate non-reductively as categories of identity. This appreciation has increasingly been demonstrated by feminist scholars able to recognize multiple, interwoven realms of power that exist not only between cultures and polities, but also within them. These two books are clear representatives of that important trend in the sophistication of analysis of missionary encounters. Rather than an embarrassment to be avoided by secular scholars, missions and missionaries have increasingly been recognized as influential actors in wider cultural processes with real significance to religion, but also to social, political, and economic domains of life with which religion is articulated. Both of these books provide insight into the complex interweaving of power, ideology, identity, social and cultural mobility and the negotiation of meaning that occur not only in colonial societies, though certainly most forcefully there, but in all societies. Converting Women demonstrates the degree to which historical anthropology and cultural studies as well as postcolonial feminist textual analysis have become reinforcing analytical approaches that seek to reveal deeper processes of social change. The Church of Women demonstrates the degree to which these approaches have reanimated study of missionary encounters that goes beyond simple stereotyping of methods and motives to examine with fresh and sympathetic eyes the nature of that encounter in all its complexity, ambiguity, and contingency.
. Recent notable contributions include Jeffrey Cox, Imperial Fault Lines Christianity and Colonial Power in India, 1818?"1940 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002); Elizabeth Elbourne, Blood Ground: Colonialism, Missions, and the Contest for Christianity in the Cape Colony and Britain, 1799?"1853 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002); and the overview compilation edited by Norman Etherington, Missions and Empire in the Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
. Key works on conversion include Peter van der Veer, Conversion to Modernities: The Globalization of Christianity, in Zones of Religion (New York: Routledge, 1996); and Gauri Viswanathan, Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998).
. Dorothy Hodgson, Once Intrepid Warriors: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Cultural Politics of Maasai Development (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001).
. Recent representative collections on Africa and India include Richard Elphick and Rodney Davenport, eds, Christianity in South Africa: A Political, Social, and Cultural History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997); and Judith M. Brown, Robert Eric Frykenberg, and Alaine M. Low, Christians, Cultural Interactions, and India's Religious Traditions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002).
If there is additional discussion of this review, you may access it through the list discussion logs at: http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl.
Steve Maughan. Review of Hodgson, Dorothy Louise, The Church Of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai And Missionaries and
Kent, Eliza F., Converting Women: Gender and Protestant Christianity in Colonial South India.
H-Women, H-Net Reviews.
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