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CATHOLIC EVANGELIZING IN ONE COLONIAL MISSION: THE INSTITUTIONAL EVOLUTION OFJOS PREFECTURE, NIGERIA, 1907-1954 BY Andrew E. Barnes* This article describes the development of the Catholic mission to the Northern Province of the British colony of Nigeria during the colonial era. Its primary concern is to illustrate the complexity of the social/historical forces involved in shaping the institutional character of a mission , and then, as an example, to chart the institutional evolution ofpart of the mission to Northern Nigeria to diocesan status. Because of his contribution to this evolution, a second focus details the actions taken by Monsignor WiUiam Lumley, Apostolic Prefect ofJos (1934-1954), in regard to evangeUzing the indigenous population, and underlines the importance of these actions in the larger history of Christianity in Northern Nigeria. Born out of a successful effort by the French Province of the Society ofAfrican Missions (SMA) to lay claim to territory previously under the jurisdiction of the Holy Ghost Fathers, the mission to Northern Nigeria was first estabUshed in 1907. Rome officially recognized it as a mission territory by naming it the ApostoUc Prefecture of Eastern Nigeria in 1911· Since the French Province of the SMA could never adequately staff the prefecture, Rome in 1929 granted a renamed and somewhat larger prefecture of Northern Nigeria to the Irish Province of the same order. In 1934 this prefecture was divided into two; the southern/ eastern half becoming the prefecture ofJos, the northern/western half becoming the prefecture of Kaduna. In 1954, six years before Nigeria *Dr. Barnes is an associate professor of African and European history in Arizona State University, Tempe. Abbreviations used in the notes below: AHA=Arewa House Archives, Kaduna, Nigeria JDA=JoS Diocese Archives,Jos, Nigeria NAK=National Archives, Kaduna, Nigeria PRO=PuWiC Record Office, London, Great Britain SMAC=Society ofAfrican Mission Archives, Cork, Ireland 240 BY ANDREW E. BARNES241 won its independence, both prefectures were promoted to dioceses. The concern here is with the original prefecture of Eastern, then of Northern Nigeria, and the later prefecture of Jos. The mission in these years evolved from an (unofficial) government outpost into a (de facto) immigrant African church, and then, still serving as an immigrant church, developed into a (rural) school system for indigenous Africans. The Mission as (Unofficial) Colonial Outpost Government poUcy in Northern Nigeria toward Christian missions during the colonial era was based upon the concept of containment . Areas were placed in three categories: Muslim-controlled and -populated; Muslim-controlled but predominantly "pagan" in population ;"pagan"-controlled and -populated. Missionaries were permitted to establish stations only in areas in the last category. Muslim-controUed and -populated regions werein the extreme north and centered around urban emirates. Muslim-controlled but predominantly "pagan" regions were mostly adjacent to these emirates. "Pagan"-controlled and -populated areas were in the belt of tropical forest which stretched a hundred or so mUes north of the Niger-Benue waterway, and in the savanna lands upon what was first caUed the Bauchi, then later the Jos Plateau. In effect, Christian missions were held back from proselytizing in the densely populated, commerciaUy developed cities which had once made up the Sokoto Caliphate, and were directed instead toward hunter-gatherer and peasant societies too remote or pugnacious to have been conquered or "civiUzed" by Muslims.1 Even within the region in which they were allowed access, the government further sought to discourage missionaries from their preferred practice of traveling from village to vUlage preaching through interpreters .2 The government wanted missions to take the leading role in "civUizing" individual ethnic groups, a task administrators understood to involve settling in a given location and concentrating on supplying medical services and vocational training. Behind this set of constraints was a desire to inhibit the appearance in the North of the Christianized 1On the colonial government's views of the relationship between "pagan" territories and the Muslim emirates, see J. A. BaUard, " Pagan Administration' and Political Development in Northern Nigeria," Savanna, I (June, 1972), 1-14. On resistance to Muslim conquest see James H. Morrison, "Plateau Societies' Resistance to Jihadist Penetration," in Elizabeth Isichei (ed.), Studies in the History ofPlateau State, Nigeria (London, 1982), pp. 136-150. 2See E. R...


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