Felicity Jensz’s deeply researched, well-written monograph, Missionaries and Modernity: Education in the British Empire, 1830–1910, is an ambitious, transnational analysis of the “civilizing” imperative of empire, education, and missionizing in both colonies and metropole. Jensz focuses throughout on the confluences yet conflicts between governmental and mission education agendas in diverse geopolitical and chronological colonial contexts. Throughout, she argues for the tension between, on the one hand, “colonial modernity” (a term coined by David Scott to broadly describe colonial governments’ attempts to “modernize” colonial subjects through, for example, voting, political participation and secular education) and, on the other hand, what Jensz dubs “missionary modernity.” Missionary modernity, Jensz posits, was a religious, rather than political, rationale that encompassed the liberal ideas of colonial modernity—“economic independence of individuals . . . universal education, and female emancipation from ‘traditional’ roles” (2–3), yet also transcended those secular goals by making central the goal instilling...

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