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Title: Missionary Zeal and Institutional Control: Organizational Contradictions in the Basel Mission on the Gold Coast 1828-1917
Author: Miller, Jon
Publisher: Wm B Eerdmans (Print on Demand); Publication Date: 2003
Paperback; ISBN: 9780802860859
Volumes: 1; Pages: 278
List Price in Paper: $40.00 Our price: $35.99
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In the historical literature on mission, this book stands out for its detailed examination of the organizational dynamics that gave shape--and brought enduring success--to the Evangelical Missionary Society at Basel.A first-rate account of the early Basel Mission on the Gold Coast of West Africa (present-day Ghana), this volume takes readers inside the mission itself, revealing its dynamic, though sometimes contradictory, methods of motivation and discipline and how they impacted effective evangelism both at home and abroad. Working from archival records, Jon Miller details the collaboration across class lines that made the mission possible, and he shows how basic pietist beliefs about authority and obedience were the source of both the mission's strengths and its most serious internal weaknesses. Also included are two dozen photographs, a foreword by Richard V. Pierard, and an afterword by Paul Jenkins.Table of ContentsForeword, by Richard V. PierardPrefaceAcknowledgments1. Evangelical Missions and Social ChangeOverview of the InvestigationThe ParticipantsEnthusiasm and DisciplineContradictionsPersistenceHistorical and Cultural ContextOrigins of the Basel MissionOrganizational TroubleThe Lasting Impact of the MissionConnections2. The ParticipantsClass Collaboration for the Sake of ReligionThe MembershipThe LeadershipOrigins of the Rank and FileUpward MobilityMarriage and Social MobilityConsolidation of GainsChildren of the Early MissionariesGrandchildren of the Early MissionariesThe Children of the Prewar CohortElective Affinities and Social ChangeElite InterestsRank-and-File GainsUnintended Consequences3. Authority and DisciplineBuilding a StructureInherited Charisma and Pious Emotional AttachmentStatus Privilege and the Weight of TraditionBureaucratic Obligations and Legal-Contractual TiesSocial Control: Supervision and SurveillanceConfession and Hierarchical OversightMutual WatchingThe Hermeneutics of Freedom and ControlConclusion4. Contradictions and Their ConsequencesThe Relationship between Creativity and DevianceAndreas RiisSimon SssJohannes ZimmermannStrategic Deviance in Perspective: Uncertainty, Charisma, and NonconformitySurveillance and the Erosion of SolidarityJohannes HenkeFriedrich Schiedt5. Accounting for Organizational PersistenceInstitutionalized ContradictionsOrdnung Muss Sein! Fulfilling the Law of ChristAccountability and the "Freedom to Obey"Commonalities with Other OrganizationsConclusionMissions and the Social OrderClass CollaborationSocial Mobility and Change in the Class StructureWomen and Men in the Missionary MovementThe Convergence (or Divergence) of Organizational FormsConsensus, Conflict, and ChangeMissions as Agents of Change and Resistance in the Colonial WorldAFTERWOORD: The Basel Mission, the Presbyterian Church, and Ghana since 1918, by Paul JenkinsNarrative Summary: The Basel Mission and Ghana, 1914-1999The Influence of Nineteenth-Century Basel MissionForms of Organization since 1918Change in the Post-1918 Basel Mission in EuropeConclusionMethodological AppendixArchival SourcesA Note on Research StrategyBibliographyIndexReviewsMark ChavesThis insightful sociological case study of the Basel Mission offers a compelling account of social class dynamics within a missionary organization and the practical challenge of maintaining discipline while simultaneously encouraging creative work in the mission field. But that's not all. More than a book only about missionaries or religion in colonial West Africa, Missionary Zeal and Institutional Control also teaches us much about individual commitment to organizations, intraorganizational conflict, and organizational persistence in the face of adversity.Wilbert R. ShenkThe Basel Mission was one of the outstanding mission agencies founded during the "great century." It helped define what a missionary society is and does. Although results in the early years were disappointing, the mission persisted and eventually was rewarded with accelerating growth in what became the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. The institutionalization of the mission agency has long been neglected in mission studies. In Missionary Zeal and Institutional Control Jon Miller provides us with a comprehensive and balanced study. It is finely textured and gracefully written. Using his expertise as a sociologist and writing with an evident appreciation for history, Miller explores a range of cultural themes that are essential to an adequate understanding of the way missionaries did their work in West Africa in the nineteenth century. He shows that while the mission organization could be at cross-purposes with its own goals, at its best it facilitated missionary action. This book throws much-needed light on the role of organizational structures and policies in the modern mission movement.