David Livingstone's visit to Cambridge in 1857 was seen as much as a scientific event as a religious one. But he was by no means alone among missionaries in integrating mission with science and other fields of research. Rather, many missionaries were remarkable, pioneering polymaths.
This collection of essays explores the ways in which late-nineteenth- and twentieth-century missionaries to Africa contributed to various academic disciplines, such as linguistics, ethnography, social anthropology, zoology, medicine, and many more. This volume includes an introductory chapter by the editors and eleven chapters that analyze missionary research and its impact on knowledge about African contexts. Several themes emerge, including many missionaries' positive views of indigenous discourses and the complicated relationship between missionaries and professional anthropologists.
Walima T. Kalusa
Dmitri van den Bersselaar