Education as a missionary tool : a study in Christian missionary education by English Protestant missionaries in India with special reference to cultural change.
In the long nineteenth century all the English Protestant missionary
societies in India used education as a missionary tool. This study examines
their reasons for doing so and their attempts to implement various
educational strategies. It also examines the theological and educational
ideas that they brought with them from England, and the continuing
pressures exerted on them by their English supporters. The way in which
the missionaries adjusted to their new context and their relationship with
the government and with the local culture are also studied.
The thesis argues that missionary education had considerable impact on the
culture in which it took place, but that it was not always the impact that the
missionaries had intended. Similarly the culture affected the choices which
the missionaries made. Missionary strategies changed as they experienced
failure and success in achieving their aims.
Attention is paid to the political, as well as the cultural, context of the
missionaries. While the missionaries' educational aims were to some extent
formulated in dialogue with government, the study suggests that the
missionaries and the government had significantly different educational
A clear cut distinction is drawn between the education aimed at the nation's
elite through English medium higher education and the attempt to educate
at a village level in the vernacular languages. The thesis argues that the
latter was more successful in terms of the missionaries' long term aims.
Finally, the thesis also argues that 'raising up a native agency' was the
missionaries' initial purpose in founding schools and colleges. For a number
of reasons they were often diverted from this aim in the intervening years. It
became their strategy again, however, at the end of the period.