Entanglements of Empire: Missionaries, Maori, and the Question of the Body
Tony Ballantyne is Professor of History at the University of Otago. He is the author or editor of many books, including Between Colonialism and Diaspora: Sikh Cultural Formations in an Imperial World and Bodies in Contact: Rethinking Colonial Encounters in World History, both also published by Duke University Press.
Conclusion: Bodies and the Entanglements of Empire
This final section of the book underlines several key points. It emphasizes the importance of social proximity in missionary work and the ways in which these forms of cross-cultural contact brought the nature and management of the body into question. The conclusion also suggests missionary work was ultimately a project in vernacularizing Christianity and, as such, the sharing, debating, and circulation of words and text was pivotal to the project of evangelization. Following on from this, it also stresses the unevenness of knowledge production about New Zealand and Māori. It highlights the disjuncture between the ability of Māori to shape everyday forms of knowledge production on the ground at the edge of the empire and their limited control over missionary and humanitarian texts produced in the imperial metropole, a divergence that is central in making sense of the colonization of New Zealand.