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(Guest Editors: Peter Monteath & Matthew P. Fitzpatrick)

  • Peter Monteath & Matthew P. Fitzpatrick: German Missionaries and Australian Anthropology
  • Felicity Jensz: ‘Anthropological Investigation has Very Little Interest for Me’: Notes from Moravian Missionaries in Australia
  • Peggy Brock: Evangelism, Ethnography and Linguistics: Carl Strehlow and J. R. B. Love
  • Peter Monteath: Erhard Eylmann’s Missionary Position


  • Tanya Jakimow: Becoming a Developer: Processes of Personhood in Urban Community-driven Development, Indonesia


Guest editors: Peter Monteath & Matthew P. Fitzpatrick


Peter Monteath and Matthew P. Fitzpatrick

College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

German Missionaries and Australian Anthropology

pages 197-208

In their primary task of converting Indigenous Australians to Christianity, German missions active in various parts of Australia through the nineteenth and into the twentieth century recorded relatively few successes. On the other hand, their endeavours in observing and recording Aboriginal languages and cultures have left a rich – and yet frequently overlooked – anthropological legacy. A common element in that legacy is their work in the area of linguistics, which they understood to be a necessary foundation for their evangelical work. Nonetheless, caution must be exercised in evaluating the German missionary contribution to Australian anthropology according to either national or religious paradigms. German anthropology, as practised within the community of missionaries and outside, evinces a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. Moreover German anthropologists, including missionaries, were by the late nineteenth century connected into international knowledge networks.


Felicity Jensz

Cluster of Excellence for Religion and Politics, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany

‘Anthropological Investigation has Very Little Interest for Me’: Notes from Moravian Missionaries in Australia

pages 209-223

As some of the first people to spend extended amounts of time with Indigenous peoples, missionaries were well placed to provide information to European and colonial audiences on non-European peoples. Moravian missionaries arrived in Australia in the mid-nineteenth century and over the next six decades worked amongst numerous Indigenous groups in the south-eastern part of Australia, in the interior, and in northern Queensland. This paper will trace the contributions made by German Moravian missionaries to anthropological and ethnographical knowledge both in the colonies as well as in Germany. It will particularly focus upon the connections forged in religious and scientific networks through anthropological work. The paper contends that a unified German identity was forged through scientific work that transcended denominational boundaries. Moreover, the ability to disseminate ethnographical knowledge within secular circles, both in the colonies and in Germany, provided legitimisation to missionary work and embedded missionaries within global knowledge networks. Through examining the work of one individual missionary, Friedrich Hagenauer, the fragility of these global knowledge networks is explored.


Peggy Brock

Edith Cowan University - Mount Lawley Campus, North Adelaide, South Australia

Evangelism, Ethnography and Linguistics: Carl Strehlow and J. R. B. Love

pages 224-239

This article considers the intersection of evangelism, ethnography and linguistics in the work of two missionaries living among Aboriginal communities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Carl Strehlow was one of several German missionaries working in central Australia in the 1890s and into the twentieth century. J. R. B. Love met Strehlow briefly in 1913, but did not become a fully committed missionary himself until the 1920s. This paper first considers Strehlow’s evangelical, linguistic and ethnographic interests in relation to some of his German contemporaries, before comparing his approach to that of the younger, Presbyterian, Love to elucidate the inter-relationships between evangelism, linguistics and ethnography in the 1890s and early twentieth century in Australia.


Peter Monteath

College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Erhard Eylmann’s Missionary Position

pages 240-255

The German anthropologist Erhard Eylmann relied heavily on assistance provided by missionaries when he undertook fieldwork in Australia. During two periods at the Hermannsburg mission he developed a strained relationship with Carl Strehlow. In his major work Eylmann wrote a damning critique of missionaries. While there was a level of personal animosity between Eylmann and Strehlow, at the heart of the antagonism were fundamental differences concerning the nature and function of the discipline of anthropology. The missionaries sought anthropological knowledge to promote mutual understanding, above all through language, as a prelude to conversion to Christianity. They proceeded from the assumption that the future of Indigenous Australians would be within the context of the adoption of Christian belief systems. Eylmann in contrast took the view that the differences between Europeans and Indigenous Australians were physical, essential and insuperable. Sceptical about the possibility of achieving mutual understanding, he devoted his fieldwork primarily to describing, recording and collecting for the purpose of assembling a detailed record of a population he believed destined for extinction. Eylmann and German missionary anthropologists such as Strehlow had in common that they stood outside the paradigm of British social evolutionistic thinking which dominated Australian anthropology around the turn of the century at the time. At the same time, the differences in the anthropological endeavours of Eylmann and Strehlow indicate the great breadth of approaches opening up within German anthropology. In particular they point to the emergence of an ‘antihumanist’ turn at the end of the nineteenth century.




Tanya Jakimow

School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia

Becoming a Developer: Processes of Personhood in Urban Community-driven Development, Indonesia

pages 256-276

Community-driven development in Indonesia requires the recruitment of volunteers: local residents with the will to develop themselves and others. By revealing the processes of personhood in light of volunteers’ own theories of self, I aim to disrupt simple readings of subjectification in the anthropology of development. Local volunteers understand their recruitment as having the opportunity to occupy a social position that is aligned with their jiwa (nature), and their participation as satisfying their hati (seat of emotion). Rather than assess the success or failure of state actions to regulate or constitute citizens through discursive and affective means, I take seriously this understanding of development as a process of locating and recruiting people predisposed to becoming the subjects of state development. Doing so prompts new lines of enquiry that have been overlooked in understanding processes of subjectification in development: namely the reason why some people are recruited as development subject, while the majority are not.




Margaret Lock and Gisli Palsson. Can Science Resolve the Nature/Nurture Debate? (Jocelyn D. Avery)

Julian C.H. Lee.Thoughts: On Malaysia, Globalisation, Society and Self.(May Ting Beh)

Abhijit Guha. Tarak Chandra Das: An Unsung Hero of Indian Anthropology (Roma Chatterji)

Barbara Glowczewski. Desert Dreamers: With the Warlpiri People of Australia.(Georgia Curran)

Shane Greene. Punk and Revolution: 7 More Interpretations of Peruvian Reality (Jim Donaghey)

Maurice Godelier. L’Imaginé, l’imaginaire & le Symbolique (Laurent Dousset)

Stephen Gudeman. Anthropology and the Economy (Keith Hart)

Elisabeth Schober. Base Encounters: The US Armed Forces in South Korea (Masamichi Inoue)

Victoria Stead. Becoming Landowners: Entanglements of Custom and Modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.(Stuart Kirsch)

Emma Kowal. Trapped in the Gap: Doing Good in Aboriginal Australia (Jasmin Korte)

Emily Martin. The Meaning of Money in China and the United States: The 1986 Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures (Lara McKenzie)

Brad Weiss. Real Pigs: Shifting Values in the Field of Local Pork.(Adele Millard)

Carlo Severi. The Chimera Principle: An Anthropology of Memory and Imagination (Roger Sansi)

Frederick H. Damon. Trees, Knots, and Outriggers: Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring (Paul Sillitoe)

Loretta Baldassar, Graeme Johanson, Narelle McAuliffe and Massimo Bressan. Chinese Migration to Europe: Prato, Italy, and Beyond (Mette Thunø)