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Revival and AwakeningAmerican Evangelical Missionaries in Iran and the Origins of Assyrian Nationalism$
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Adam H. Becker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226145280

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226145457.001.0001

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Religious Reform, Nationalism, and Christian Mission

Religious Reform, Nationalism, and Christian Mission

(p.1) Introduction Religious Reform, Nationalism, and Christian Mission
Revival and Awakening

Adam H. Becker

University of Chicago Press

After demonstrating the discontinuity between the East Syrian church tradition and early Assyrian nationalism the Introduction sets the project within the contemporary theoretical discussion of religion, secularism, Christian mission, and the origins of nationalism. It is argued that an awareness of how “religion” itself is a discursive category that came into being as part of the discourse of modernity may serve as a corrective for how religion and the origins of nationalism are often treated. This is in contrast to the scholarship on nationalism, which tends to employ a static notion of “religion.” The secular national culture that developed in the vicinity of the mission was an inflection of missionary modernity, a result of an evangelical focus on reform, which has its roots within the broader Christian discursive tradition. Finally the Introduction suggests that the study of the missionary project benefits from being set within a post-colonial framework, even when missions were not in a region under colonial rule.

Keywords:   mission, secular, reform, missionary modernity, evangelical secularism, post-colonial

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