Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Building God's Kingdom: Norwegian Missionaries in Highland Madagascar, 1866-1903

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Building God's Kingdom: Norwegian Missionaries in Highland Madagascar, 1866-1903

Article excerpt

Building God's Kingdom: Norwegian Missionaries in Highland Madagascar, 1866-1903.

By Karina Hestad Skeie. Leiden: Brill, 2012. Pp. 296. 112 [euro]/$156.

The role of the Norwegian Mission Society (NMS) in Protestant history in Madagascar cannot be overstated, but scholarly English-language resources to study this history remain scarce. Therefore, Karina Hestad Skeie's Building God's Kingdom makes an important contribution. Skeie includes historic perspectives, both Malagasy and Norwegian, and careful analysis of a key moment in this history: the failed attempt toward self-governance of Malagasy Lutherans at the turn of the twentieth century. She illuminates very well the relationship of missionaries and Malagasy and how power has operated in mission work.

Skeie grew up in Madagascar, the child of missionary parents. Her native fluency in Norwegian and her knowledge of Merina Malagasy prove invaluable. Her analysis of what it meant to be in mission work in Madagascar in the nineteenth century and of how this work was approached from Norway and particularly by the NMS is essential.

Skeie's examination of indigenous efforts to form a synod and the diverse responses from Norwegian missionaries and NMS headquarters staff is helpful. …

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