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Light on Darkness?
Missionary Photography of Africa in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
POD; Published: 4/20/2012
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6524-3
Price: $ 37.50
304 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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Series: Studies in the History of Christian Missions (SHCM)

In its earliest days, photography was seen as inherently free of ideological bias. Today, in the world of Photoshop, we are rightly more skeptical - at least most of the time. When it comes to photography from the past, we tend to set some of our skepticism aside. But should we?

In Light on Darkness? leading historian of African Christianity T. Jack Thompson revisits a body of photography long taken at face value - that generated by British missionaries to sub-Saharan Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - and demonstrates that much more is going on in these images than meets the eye. This book offers a careful reassessment of missionary photographers, their photographs, and their African and European audiences, including over 70 fascinating photographs from the period.
International Bulletin of Missionary Research's Outstanding Books of 2012
American Historical Review
"A useful contribution to the historiography of missions, the history of photography, and African history, and will appeal to readers outside the confines of these areas of specialization."
International Bulletin of Missionary Research
"This volume makes a necessary contribution . . . . It is well worth reading."
Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
"Provides us with new ways of seeing into the past and adds to the variety of sources we have to produce a more comprehensive view of history."