The Nature of Christianity in Northern Tanzania

The Nature of Christianity in Northern Tanzania : Environmental and Social Change 1890-1916

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The Nature of Christianity in Northern Tanzania explores the relationship between the environment and social change on Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru during the German colonial period (1890-1916). The work analyzes the synergy between landscape change, exotic plant introduction, and Christian missionizing, showing how these three types of transformation impacted upon each other as well as the changing African societies to create a new African/German landscape.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 424 pages
  • 154.94 x 220.98 x 35.56mm | 816.46g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 13 black & white halftones, 25 maps, 13 tables
  • 073917780X
  • 9780739177808

Review quote

The Nature of Christianity in Northern Tanzania is very appealing in the way it illustrates the relationship between people, places, and plants while keeping people at the center of the story...The book is well written and deals with materials in an engaging way, creating many points of reflection as one progresses through the chapters...The author's ability to tell this story while focusing on the environment is a major appeal of the book. International Journal of African Historical Studies This work is a detailed chronicle of environmental and social changes that accompanied the introduction of Christianity and establishment of German colonial rule on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. Considering how important congregations and cash crops each became in northern Tanzania, contributing to the success of a national Lutheran church that now counts more than six million members, Munson's book provides a valuable exploration of their intertwined historical roots... This is a meticulously researched and accessibly written examination of a relatively understudied dimension of how northern Tanzania became a thriving center of Lutheranism. It would be a valuable addition to college and seminary libraries. Lutheran Quarterly Munson's book makes an important contribution to Tanzania's history, since the interplay between spatial transformation and the development of Christianity has not received adequate attention from historians of Tanzania... The book also makes important contributions to cultural heritage studies by uncovering the extent to which many of the physical structures seen today in the landscape such as organization of places, varieties of plants, and religious influences have deeper roots in the German colonial past. The book, therefore, provides fresh insights into the historic ties between Tanzania and Germany that started in the late-nineteenth century. Furthermore, the value of the book lies in its interdisciplinary dimension. It brings together history, human ecology, religion, geography, and cultural heritage in the examination of environmental and social changes in northern Tanzania... [The book's] critical engagement with German archival sources, clear writing style, and discussion of the agency of German missionaries and Africans in shaping space, botanical imperialism, and Christianity make this book an invaluable contribution to the histories of Christianity, cultural heritage, environment, cartography, and culture. The Catholic Historical Review Robert Munson makes skillful use of German archival sources to present a detailed and well-researched examination of the impact of German colonial missions on the landscape of the Kilimanjaro-Meru regions. The rich, fact filled text and numerous illustrations paint an interesting and thoughtful picture of the German missionaries' perceptions of the East African landscape and their efforts to reshape that landscape. This is an important contribution to scholarship in the fields of the environmental, religious, and colonial history of East Africa. -- Michael DiBlasi, Editor, International Journal of African Historical Studies, Boston University Munson's work on the ecological history of the Kilimanjaro region is unique, since it brings together his skills in German, kiSwahili, and historical geography. His field work in the region allows him to reconstruct both the physical landscape and the role of mission ideology that helped shape it. This is a work of substantial erudition that contributes a great deal to our understanding of African environmental history. -- James C. McCann, Professor and Associate Director, Boston Universityshow more

About Robert B. Munson

Robert B. Munson completed his PhD in 2005 and has taught several years at Air University in Montgomery, Alabama. He is currently back on active duty in the US Air Force.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Northern Tanzania and History: Places, Plants and People Chapter 2: Precarious Beginnings and the End of Independence (1891 to 1906) Chapter 3: Consolidation of the African-European Landscape (1907 to March 1916) Chapter 4: Places: A New Ordering Chapter 5: Plants: The Green Newcomers Chapter 6: People: Christianity and Botanical Proselytization Chapter 7: A New World in Northern Tanzania: Beyond 1916 with the Places, Plants and People Glossary 1: Words in African Languages Glossary 2: Words in Germanshow more

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