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Wåra swarta bröder: Representationer av religioner och människor i Evangeliska fosterlandsstiftelsens Missions-Tidning, 1877–1890
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Church and Mission studies, Science of Mission.
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Our black brethren : Representations of religions and people in the Swedish Evangelical Missions Mission Periodical (Missions-Tidning) 1877-1890 (English)
Abstract [en]

The thesis addresses how non-Western religions, as well as people, are represented in a periodical of the Swedish Evangelical Mission (SEM) – Missions-Tidning (MT) – during the period 1877-1890. The focus is on India and east Africa where SEM had its major mission fields.

The thesis has been written with inspiration from discourse analysis. I have identified in MT two primary streams of thought related to the representations of non-Western people and to those of different religions and religious identities. The streams can be described as discourses or thought structures. Using these thought structures has proven to be constructive in the analysis of the texts of MT as both streams have been applicable in clarifying the complexities of the representations of religions and people. One stream I have characterized as being the oriental thought structure and the other as the pietistic thought structure. The oriental thought structure is broadly related to Edward Said’s writings on his oriental discourse and is defined by a number of essential ideas from his influential and thought provoking book, Orientalism (1978). The defining of the pietistic thought structure is based on a number of essential aspects of the culture and tradition of ideas central to SEM and relevant to its mission. In the thesis the two thought structures are made visible: separately as well as in conjunction with or in opposition to each other.

Different themes are analyzed and form, as well as content, is examined. Among other things, representations of five different collective social identities or religions/religious belongings (for example Hinduism/Hindus and Islam/Muslims), statistics, illustrations and the relationship between Swedish missionaries and non-Western people are analysed.  Furthermore, a central theme is the nature of the biographies of non-Western people presented in the journal.

One of the conclusions of the thesis is that the pietistic thought structure contributes to positive, as well as negative, representations in MT. However, the pietistic thought structure is of decisive importance for the relatively complex individual narratives of non-Western people that emerge in the story of MT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2012. , 308 p.
Studia Missionalia Svecana, ISSN 1404-9503 ; 112
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Studies of Missions
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-177284ISBN: 978-91-506-2293-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-177284DiVA: diva2:540017
Public defence
2012-09-21, Universitetshuset, sal IX, Uppsala, 10:00 (Swedish)

I boken felaktigt serienummer 111.

Available from: 2012-08-27 Created: 2012-07-06 Last updated: 2013-08-05Bibliographically approved

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