ABSTRACT

This chapter will focus on the encounters between American and British evangelical Christian missionaries and the indigenous communities of Southern Sudan in the last hundred years. It will draw continuities and differences between nineteenth and early twentieth century missionary activity in the region, and that which took place in the second half of the twentieth century. This will allow us to contextualize the more recent formation of evangelical Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs), whose perceptions of earlier colonial encounters have been brought back to the lobbying halls of Washington in the postcolonial era. The extent to which the reintroduction of Christian influences around 1900 acted as a hegemonic or counterhegemonic force, vis-à-vis Sudan’s Northern ruling class, provides a central analytical focus. We will use this case study to modify certain existing assumptions regarding the role of missionary power in the development of African colonies and nations.