„Mission and Violence"
The 3rd congress on Mission History, 18.-20.2.1999 in Berlin/Germany
by Johannes Althausen
To deal with mission and violence might remind somebody in Berlin/Germany on the role of this city in times, when colonial administration was established in Germany. And yet – something is changing here, not least because of a non violent revolution ten years ago in this city. In fact, people were gathered in church buildungs and went from there to demonstrations by candles to get free. So the Berlin wall was destroyed and the reunification of Germany could take place. After this experiences something has to be started anew. In a changing political, cultural and even spiritual situation a so far relativly unusal interdisciplinary way of researching mission history has started. This is also due to the fact, that archivs as this of the Berlin Mission became better accessable again. Missiological scholars can find resources, which were somewhat hidden for decades. The study of important parts of mission history, especially during the 19th century, is achieved.
Sixty specialists in the field of mission history met in February 1999 at a brand new conference-centre in the East of Berlin, to held the third Mission-History-conference, which was invited for in Berlin since 1989. They were invited by the department on missiology, religious-studies and ecumenics at the Humboldt-University as well as by the institute for Afrikan sciences at the same university and by the Berlin Society for Mission History. The last is working since 1994, bringing together scholars from East and West, North and South, historians, political scientists, ethnologists as well as theologians and others. It is interested to further the interdisciplinarial cooperation on mission history and even so to help mission-archivs, which are located in the Berlin Region in Germany. That’s why this society was functioning mainly as preparing and leading group of the respectiv conference.
The congress should investigate relationships between „Mission and Violence" mainly in times and developments between 1792 and 1918 under viewpoints as many as could be helpful. Keynotes were given, discussing basic questions between mission and violence. W. Ustorf/Birmingham, for instance, made an excellent overview on historical developments of tensions and dependencies between the too terms. E. Dammann, senior of german afrikanists and missiologists, investigated the terms mainly from a point of view of mission experiences. A. Feldtkeller/Heidelberg worked out distinctions and parallel phenomena of christian missions and islamic expansions. D. Jeyaray/Madras and C. Omari/Daressalaam offered special insights of Asian and African perspectives. Section work gave many possibilities to present case-studies from different parts of the world, especially from those regions, which are dealt with in Berlin archivs, as South Afrika or the Near East. These meetings were also a great opportunity for exchange between participants from the investigated regions in southern continents and researching people in the North.
Despite of the relativly small number of participants, the conference gave opportunities to discuss its questions in a rather broad spectrum. Besides of historians and theolgians it involved for instance a lawyer, who is studying materials of colonial administration in East Afrika telling stories on the role of missionaries in education. Journalists, students and quite a group of those, who are practizing mission, social or developmental work, were helpful partners in many debates. The conference partly became a plattform of scientific exchange between research people and practizionars or between generations. Interesting enough, even those, who have gotten their scientific orientation originally from marxistic points of view, had a chance to give their contributions. Scholars were present even from Middle amd Eastern Europe.
Quite a lot of case-studies were dealing with revolutionary processes at special regions, for instance in South Afrika, looking into situations, in which mission was affecting social, economic or cultural traditions or structures. With regard to the role of missionaries in those situations in most of the cases it had to be stated, that this role was often ambivalent. Nevertheless, missionary people in many cases became victims of revolutionary events rather than winners of these processes. Estonishing enough, sometimes love amd witness for non-violence by those people, however, opened after a long time new ways of life for others. Discussing mission and violence – this became more and more clear during the conference – means also to think about emancipatory effects of mission history as well.
Of course, there are several variations of violence to be dealt with in historical studies, as E. Dammann was calling for in his keynote. Besides of revolutionary or military violence and the involvment of mission people in it, even structural violence has to be considered. It was one of the most important phenomena of colonial times. Under this structural points of view missionaries mostly had to play their role at any position between imposed structures and indegionous people. Different contributions at the Berlin conference offered examples of missionaries, which may have showen the nessecity of new careful biographical researches in this field. Difficult to interprete are also those situations, in which violence can be seen only as psychological factor, as technical factor of communication or of education. Controversal discussions were unavoidable at that conference and has to be continued as often as possible.
