cover of book

Missionary Cosmopolitanism in Nineteenth-Century British Literature
by Winter Jade Werner
The Ohio State University Press, 2020
Paper: 978-0-8142-5588-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8142-7796-6 | Cloth: 978-0-8142-1426-8
Library of Congress Classification PR468.C685W47 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 823.8093827

Missionary Cosmopolitanism in Nineteenth-Century British Literature explores the notion that missionaries, often perceived as only evangelically motivated in the British imperial project, were also spurred on by cosmopolitan ideals. Winter Jade Werner makes this surprising connection in order to write against standard understandings of missionary work as well as typical understandings of cosmopolitanism as a deeply secular project.
Missionary Cosmopolitanism identifies the nineteenth-century novel as thematically and formally attuned to the tension between missionaries’ cosmopolitan values and the moral impoverishment of their imperialist and expansionist practices. Werner’s chapters interact with canonical works such as Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, along with lesser-known works by Robert Southey and Sydney Owenson. Ultimately, Missionary Cosmopolitanism demonstrates that nineteenth-century literature both illustrated and helped define missionary discourses regarding cosmopolitan ideas, showing how global evangelicalism continues to tap into the “new cosmopolitanisms” of today.
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