Entanglements of Empire: Missionaries, Maori, and the Question of the Body

English | March 16th, 2015 | ISBN: 0822358263, 0822358174 | 385 Pages | EPUB | 2.09 MB


English | March 16th, 2015 | ISBN: 0822358263, 0822358174 | 385 Pages | EPUB | 2.09 MB
Entanglements of Empire explores the political, cultural and economic entanglements and irrevocable social transformations that resulted from Maori engagements with Protestant missionaries at the most distant edge of the British empire. The first Protestant mission to New Zealand, established in 1814, saw the beginning of complex political, cultural, and economic entanglements with Maori.
Entanglements of Empire is a deft reconstruction of the cross-cultural translations of this early period. Misunderstanding was rife: the physical body itself became the most contentious site of cultural engagement, as Maori and missionaries struggled over issues of hygiene, tattooing, clothing, and sexual morality. In this fascinating study, Tony Ballantyne explores the varying understandings of such concepts as civilization, work, time and space, and gender – and the practical consequences of the struggles over these ideas. The encounters in the classroom, chapel, kitchen, and farmyard worked mutually to affect both the Maori and the English worldviews. Ultimately, the interest in missionary Christianity among influential Maori chiefs had far-reaching consequences for both groups. Concluding in 1840 with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the new age it ushered in, Ballantyne’s book offers important insights into this crucial period of New Zealand history.

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