2004
Volume 24, Issue 3/4
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437

Abstract

Abstract

This article is based on interviews carried out with sixteen members of the , a congregation founded in Belgium, and whose Belgian Sisters are today a mainly retired community. The Sisters served abroad as missionaries throughout the world, during and in the aftermath of colonial rule, and this article investigates issues of power using a three-fold lens of religion, post/colonialism, and gender. As nationals of the colonising country of Belgium and as members of an established church, the Sisters had a certain power and authority in the mission field, which they exercised in different ways. As foreign women and members of a religious congregation, they held roles of leadership and influence abroad, which allowed them to be effective bringers of change and help as well as active entrepreneurs. These roles transcended the gendered roles of submission they would have held as religious Sisters in the Roman Catholic Church back in Belgium. This article examines where and how power was exercised and experienced in their frequently adventurous, sometimes dangerous, missionary lives. It situates the life stories of the in the context of ongoing debates about the role and influence of missionary women. It makes a contribution to the oral history of religious missionary women by presenting extracts from their life stories in their own words.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.5117/TVGN.2021.3/4.008.BRID
2021-12-01
2022-01-20
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Bowie, F., KirkwoodD., & Ardener, S. (Eds.). (1993). Women and missions: Past and present, anthropological and historical perceptions. Providence: Berg Publishers.
  2. Busschers, I. (2015). Gendered remembrance: Women in the Dutch Calvinist mission and its historiography, c. 1900–1942. Trajecta, 24, 285–308.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Curtis, S. (2010). Civilizing habits: Women missionaries and the revival of French empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. De Meester, M-L. (1897–1926). Lettres. Leuven: Archives of KADOC, Leuven.
  5. de Vries, J. (Spring 2005). Rediscovering Christianity after the postmodern turn. Feminist Studies 31(1), 135–155.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Donaldson, L., & Pui-lan, K., (Eds.). (2002). Post-colonialism, feminism & religious discourse. New York: Routledge.
  7. Dujardin, C. (2003). Gender: een beloftevolle invalshoek voor de studie van missie en zending. Trajecta, 12, 275–306.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Foucault, M. (1997). Cours du 14 janvier 1976 [Lecture of 14 January 1976]. In M.Bertani & A.Fontana (Eds.), Il faut défendre la société/Society must be defended. Collège de France Course Lectures (pp. 21–36). Paris: Gallimard/Seuil.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Foucault, M. (2004). Sécurité, territoire , population/Security, territory, population. Cours au Collège de France. Paris: Gallimard/Seuil.
  10. GrimshawP., & SherlockP. (2011). Women and cultural exchanges. In N.Etherington (Ed.), Missions and empire (Oxford history of the British empire companion series) (pp. 173–193). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Hall, C. (2002). Civilising subjects: Metropole and colony in the English imagination 1830–1867. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
  12. Huber, M., & Lutkehaus, N. (Eds.). (1999). Gendered missions: Women and men in missionary discourse and practice. University of Michigan Press: Michigan.
  13. Jolly, M. (1993). Colonising women: The maternal body and empire. In S.Gunew & A.Yeatman (Eds.), Feminism and the politics of difference (pp. 113–127). Boulder: Westview Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Letherby, G. (2003). Feminist research in theory & practice. Buckingham: Open University Press.
  15. LewisR., & Mills. S. (Eds.). (2003). Feminist post-colonial theory: A reader. New York: Routledge.
  16. Lorde, A. (1983). The master’s tools. In C.Moraga & G.Anzaldua (Eds.), This bridge called my back (pp. 94–104). New York: Kitchen Table Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Midgley, C. (April2006). Can women be missionaries? Envisioning female agency in the early nineteenth-century British empire. Journal of British Studies, 335–358.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Mikaelsson, L. (2003). Marie Monsen: Charismatic revivalist-feminist fighter. Scandinavian Journal of History, 28(2), 122.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Murray, J. (August1990). Anglican and Protestant missionary societies in Great Britain: Their use of women as missionaries from the late 18th to the late 19th century. Femmes en Mission. Actes de la XIe session du CREDIC à Saint Flour, Collection du CREDIC 9, 105–127.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Nielsen, H., Okkenhaug, I., & Skeie, K. (Eds.). (2011). Protestant missions and local encounters in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, unto the ends of the world. Leiden: Brill.
  21. O’Brien, A. (2016). Catholic nuns in transnational mission, 1528–2015. Journal of Global History 11, 387–408. doi:10.1017/S1740022816000206
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Prevost, E. (2009). Assessing women, gender, and empire in Britain’s nineteenth-century Protestant missionary movement. History Compass, 7(3), 765–799.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Ramusack, B. (1992). Cultural missionaries, maternal imperialists, feminist allies: British women activists in India, 1865–1945. In N.Chaudhuri & M.Strobel (Eds.), Western women and imperialism: Complicity and resistance (pp. 119–136). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Reese, A. (2016). Dedicated to God: An oral history of cloistered nuns. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  25. Reynaert, M. (2014). Pastoral power in nurturing the spiritual life of the child. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 19(34), 179–186. doi:10.1080/1364436X.2014.960915
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Rogers, C. (2011). Habits of change: An oral history of American nuns. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  27. Sandra, C. (1979). The message of a life. Leuven: ICM Press.
  28. Sebastian, M. (2003). Reading archives from a post-colonial feminist perspective. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 19(1), 5–25.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.5117/TVGN.2021.3/4.008.BRID
Loading
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error