Workshop, February 9-11, 2017, German Historical Institute in Washington, DC
Conveners: Sabina Brevaglieri, Elisabeth Engel in collaboration with the History of Knowledge Research Group at the GHI Washington and the German Historical Institute in Rome
Deadline: June 30, 2016
In recent years missionary knowledge has emerged as an experimental category for scholarship, residing at the intersection of different historical and scholarly fields and shaped by all of them, such as the social and cultural history of missions, imperial history, history of science, and intellectual history. This new analytical focus fosters better understanding of the various meanings of knowledge and the specific nature of how it is made in relation to the missionary commitments of different religious communities. At the same time, the study of missionary knowledge underpins a subtler understanding of the missionary as an “actor between two worlds.” While a “duty of knowledge” of people, languages, and territories targeted for evangelization can be considered integral to apostolic practice, the missionary cannot be reduced to a privileged agent in the making of an institutional body of knowledge.