Missionary Spaces

Imagining, Building, Contesting Christianities in Africa and China, 1830s-1960s

Edited by Thomas Coomans

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Edited volume - hardback

The ‘spatial turn’ of missionary places

Situated at the crossroads of missionary history, imperial history and colonial architecture, this volume examines the architectural staging and spatial implications of the worldwide expansion of Christianity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By focusing on specific architectural fragments, analysing the intersection of Christian edifices in colonial and traditional urban settings or unravelling the social understanding of missionary places, each chapter strives to understand the agency of missionary spaces. Bringing together scholars from different disciplines and fields, this book aims to centre those missionary spaces by approaching them not merely as décor around and within which the missionary encounter was acted, but by making them part and parcel of it.

Through its approach, Missionary Spaces provides a new paradigm for scrutinising the ‘spatial turn’ for missionary histories and contributes to the increased attention across the humanities to space, place, and location since the late 1990s. Space does not occur as an historical given, but as a social construction to be analysed, while at the same time having explanatory value of its own.

This book focuses on Africa and the Chinese Region with contributions on Burundi, China, Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, and Taiwan.

Contributors: Leon Bouwmeester (KU Leuven), Lawrence Braschi (Church of England), Bram Cleys (MAS | Museum aan de Stroom), Thomas Coomans (KU Leuven), Céline Frémaux (French Guyana), Johan Lagae (UGent), Maarten Onneweer (AidEnvironment), Alexis B. Tengan (independent scholar)

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Format: Edited volume - hardback

Size: 280 × 225 mm

240 pages

Illustrated, full colour

ISBN: 9789462701441

Publication: May 15, 2024

Series: KADOC-Artes 17

Languages: English

Thomas Coomans is a full professor of architectural history at KU Leuven and program director of the POC Conservation of Monuments and Sites of the Faculty of Engineering Science.