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Outside InThe Transnational Circuitry of US History$
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Andrew Preston and Doug Rossinow

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190459840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190459840.001.0001

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The Body in Crisis

The Body in Crisis

Congo and the Transformations of Evangelical Internationalism, 1960–1965

Chapter:
(p.123) 6 The Body in Crisis
Source:
Outside In
Author(s):

Melani McAlister

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190459840.003.0007

This essay explores US evangelicals’ engagement with the Congo crisis of 1960–1964, including their responses to decolonization and the politics of race. It argues that the death of an American missionary in Congo became the grounds for an impassioned Cold War discourse of persecution and martyrdom at the hands of communist-inspired revolutionaries. Such discourses, deeply resonant in a religion built around Jesus’s suffering on the cross, were not new, but they would profoundly shape US evangelical imaginaries across the late twentieth century. The essay also explores how Congolese Christians came to figure themselves as equal owners of the Christianity they had been taught by missionaries, working, with partial success, to decolonize their faith. Overall, the analysis argues for the importance of mapping US evangelical history onto an international terrain.

Keywords:   decolonization, missionaries, Congo, Christian, evangelical, persecution, Cold War, race

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