Demonized, 19th Century Missionary Caricature Vindicated by Meticulous Academic
We all know him. The narrow, preachy, white, colonial missionary who disrupted indigenous cultures world-over during the hey-day of imperial powers. He is guilty of bringing euro-culture and displacing tribal customs. He is rumored to have a colonial agenda, rather than a great-commission heart. He is ugly. And he is real! But as it turns out, his impact is far outweighed by far more numerous missionaries that had a positive impact, doing work that many evangelicals today would consider markedly liberal. I always had a feeling that the caricature was very 2 dimensional. Thanks to Dr. Woodberry, we know the truth.
“Areas where Protestant missionaries had a significant presence in the past are on average more economically developed today, with comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption, greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women), and more robust membership in nongovernmental associations.”