By George Ernest Wright
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In fact, what many missionaries abhorred about their own contemporary homelands they hoped to avoid in the field, even if unknowingly they were spreading a Gospel that served as a Trojan horse for some of the same domestic phenomena that worried them. One example of how evangelical projects had modernizing and secular effects is offered in the case of the spread of individualism. ”59 The individual is set free, and his judgment is declared under God, supreme. Suppose then the individual takes a further step and affirms that he is indeed free and that his judgment is, without any qualification, supreme.
In fact, one of the aims of this book is to serve as a corrective for how religion and the origins of nationalism are often treated. I will maintain an awareness throughout that religion itself is an entity that came into being within and as part of modernity. By incorporating an awareness of “religionization” into the historiography of nationalism, I would like to avoid making a (Durkheimian) functionalist equivalence between religion and nation. Not only are there discontinuities between the two, but both came into being simultaneously and often help to constitute each other in their differences.
Anderson’s “newspapers” in the case of the East Syrians were missionary pamphlets and monthlies. This is significant: the public sphere in which nationalism emerged belonged to the context of Christian reform. ”95 In fact, national reform itself, a common notion in the ideology of nationalism, often derives from the reformist language of religious institutions. ”97 If Anderson’s argument is in the end about media and the practices of its consumption, in this case the media and its consumption are introduced by Christian missionaries.
Biblical Archaeology by George Ernest Wright