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HUMANITIES 237 and structural styles that are integral to creating sacred space. A church is a 'house,' not only for God but also for the congregation, which gathers there at specific times and for specific purposes. In contrast, a Hindu, a Sikh, or a Buddhist temple, or a Muslim mosque, is more specifically a place of worship where the devotees come often for individual worship throughout the day and week. One day perhaps someone of Bennett's calibre and scholarship will write a similar history of temples and mosques of all the faiths that have grown up in Canada in the past three decades. That too is a fascinating story in the cultural fabric of Canada. (SEHDEV KUMAR) Brett Christophers. Positionin.g the Missionan;: John Booth Good and the Confluence ofCultures in Nineteenth-Century British Columbia University of British Columbia Press. xxii, 200. $65.00 Brett Christophers's analysis of the missionof the Anglican missionaryJolm Booth Good to the Nlha7kapmx of northern British Columbia from the late 18605 to early 18808 is a thoughtful contribution to the vexed study of Christianity and imperialism.Training a wide-angle lens on his subject,and drawing on international comparisons, Christophers places the history of Christianity in British Columbia squarely into the colonial context, where it surely belongs- whatever the degree of contemporary Canadian myopia about our collective colonial past. Christophers discusses the roots of Good's mission and some reasons why the Nlha7kaprnx may have wished to have it, as well as the spectacular rise and rapid decline of what proved to be a short-lived venture once the colonial state began in earnest to rob the Nlha7kaprnx of their land. The heart of the book is, however, Christophers 's examination of more abstract (if still materially grounded) questions, such as Anglican theologies of mission and attitudes to empire, Anglican uses of space to create colonial relationships, missionary and Nlha7kapmx ideas of conversion, and competing ideologies of sexuality and domesticity. Christophers's criticisms, however polite, of aspects of post-colonial theory are particularly convincing. Christophers has something of a theological bent. At any rate he is fascinated by the not completely dissimilar fields of patristic theology, Foucault's ideas on religion and authority, the thought of St Paut and postcolonial theory. For many this will be a strength of the book. Others may find Positioning the Missionanj somewhat abstract. It is not until the final pages of the book, for example, that we learn that chiefs seemingly controlled Anglicanism in the region, that Booth was at certain times of the year an absentee missionary heavily reliant on local proselytizers, and that Booth himself was a rather more tortured individual than the blander figure of the opening pages, tormented by financial indiscretion, seeming marital problems, and persistent accusations of drinking. 238 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 I myself wanted more information on the Nlha7kaprnx themselves. Christophers worries about, while ultimately disagreeing with, the view of some writers that historical analysis of the 'other' is a form of renewed domination. Having argued against this claim, Christophers ironicallymay not go far enough in his consideration of Nlha7khipmx motivations and actions. Read against the grain, Christophers's own evidence suggests that the decentring of the white missionary which has been a key feature of recent writings about the history of Christianity in Africa may also be appropriate here. What does it mean that Nlha7kaprnx leaders ran the surveillance systems instituted by Goodl that there were large numbers of local agents in the villages, that Good did not speak the language fluently for yearsand depended on translators, and that the Nlha7kapmx seemingly called in Anglicans when Catholics proved unsatisfactory, only to dismiss the Anglicans in turn? Christophers makes all this clear but is so concerned to examine missions as primarily a form of colonial dialectic that he does not pose the obvious question of whether Booth was actually somewhat peripheral to the history of Christianity in the Fraser Canyon. What, furthermore, were the power dynamics and divisions within Nlha7kapmx society itself, here portrayed in a rather monolithic fashion? Arguably there are two further books struggling to emerge from this one. One is a biography of Good, with all his...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 237-238
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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