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Walking the Rift

  • By Joan Plubell Mattia
Product Description
The Victorian encounter with Africa contains many micro-narratives that call for a questioning of an old consensus. Tentative assumptions as to the motives of early missionaries and colonial personnel often prove less than satisfactory due to stereotypes and unexplored archives. The need for new master narratives that move beyond the old paradigms of Western expansion and African victimization are being called for by scholars of the Global North and South--narratives that allow room for strong evidence of an egalitarian joint endeavor and African cultural vitality without avoiding the investment in imperialism practiced by colonial personnel. Based on extensive archival research, Walking the Rift advocates an alternative proposal--missionaries and administrators caught in the grinding of contradictory opposites. As a professional artist, Alfred Robert Tucker captured this tug-of-war on canvas, but similar dichotomies are found in his approach to marriage contracts, slavery, mission and church organizational structure, alliance with the colonial government and African partnership. Tucker is a representative figure--a prism to shine light on those involved in the British East African project. Like many in the early encounter with Africa, he was neither a consistent imperialist nor a complete egalitarian idealist, but operated in both spheres without creating a third. ""Demythologizing the pseudo giants and the corresponding pseudo dwarfs of the imperialist era is the working principle of Joan Mattia's fascinating study. In the end, there are neither dwarfs nor giants, but human beings. And at that point the talking begins."" --Werner Ustorf, Professor Emeritus, Birmingham University ""Contemporary versions of colonial-era mission activity often come in the form of international aid and development efforts. Those involved who are honest with themselves will experience tensions of the sort Walking the Rift identifies in the life of Bishop Alfred Tucker. By examining meaning-making behind this nineteenth-century missionary's actions, Mattia's fine work offers guidance for current international workers uncovering their own cultural assumptions--and wisdom for living with what they find."" --Elizabeth C. Parsons, Author of What Price for Privatization? Cultural Encounter with Development Policy on the Zambian Copperbelt ""Though I was born a full 35 years after his death, my parents named me Tucker, after East Africa's third Anglican bishop, by then already a legend. When my grandfather Yeremiya Jagenda died in Boga, Congo, while on a mission there with Apolo Kivebulaya, Bishop Tucker helped my father to train as a primary school teacher. . . . Joan Mattia's discerning study explores the nuances and contradictions with deep respect for one who was both a man of his time and well ahead of it. I commend this book."" --John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu, Archbishop of York Joan Plubell Mattia, formerly Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, now teaches African History and Communications at the University of Debrecen in eastern Hungary. She received her PhD from the University of Birmingham and has been a Visiting Lecturer at Chamuhawi Training Center, Mpwapwa and St. Philips College, Kongwa, both in Tanzania. She is the author of ""Missionary Art"" in Anglican and Episcopal History.

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    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9781532600760
    • Manufacturer: Pickwick Pubn
    • ISBN 13: 9781532600760
    • Publication Date: 05/01/2017
    • Format: Hardcover
    • Author: Joan Plubell Mattia
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