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Crocodiles, Masks and Madonnas: Catholic Mission Museums in German-Speaking Europe
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Description
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines mission museums established by Catholic mission congregations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland from the 1890s onwards. The aim is to provide the first extensive study on these museums in a way that contributes to current blind spots in mission history, and the history of anthropology and museology. In this study I use Angela Jannelli’s concept of small-scale and amateurish museums to create a framework in order to characterise the museums. The dissertation focuses on the missionaries and their global networks, their “collecting” in the mission fields overseas, and the “collected” objects, by looking at primary sources from mission congregations’ archives. In the middle section of the dissertation the findings of an analysis of the compiled list of thirty-one mission museums are presented. This presentation focuses on their characteristics (for example, the museum surroundings, the opening and closing dates, the role of the curators, and type of objects). From this list of thirty-one museums three case studies were selected for in-depth analysis: (1) three “Africa museums” of the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver (SSPC) in Salzburg, Maria Sorg and Zug, (2) an ethnographically oriented mission museum of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in the mission house St. Gabriel near Vienna, and (3) a mission museum of the Sacred Heart Missionaries (MSC) in Hiltrup-Münster. This study reveals the reasons for opening mission museums by presenting a list of ten intentions. Then I propose a conclusive definition of a European Catholic mission museum. Finally, short descriptions (“portraits”) in the appendix present and analyse all thirty-one mission museums. In presenting the broad diversity of these museums, the thesis contributes to the understanding of missionary congregations’ development in the late 19th and 20th century and their impact on the material and immaterial exchange between German-speaking Catholic Europe and overseas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Theology , 2019. , p. 425
Series
Studia Missionalia Svecana, ISSN 1404-9503 ; 121
Keywords [en]
Mission museums, mission collections, mission exhibitions, mission history, Catholic mission, mission congregations, missionary networks, history of anthropology, anthropological objects, exhibits, history of collecting, Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver (SSPC), Society of the Divine Word (SVD), Sacred Heart Missionaries (MSC)
Keywords [de]
Missionsmuseen, Missionssammlungen, Missionsausstellungen, Missionsgeschichte, Katholische Mission, Missionskongregationen, missionarische Netzwerke, Anthropologiegeschichte, anthropologische Objekte, Ausstellungsstücke, Geschichte des Sammelns, Missionsschwestern vom heiligen Petrus Claver (SSPC), Gesellschaft des göttlichen Wortes (SVD), Herz-Jesu-Missionare (MSC)
National Category
History of Religions Religious Studies
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-395570ISBN: 978-91-506-2792-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-395570DiVA, id: diva2:1363017
Public defence
2019-12-13, Sal XI, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-22 Created: 2019-10-22 Last updated: 2019-11-22

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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