The Missionary Factor in East Africa

By Roland Oliver | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

THIS STUDY ATTEMPTS to estimate the missionary enterprise of the Christian Church, first as a factor in the expansion of European interests in East Africa, and secondly as a factor in the subsequent history of the territories now known as Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika. The first half of the book deals also with Nyasaland, because it was during the early years of the missionary expansion one main line of approach to the interior of East Africa, and because the Scottish missions which worked there encountered the same set of Arab influences from the east coast as the missions working farther to the north.

The story has been built up partly from modern secondary works, among which my first acknowledgement is due to Sir Reginald Coupland East Africa and its Invaders and The Exploitation of East Africa 1856-90, which first drew my attention to the possibilities of research in this field and which have been a constant guide and example to my studies. Professor Coupland was of course only incidentally concerned with the history of missions; nevertheless he provided an account of the earliest phase of the missionary occupation; and explored, through the correspondence of the Foreign Office, the relations which existed between the British missionaries on the mainland and the Consulate at Zanzibar. It was not, however, to his purpose to trace in detail the reasons why missionary bodies in Europe became

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