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persistence and fearlessness. Others, with only a rudimentary understanding of Christianity, could be domineering and as insensitive to local cultures as some of the European missionaries.

The contribution of missionary women, whether as wives, religious or missionaries, has received little attention in historical writing until recently Their work, particularly among women, is increasingly recognised as a vital contribution to evangelisation in the Pacific. Indigenous women such as Kaahumanu in Hawaii, as well as the wives of indigenous missionaries, helped promote Christianity from within the Pacific women's world.

Comity and its limits Protestant missionaries in the Pacific accepted the comity principle. The LMS expanded throughout eastern Polynesia to the Cook Islands, Samoa, Niue and Tuvalu. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions commenced work in Hawaii in 1820. Methodists worked in Tonga from 1822 and Fiji from 1835. Samoa was an exception to the comity principle, with both Methodist and LMS influences. Methodists began working in New Zealand in 1822. Presbyterians were involved in the southern islands of the New Hebrides from 1848, with support coming from Nova Scotia, Australia and New Zealand. G. A. Selwyn, Anglican bishop of New Zealand from 1841 to 1869, founded the unique Melanesian Mission in 1849. The Mission brought Melanesians, first to New Zealand, and from 1867 to Norfolk Island, for training with the hope that they would act as teachers and evangelists when they returned to their homes in the northern New Hebrides and Solomon Islands. J. C. Patteson was consecrated missionary bishop of Melanesia in 1861. The LMS began in New Caledonia in 1840 and in Papua in 1871. Methodists commenced in New Britain in 1875 under the notable leadership of George Brown, extending to Papua (1891) and the Solomon Islands (1902). Lutherans were involved in German New Guinea from 1886. Anglicans from Australia began in eastern Papua in 1891.

The comity principle did not operate between Protestants and Catholics, or among some independent missionary groups. Initial attempts by French Society of Mary (Marist) missionaries in the Solomon Islands (1845-7) and the New Hebrides (1847-50), and by French and Italians in Papua (1847-55), were aborted. With some exceptions, such as Wallis, Futuna and Bougainville, Catholics followed behind Protestant missionaries in establishing permanent work in the islands. Religious and national rivalries were caught up with colonial aspirations and conflict. French Picpus missionaries, from the Society of the Sacred Heart, made initial contact in the Gambiers (1834) and Tahiti (1836).

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