Introduction: Missionary Encounters in the Atlantic World

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Journal of Early Modern History, ISSN: 1385-3783, Vol: 21, Issue: 1-2, Page: 1-7

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Karin Vélez; Katharine Gerbner
Brill Academic Publishers; Brill
Arts and Humanities
article description
Missionaries were often the most prolific writers on non-European peoples and cultures in the early modern Atlantic world. As a result, their sources have proven to be indispensable for early modernists. For decades, historians have explored missionary encounters and the sources they inspired to gain insight into a wide variety of topics including native history, the history of religion, labor history, environmental history, the history of the African diaspora, and the history of capitalism. While missionary sources are used widely, most scholarship on the encounters themselves focuses on either a particular denomination or a particular region. Rarely is the surprisingly cohesive barrier between Protestant and Catholic missions breached within single volumes or monographs. This special issue seeks to break down these divides. By making inter-denominational and inter-imperial connections, this volume asks new questions about the meaning of missionary encounters in the early modern world.