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Nineteenth-century Christian missionaries brought not just religion to their flocks in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, but also Western culture and its often conflicting views: assumptions (sometimes demeaning) about indigenous populations and their cultures, juxtaposed uneasily with Western ideals of equality, fraternity, and justice.
The papers of Congregational minister Augustus Charles Thompson (1812-1901) reflect his lifelong involvement in the foreign mission movement. The 10,000 volumes of his personal collection, now housed at Hartford Seminary, include his vast library of missionological texts and correspondence.
Born in Goshen, Connecticut, Thompson graduated from the Theological Institute of Connecticut (later renamed Hartford Seminary) and served as pastor of the Eliot Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts, for virtually his entire clerical career. He wrote and compiled a number of books, the most famous of them his Moravian Missions (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1890), a thorough review of the German sect and its pioneering and widespread missionary efforts.
Students of religion and history will find treasures such as these in the collection:
The Thompson Papers will particularly appeal to researchers in:
This primary source material--especially the correspondence--reflects both Western cultural attitudes and everyday details of time and place, e.g.,