By J.P. Daughton

Among 1880 and 1914, tens of millions of guys and girls left France for far-off spiritual missions, pushed through the need to unfold the observe of Jesus Christ, strive against devil, and convert the world's pagans to Catholicism. yet they weren't the one ones with eyes fastened on international seashores. simply because the Catholic missionary flow reached its apex, the younger, staunchly secular 3rd Republic introduced the main competitive crusade of colonial enlargement in French background. Missionaries and republicans in another country knew they'd a lot to realize from operating jointly, yet their starkly diversified motivations frequently led them to view each other with resentment, mistrust, or even worry. In An Empire Divided, J.P. Daughton tells the tale of the way stricken kin among Catholic missionaries and a bunch of republican critics formed colonial regulations, Catholic views, and household French politics within the tumultuous a long time ahead of the 1st international battle. With case stories on Indochina, Polynesia, and Madagascar, An Empire Divided--the first e-book to check the function of non secular missionaries in shaping French colonialism--challenges the long-held view that French colonizing and "civilizing" objectives have been formed by way of a quite secular republican ideology equipped on Enlightenment beliefs. by means of exploring the reviews of Catholic missionaries, one of many greatest teams of French women and men operating in another country, Daughton argues that colonial rules have been frequently wrought within the fires of non secular discord--discord that indigenous groups exploited in responding to colonial rule. After many years of clash, Catholics and republicans within the empire eventually buried lots of their disagreements through embracing a suggestion of French civilization that awkwardly melded either Catholic and republican beliefs. yet their entente got here at a value, with either side compromising long-held and much-cherished traditions for the advantage of constructing and retaining authority. targeting the much-neglected intersection of politics, faith, and imperialism, Daughton deals a brand new realizing of either the character of French tradition and politics on the fin de siecle, in addition to the ability of the colonial adventure to reshape European's such a lot profound ideals.

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Extra resources for An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880-1914

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Polynesia had long captured the popular imagination of the French public, thanks in large part to the writings of the philosophes and Pierre Loti. In addition to the appeal of the exotic, the islands were strategic ports in an expansive ocean crisscrossed by British and American ships. And in Madagascar, the military campaign of 1895, extensively reported in French newspapers, came at the height of both the Dreyfus affair and imperial competition with Britain. Across Europe, the success of France’s “pacification” of the island would measure the republican regime’s political weight.

From this base, missionaries could explore the more spiritual aspects of Christianity, such as the immortal soul, God, and the Holy Trinity. He then relied on religious spectacles and festivities, such as The Origins and Traditions of the Nineteenth-Century Missionary Movement 31 the adoration of the cross, singing in the local language, and Nativity scenes at Christmas, to attract the curious. Such spectacles, he argued, were even more effective if incorporated within local festivals and rituals.

While missionaries found many lessons in the long and colorful history of European evangelization, two seventeenth-century innovations in very different parts of the world were particularly influential in shaping the modern Catholic missionary movement. The first of these was the new way of defining and promoting the apostolic life to supporters in Europe that emerged from the largely unsuccessful attempt to spread Christianity among the Hurons, Iroquois, Algonquins, and other groups of North America.

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