The personnel of the missionary movement

Missions not only had to decide where and how to promote knowledge of Christianity, but had to find those best able to continue buildingup the churches and to continue the work once Europe's missionaries had moved on. This was in part a metropolitan task, but also an international one and, above all, one that involved local indigenous people. The need for missionary volunteers and supporting finance prompted two major developments in this period. The first lay in the recruitment of women, first in fund-raising and administration, and increasingly as young single women for the mission field. Among the Protestant missions, women constituted a majority of their workforce by about 1900,24 but their deployment was no less a Roman Catholic and continental European phenomenon. Sisterhoods and female orders proliferated, such as the Sisterhood of the Holy Heart of Mary, the Irish Congregation of St Joseph of Cluny and the Belgian Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Anglo-Catholic communities and sisterhoods followed, such as St Hilda's in Lahore (1880s) and the Sacred Passion in Zanzibar (1910), open to local as well as European women. For the historian this raises important questions, so far insufficiently examined and male superintendence notwithstanding, as to the relation of gender to the variants of the Christian message imparted. These touch on issues such as widowhood, marriage, celibacy and the nature of Christian family life. Occupational patterns among missionaries also changed with the increase in numbers of salaried females. Women were concentrated in teaching, domestic training and health care. In countries such as India they played a crucial role in everything to do with women and children, especially in the 'zenanas' or enclosed domestic quarters of the higher castes, 'regions beyond' inaccessible to male missionaries.25

It is especially striking how the growth in numbers of women missionaries was closely tied after 1870 not only to the involvement of missions in healing and welfare, but to the general professionalisation of missionary vocations. There had long been a place for medicine in the mission field, but its priority reflected primarily missionaries' need for self-preservation. David

24 Maughan, 'Regions beyond and the national church', p. 364.

25 Robert, American women in mission.

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