The more, in their feedback the participants underlined the nessecity of conferences like this. Unfortunately, opportunities to have exchanges and to discuss results of research in mission history between those, who are working in this field, are rather seldom. And also, the theme of „mission and violence" has to be looked at in much more situations with a very open mind. The truth, which should be strived on by all involved people, will be gained only by carefull and interdisciplinary research combined with openess for different views of others, with rediness to prove the own view and with acknowledgement of basic roots of mission in God’s truth. The non-violent revolution, which was experienced ten years ago even by participants of that congress, might be a motivating power to continue this work.
The Berlin Society for Mission History (Berliner Gesellschaft für Missionsgeschichte – BGMG) is going to publish keynotes and papers of the conference in its serie „Missionsgeschichtliches Archiv" soon. In October 1999 Prof. Dr. Andreas Feldtkeller became head of the department on missiology, religious studies and ecumenics within the „Theologische Fakultät der Humboldt-Universität" in Berlin. It should be mentioned also, that the Archivs and the old Mission-Library of the Berlin Mission (since 1824) are after a time of restauration of the buildings again located in former East-Berlin. The archiv-materials were not affected by destructions during World War II. But, the question, how it can be maintained in an acceptable shape for every user, is, because of financial reasons, not yet solved. The BGMG is working on it together with the Berlin Mission and other institutions in Berlin. Interested people are invited to join this work or to ask for informations.
Programme of the International Congress
"Mission and Violence"
February 18th-20th,1999 in Berlin/Germany

Andreas Feldtkeller/Heidelberg:
Christliche Mission und islamische Ausbreitung
Alex Carmal/Haifa:
Der Kaiser reist ins Heilige Land - Legende und Wirklichkeit
Ejel Jakob Eisler/Haifa:
Gewalt gegen die protestantische Mission in Nabus und die nachfolgende Versöhnung (1854-1901)
Frank Foerster/Berlin:
Mission in der Stille - Die gewaltlose Missionskonzeption Christian Friedrich Spittlers für Jerusalem und Äthiopien

Klaus Hock/Rostock:
Jihad - Mahaismus - Sklaverei. Eine islamische Tradition der Gewalt im Zentralsudan?
Vera Pawlikova -Vilhanova/Bratislava:
Crescent or cross: Islam and Christian mission in
ninetheenth-century east and central Africa
Michael Pesek/Berlin:
Kreuz oder Halbmond. Die deutsche Kolonialpolitik zwischen Pragmatismus und Paranoia in Deutsch-Ostafrika, 1908-1914
Sigvard von Sicard/Birmingham:
Missionary Attitudes and Approaches to Muslims. Zanzibar 1864-1890
Sektion 2.      Mission und Gewalt in Afrika
Werner Ustorf/Birmingham:
What if the light in you is darkness? An inquiry into the shadow of the missionary self
A.S. Balesin/Moskau:
Europäische Missionare in Ost- und Südafrika: Kulturbegegnung oder Gewalt?
Henry C. Jatti Bredekamp/Belleville:
The Khoekhoe servants revolt, Moravian
missionaries and Khoekhoe converts at the turn of the 18th. century in South Africa
Nkem Hyginus M. V. Chigere:
Missionary violence and culture- conflicts in
christian evangelisation among the Igbo of Nigeria
Ernst Dammann/Pinneberg:
Gedanken eines alten Missionars über Gewalt in der Mission in Schwarzafrika
Hans Heese/Belleville:
Pietism and protest: The people of Amalienstein and Zoar and the Berlin Missionary Society in the nineteenth century
Irving Hexham/Calgary:
Violating Missionary Culture. The Tyranny of Theory and the Ethics of Historical Research
Ulrich van der Heyden/Berlin:
Der "Burenkrieg" von 1899 bis 1902 und die deutschen Missionsgesellschaften
Elfriede Höckner/Wien:
Monogamie contra Polygamie: Strukturelle Gewalt im Kontext sozialer Beziehungen
Gunther Pakendorf/Kapstadt:
Die Missionsordnung im 19. Jahrhundert
C. M. Pauw/Stellenbosch:
Mission and violence in Malawi. A case study involving the Dutch Reformed Church Missionand colonial violence
Karla Poewe/Calgary:
The spell of National Socialism. The Berlin Mission's Opposition to, and Compromise, with the Völkisch Movement and the National
Socialism: Knak, Braun, Weichert
Johannes W. Raum/München:
Missions and Missionaries and the problem of violence during the frontier wars on the eastern frontier of the Cape colony in the middle of the 19th century
Kathrin Roller/Berlin:
"Statt dessen schwang sie eine andere Waffe..." Gewalt und Geschlecht in Missionstexten aus der Zeit der Jahrhundertwende. Ein
Diskussionsbeitrag an deutsch- südafrikanischen Beispielen.
