Entanglements of Empire Missionaries, Maori, and the Question of the Body Synopsis
The first Protestant mission was established in New Zealand in 1814, initiating complex political, cultural, and economic entanglements with Maori. Tony Ballantyne shows how interest in missionary Christianity among influential Maori chiefs had far-reaching consequences for both groups. Deftly reconstructing cross-cultural translations and struggles over such concepts and practices as civilization, work, time and space, and gender, he identifies the physical body as the most contentious site of cultural engagement, with Maori and missionaries struggling over hygiene, tattooing, clothing, and sexual morality. Entanglements of Empire is particularly concerned with how, as a result of their encounters in the classroom, chapel, kitchen, and farmyard, Maori and the English mutually influenced each other's worldviews. Concluding in 1840 with New Zealand's formal colonization, this book offers an important contribution to debates over religion and empire.
Entanglements of Empire Missionaries, Maori, and the Question of the Body Press Reviews
In one volume, Entanglements of Empire showcases most of the characteristics that Ballantyne's work has been praised for. It weaves between the personal and the political and it seamlessly travels from local to global vantage points. Without any rupture in the ?ow of narrative, it incorporates insightful minutiae on the one hand . . . and discussions of imperial geo-strategy on the other hand. -- Alan Lester * European Review of History * In this lucid and nuanced rereading of the missionary archive in early New Zealand, Tony Ballantyne makes impressively wide-ranging arguments about the centrality of the body to the thickening 'entanglements' between indigenous peoples and British evangelists between 1814 and 1840. . . . An important and useful book, Ballantyne's methodological argument in particular deserves the engagement of those exploring the history of the body and other imperial sites of power and entanglement. -- Miranda Johnson * Journal of the History of Sexuality * Entanglements moves backwards and forwards in a complex dance among actors, events and writing situated in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the empire....[T]his is a finely produced book, a delight to read. -- Michael P. J. Reilly * Journal of Pacific History * I recommend Entanglements of Empire to scholars interested in the history of the British Empire, Oceania, and Christian missions. Well balanced, carefully articulated, and always insightful, it is likely to become a definitive work on the complexities of Protestant mission efforts in the region and beyond. -- Matt Tomlinson * Comparative Studies in Society and History * This elegantly written and brilliantly argued book further enhances Tony Ballantyne's reputation as New Zealand's leading historian, as well as a major scholar of imperial and global histories.... Entanglements of Empire is a landmark text that makes a vitally important contribution to the fields of New Zealand and British imperial history. It offers historians a new set of conceptual tools for approaching cross-cultural engagements in the past; provides fresh perspectives on the missionary project in Te Ika a Ma-ui; and reminds us that struggles over the materiality of the body - over work, sharing food, intimacy, illness, death and so on - merit serious scholarly attention. -- Lyndon Fraser * Social History * Ballantyne presents his complex, theoretically informed history with admirable skill and a persuasive authorial voice.... Scholars interested in the history of the British Empire and its impact on indigenous peoples will find this a fine study of imperial relations within one small and distant colony-in-waiting. He is to be congratulated on this very considerable achievement. -- Patricia Grimshaw * American Historical Review * [T]his is a work of considerable depth and value.... Ballantyne's work will in the future be essential reading for anyone wishing to understand and engage in this discussion. -- Vincent O'Malley * H-Empire, H-Net Reviews * [O]utstanding and very readable book.... [T]his is a profound and close reading of an essential period of cultural interaction in our history. -- Nicholas Reid * Reid's Reader Blog *