I. Busschers, MA
PhD Thesis Christian Colonial Projects: Moral Communities, Economies of ‘Care’, and Anxieties in Dutch Reformed Missions in colonial Indonesia, c. 1900—1942
My PhD thesis focuses on the entanglements between religion and empire in the context of Dutch Reformed missions in the Netherlands, East Java and Northern New Guinea in the late colonial period (first half of the twentieth century). I am particularly interested in the material, embodied and relational interventions that the missionary project and its actors sought to implement, as well as the construction and (re)making of social hierarchies and the shaping of affective communities that happened through these quotidian practices. Through a careful analysis of the materialities, interactions and networks of mission at these three different locations, which were interconnected and shaped by colonial projects, I show that our conception of mission as an isolated social actor needs to be adjusted. As such, this project is part of a decentring of the colonial state in imperial history and argues that careful attention to missions and their archives opens doors for a better understanding of the colonial past and its continued impact in our ‘postcolonial’ world.
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