The Marginal Languages of Colonial Belief

The Marginal Languages of Colonial Belief

At what point did colonized peoples come to be recognized as objects of evangelistic attention? When were their languages recognized as media for the transmission of truth? I argue that in certain contexts of Protestant missionization, concepts of speaker sincerity and colonial fears of laborers’ duplicity found common expression in belated realizations about how colonial languages might be used for evangelistism. I examine the moment Lutheran missionaries in colonial New Guinea decided to use New Guinea Pidgin English, now known as Tok Pisin, to evangelize their urban laborer workforce, and contrast this historical situation with some other more recent contexts.

Special start time 12:00-1:00pm


Meeting ID: 937 9210 4939

Passcode: 800615


Date & time

Mon 09 Aug 2021, 12–1pm




Courtney Handman, University of Texas


Matt Tomlinson


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