The methods of missionaries in civilizing savage and barbarous peoples viewed from the standpoint of sociology and pedagogy

by Charles E. (Charles Edward) Robinson

Institution: University of Missouri – Columbia
Year: 1907
Record ID: 1488502
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10355/14717


This thesis assumes that missionaries are a civilizing force. Their work is frequently initial and fundamental in civilizing savage and barbarous peoples. But what is meant by civilization? The significance usually attached to it is a material one. It suggests modern improvements and conveniences: steamships, railroads, streetcars, immense buildings and populous cities. But the missionary, whatever the faith he represents, is not interested primarily in this sort of civilization. To him civilization means morality, spiritual culture, conformity in habits and ideals to the highest types of humanity with which he himself acquainted. He goes forth and labors to bring savage and barbarous peoples up to this high ideal. Not every religion sends out propagandists to peoples outside the race or nation inwhich it is indigenous. Only three great religions have had an ambition to civilize the world and have sent out missionaries for this purpose. The first of these in point of time is Buddhism, which arose in India in the sixth century B.C.; the second is Christianity by the origin of which we date our modern era; and the last is Mohammedanism which arose in Arabia in the seenth century A.D. Many volumes have been written upon the comparative merits of thse great religions as civilizing forces, but this thesis deals only with the methods by which they were propagated among savage and barbarous peoples and the civilizing effects of the methods. The doctrines will be dealt with only incidentally when necessary for explanation of the methods.