Literary approaches to the relationship between colonization, Christianity and civilization
Ali Yiğit (Kirklareli University)
Ali Yigit
B1 0.08
Thursday 18 July, 16:30-18:00

Short abstract:

This panel handles the role of Christian missionaries in the colonization and civilization of Nigeria and Cameroon in late 19th and early 20th centuries. The selected literary works of Achebe and Beti are analyzed with a particular focus on the paradoxical images that the missionaries displayed.

Long abstract:

The panel deals with the colonization process of Africa uncovering the critical role of Christian missionaries who are observed to have displayed paradoxical attitudes towards the natives of Africa in both colonization and their civilizing mission. While serving their benefit by offering education and health services to them, on the other hand, missionaries are seen to help colonizers directly or indirectly progress deep into the heart of Africa. Chinua Achebe and Mongo Beti are the selected authors to be considered who shed light on this characteristic of missionaries. Arrow of God and Things Fall Apart by Achebe and Poor Christ of Bomba and King Lazarus by Beti enlighten our way in dissolving the close relationship between Christianity, Civilization and Colonization. This panel aims to go deep into the core of the concepts of colonization, conversion and civilization and offers alternative ways in understanding today Africa's persistent problems. Key words: Colonization, missionaries, civilization.