Gender, Religion, and the Heathen Lands
American Missionary Women in South Asia, 1860s-1940s
Edited by Maina Chawla Singh
Routledge – 2000 – 408 pages
Seeking to extend existing scholarship on gender and colonialism and on women and American religion, this cross-cultural study examines the work of American missionary women in South Asia at several levels. A primary concern of the study is to historicize the interventions of these women and situate them within the dual contexts of the sending society and the receiving culture. It focuses on missionaries Isabella Thoburn and Ida Scudder, who founded some of the premier women's colleges and hospitals in British colonial India. The book also draws upon the narratives and reminiscences of South Asian women, now in their seventies, who attended such institutions in the 1940s, and whose voices texture our understanding of American women's missionary work in "Other" cultures.