Andrea Schultze/Berlin:
"Pach schlägt sich. Pack verträgt sich." - Heinrich Kallenberg und sein Widerstand gegen die gewaltsame Landnahme der Europäer (Südafrika um 1880)

Harri Siiskonen/Joensuu:
The seven year war (1863-1870) in South West Africa

Sektion    3.   Mission und Gewalt in Asien
Daniel Jeyaraj/Madras:
Missionsgedanke und Gewaltausübung am Beispiel der dänisch-halleschen Mission
Michael Bergunder/Halle:
Proselytismus in der Geschichte des indischen
Christentums. Eine ökumenische Bestandsaufnahme
Albert Frenz/Geislingen:
Der Widerstand der Mappilas in Hermann Gunderts Schriften
Vera Mielke/Oldenburg:
Unterstützung und Bekämpfung von Gewalt durch Missionarinnen in China 1842 bis 1918 unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Missionarinnen der Liebenzeller Mission
C. S. Mohanavelu/Madras:
Karl Graul's efforts to promote evangelic Lutheran Mission in Tamil Nadu during 1944-1864
Andreas Nehring/Seeon:
Kastenkonflikte in Südindien im Spiegel der Leipziger Missionsberichte
Gerhard Tiedemann/London:
Bekehrung und Gewalt: Missionsprotektorate und die Ausbreitung des Christentums in China 1842-1918
Sektion 4.     Christliche Mission und deutsche Kolonialherrschaft in Afrika
Cuthbert Omari/Daressalam:
A reflective synopsis of the Berlin missionaries: Past expierience, lessons for the future
Ingrid Grienig/Berlin:
"Ein äusserst schwer zu bedienendes Missionsobjekt": Die Farmarbeiter. Zum Wirken der Rheinischen Mission in der letzten Phase
Adja Kouassi/Bouaké:
Die katholische Mission und die Kolonialverwaltung im Schutzgebiet Togo: Konflikte und Kompromisse
Kari Miettinen/Joensuu:
"Living on the King's land and drinking the King's water". Evolution of the relationship between Finnish Missionaries and Ondonga Kings, 1870 -   1920
Paul Nzacahayo/Edinburgh:
The role of the White Fathers in socio- economic conflicts in Rwanda between 1899 - 1916
Gabriel K. Nzalayaimisi/Iringa:
The Berliners and violence in eastern and southern Tanzania 1887 - 1919
Adja‹ Paulin Oloukpona-Yinnon/Lomé:
Die Bremer Mission und der Tove- Aufstand von
1895 in Togo
Joseph Parslaw/Arusha:
The founding of Arusha Town
Richard Pierard/Terre Haute:
The expulsion of German Protestant missionaries from the mission fields by the Allies in World War I
Sara Pugach/Chicago:
"Der Kampf im Interesse der Sprachen der Eingeborenen": Carl Meinhof, German Evangelical Missionaries and the Struggle over African Languages, 1875-1914
Harald Sippel/Bayreuth:
Mission und Gewalt in Deutsch- Ostafrika. Das Verhältnis zwischen Mission und Kolonialverwaltung
Holger Weiss/Helsinki:
The Beginning of Finnish Missionary Activity in Northern Namibia and its First Setbacks, 1869-1872