TO ORDAIN PASTORS OVER THEM
Missionaries had both a functional relationship and a structural relationship to imperialism and colonialism. In functional terms, they participated more or less actively in the expansion of Western power. As explained in the previous chapter, the missionaries depended on diplomatic protection to carry on their work, and their demands sometimes became the occasion for more aggressive intervention in the internal affairs of other nations. In addition, the indigenous people they educated often played useful roles in such interventions. Missionaries also participated in reform efforts that often corroded traditional structures of power and facilitated the rise of Western domination. To some extent, they created additional demand for Western products by the morals they taught and the manner in which they lived. Still, because imperialist expansion was not an explicit goal of the missionary enterprise, the functional relationship between any particular mission and its political context could be highly variable.
A more fundamental link between missions and imperialism lies in the structural parallels between the religious, political, and economic enterprises of the West. In these terms, missionaries were imperialistic to the extent that they shared a common “imperial culture” with other Westerners that caused them to behave in ways analogous to political and economic interests. The key question here is not their functional relationship to other Westerners but the