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Title: Conversion and Curriculum: nonconformist missionaries and the British and Foreign School Society in the British West Indies, Africa and India, 1800-1850.
Authors: Dornan, I
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Citation: Studies in Church History, 55
Abstract: In 1826, Baptist missionary William Knibb sent the British and Foreign School Society (BFSS) samples of his pupils’ handwriting and embroidery signed with their name, age and status (slave and free) from the colony of Jamaica. The ‘Slave Book’1 (so named in the Society’s archives) is an extraordinary artefact, for slaves in the British West Indies were customarily prohibited from learning to write, a fact that is poignantly illustrated by the dearth of written records by slaves in the colonial archives. The ‘Slave Book’ bears witness to the goals of nonconformist missionaries like Knibb who before the Abolition Act (1833) challenged such long-standing planter prejudice by making religious instruction of the enslaved, based upon teaching slaves to read and in some cases also to write, a sine qua non of Christian conversion. It furthermore testifies to the role of pedagogy in nonconformist missionary education and, in particular, to nonconformist missionaries’ adoption of the Lancasterian method, also known as the British System, championed by the BFSS.
ISSN: 0424-2084
Appears in Collections:Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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