Missionary Masculinity, 1870-1930

Tjelle, Kristin
Date published: 
February 2014

What kind of men were missionaries? What kind of masculinity did they represent, in ideology as well as in practice? Presupposing masculinity to be a cluster of cultural ideas and social practices that change over time and space, and not a stable entity with a natural, inherent and given meaning, Kristin Fjelde Tjelle seeks to answer such questions. Using case studies of Norwegian Mission Society members the author argues that missionary masculinity was the result of a complex dialogue between the ideals of male 'self-making' associated with the late nineteenth century and the Christian ideal of self-denial.