Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Authors: ADE-AJAYI, J. F.
Issue Date: Jul-1958
Abstract: It is the contribution of various missionary societies in shifting the frontier of European influences from the coast where it had remained after three centuries of European trade connections into the interior of Nigeria in the half century before the establishment of British rule in the country that is the subject of this thesis. For, in their anxiety to deepen and widen Christian European influences in the country, the missionaries were laying the social and economic foundations of Nigeria, particularly Southern Nigeria. Struck by the high rate of European mortality in West Africa, and haunted by the memory that Christianity had once been introduced into West Africa and had been wiped out, the missionaries were anxious to leave a permanent mark on the country that the eventual withdrawal of European missionaries, whether sudden or gradual, could not efface. They wished to raise a large indigenous clergy, they wished to introduce not only the Bible but also the art to read and the art to make the Bible, in short, something of the technological civilisation of contemporary Europe. Central to this programme was the creation of a Middle Class of mission-educated Africans. The emigrants returning from Sierra Leone, Cuba and Brazil provided the nucleus of such a class with them, the missionaries embarked on a programme of practical education in trades and industry. They tried to gather the emigrants together in particular centres round the Mission House, in little mission villages to which Individual converts from the old town, physically or spiritually, attached themselves. This new society it was hoped would grow and replace the antiquated ways of the old town. Things did not always work out as the missionaries planned. Their resources were inadequate. They were dependent on traders whose objectives were different from theirs. The society of the old town did not crumble as readily as was expected. The missionaries saw the power of the African rulers on the coast passing to the consul and the traders, not to the educated Africans whom the traders and some of the missionaries on the spot as well regarded as rivals. Nevertheless, a class of Africa was rising, as clergymen in the church, agents of European firms or independent merchants on their own. The most notable of them was Crowther who was made a Bishop and who used an all- African staff to establish churches on the Niger. But just as such Africans, were beginning to be given responsibility and, among other things, were proceeding to make the Church less of an alien community in society, the new wave of European interest in the country made European change their attitude to Africans, and the old policy of advancing educated Africans was overturned, Even Bishop Crowther was ousted from his post and with his resignation in 1891, this period of missionary work came to an end.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
(67) ui_thesis_ade-ajayi_j.f._christian_1958.pdf78.97 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail

Items in UISpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.