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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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Printing the Living Word

Printing the Living Word

Moral Reform and the Awakening of Nation and Self (1841–70)

(p.102) 3 Printing the Living Word
Revival and Awakening

Adam H. Becker

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines a number of concepts and terms, as well as the morality and epistemology, promoted by the American mission, through an analysis of the Neo-Aramaic literature printed there, including Rays of Light, the monthly newspaper published from 1849 onwards. The mission promoted nineteenth century science as a form of natural theology and along with this naturalistic view of the world new ideas about health, time, religion, culture, race, and nations. The chapter demonstrates how the missionaries unintentionally helped to create a discursive framework within which new ideas of community could emerge and in the long run nationalist claims would make sense. Millennialist Christian exhortation created a conceptual grammar for the nation in the antebellum period, a Christian liberalism long before the Social Gospel and the supposed secularization of mission in the late nineteenth century.

Keywords:   Rays of Light, nationalism, epistemology, natural theology, liberalism, science

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