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Sources from the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, Edinburgh

Women’s missionary activity is an area of continuing fascination for scholars.  It was an early area of empowerment for women, as the call of religion gave women the right to travel to the furthest reaches of the known world – often unchaperoned.  Their gender also provided them with access to some areas of foreign societies (for instance, the harem and the zenana), which were difficult for men to access.

The Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World (CSCNWW) has rich resources in this area and we present them in this project for the benefit of scholars.  We include:

  • The Female Missionary Intelligencer, 1862-1877 – this was the publication of the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East and describes the activities of women missionaries in countries as diverse as Egypt, Turkey, Sudan, China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Tibet.   
  • Ladies Society Reports, 1847-1901; Ladies Society Quarterly Papers, 1845-1897 –  They were active in Bengal, Madras, Bombay, Jalna, Puna and Nagpore in India; and in Lovedale, Burnshill and Pirie in South Africa.
  • News of the Female Mission of the Church of Scotland, 1862-1922.
  • The Women’s Missionary Magazine of the United Free Church of Scotland, 1901-1919.
  • The Quarterly Zenana Record, 1887-1900; Sabbath School missionary leaflets, 1880-1900; The Children’s Monthly Missionary Newspaper 1843 – 1847; and the Juvenile Missionary Magazine, 1844-1850.

The records tell us much about women’s travel, their lives and expectations and the lives of women and families in the cultures that they visited.

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