A history of christian missionaries in exploration

Visit Website But between and a series of interconnected developments occurred in Europe that provided the impetus for the exploration and subsequent colonization of America. These developments included the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Catholic Counter-Reformation, the Renaissance, the unification of small states into larger ones with centralized political power, the emergence of new technology in navigation and shipbuilding, and the establishment of overland trade with the East and the accompanying transformation of the medieval economy.

A history of christian missionaries in exploration

Maughan European trade, cultural contact, and colonization, following the geographical discoveries and maritime innovations of the fifteenth century, profoundly altered non-European societies throughout the world.

Exploration and Conquest

European exploration was inevitably followed by penetration of markets by traders and the establishment of Christian missions, if not always by formal imperial control and colonization.

Aggressive venturers, seeking personal, national, and religious advantage, were at the forefront of new encounters with non-European peoples.

Explorers, traders, and missionaries were thus crucial to the construction of European systems of commercial and cultural exchange as they negotiated and interpreted European contacts with other world cultures. From the sixteenth century Europeans engaged the world in increasing numbers, motivated by variously mixed ambitions for wealth, fame, honor, and the advancement of Christian spirituality, authority, and philanthropy.

European society was itself significantly altered by these material and cultural exchanges as it acted in every region of the world as an aggressive force for the transformation of economies and societies.

Missionaries in the Age of Exploration | HowStuffWorks

Exploration, trade, and proselytizing often shaded into each other, and were frequently entangled with the use of military force and the establishment of colonial rule. Traders carried European technologies of warfare and production as well as goods, while missionaries often advocated European social organization and education as well as religious beliefs.

All had the power to profoundly alter traditional patterns of non-European society. In Europe itself, new wealth generated through seaborne trade contributed to increasing urban cosmopolitanism, while access to colonial markets significantly shifted patterns of consumption.

Visions of the world abroad, filtered through Christian belief, supported assumptions of European spiritual and cultural ascendancy that were eroded only in the twentieth-century era of decolonization.


However, explorers, traders, settlers, soldiers, and government officials often came in conflict with missionaries over European "vices" and the mistreatment of non-Europeans. Additionally, competition from the mid-sixteenth century between Roman Catholics and Protestants, as well as between traders and other agents of emerging European nation-states, generated considerable friction between Europeans of differing national and religious identities.

Thus the history of European trading and proselytizing in the world since the Renaissance has been characterized by complex and rapidly changing patterns of coercion, resistance, opportunism, collaboration, cooperation, and competition between many European and non-European groups.

Both trading and missionary activity are inherently transcultural with objectives that are advanced by an understanding of, if not always an empathy with, their target societies.

Militant belief in the universal import of their religious message drove missionaries to surprisingly persistent activity in the midst of foreign, and often hostile, cultures. Missionaries frequently operated at the forefront of the production of knowledge for and about foreign societies as influential educators, social reformers, language scholars, and medical providers.

While missionaries often sought to strip their message of salvation from European cultural trappings, just as traders often adopted the guise of the cultures in which they operated, both nevertheless carried the ideological, political, and social baggage of their particular cultures.

In the "first" age of European expansion, spanning the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Portuguese and Spanish were the pioneers, although they were effectively challenged within a century by the Dutch, English, and French.

Portuguese and later Dutch commercial domination of the Indian Ocean trading economy, and Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English exploitation of resources and colonization in the "New World" of the western hemisphere were the hallmarks of this era.

Iberian exploration shattered the cultural isolation that characterized past ages by inaugurating an intercontinental world trading economy. The growth of European overseas trading was dependent upon earlier European developments: Additionally, continuing conflict with Islam—expressed from the eleventh century in crusading in the Holy Land and on other frontiers—when combined with the emergence of popular mendicant religious orders committed to Christian education and evangelism, most notably the Franciscans and Dominicans—produced both strong military and moral stimuli to Christian expansion.

Thus, when in the fifteenth century waning Mongol rule in central Asia and waxing Ottoman power in the eastern Mediterranean disrupted trade routes carrying eastern luxury goods and spices, Europeans had both the incentives and means to seek new lines of commerce.

Role of Missionaries in Colonization of Africans - Global Black History

The relative poverty and peripheral location of Europe limited knowledge of Asia and Africa to the geographies of the ancients, notably Ptolemy c. Many reports of the East, including those of missionary embassies sent by the papacy to China and India from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, provided glimpses of lands containing gold, silks, and spices, and reputed to hold mysterious realms, such as the legendary Christian kingdom of Prester John.

Iberian exploration vastly enlarged this knowledge. Iberians, utilizing their advantageous geographical position on the Atlantic seaboard, sought to circumvent Mediterranean commerce dominated by Italians and Arabs by employing the martial skills of a crusading aristocracy and gentry seasoned in the conquest of Iberia from Moorish Muslims while drawing on the experience of both local and Italian particularly Genoese seamen and pilots.

The Portuguese and Spanish crowns, confident in their possession of the true religion, received papal sanction to establish monopolies in overseas trade and missions, and promoted ecclesiastical expansion as official state ideology.Christian mission history: Important events, locations, people and movements in World Evangelism Putting faith in action Some of the earliest years in this missions dateline are approximate.

Christian missionaries to the New World Were aided by the claim of Juan Diego to have seen the Virgin of Guadalupe As a result of European exploration, Christian missionaries.

A history of christian missionaries in exploration

EXPLORERS, MISSIONARIES, TRADERS. Steven S. Maughan. European trade, cultural contact, and colonization, following the geographical discoveries and maritime innovations of the fifteenth century, profoundly altered non-European societies throughout the world.

Christianity and colonialism are often closely associated because Catholicism and Protestantism were the religions of the European colonial powers and acted in many ways as the "religious arm" of those powers. According to Edward Andrews, Christian missionaries were initially portrayed as "visible saints, exemplars of ideal piety in a sea of persistent savagery".

This timeline of Christian missions chronicles the global expansion of Christianity through a listing of the most significant missionary outreach events. Jun 11,  · Guatemala. Latin America has a bloody history of religion and conquest since the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. The continent is still a .

Exploration of North America - HISTORY