Michael W. Scott
London School of Economics & Political Science
"Jane Samson boldly identifies theological anthropology as the key to understanding how, at the height of European imperialism, British Protestant missionaries in the Pacific emerged as figures who confound modernist categories: they were religious men of empirical science, Christian cognoscenti of pagan pasts, and colonial abrogators of racial barriers. Offering nuanced readings of diverse sources, Samsons thematic study shows how the missionaries commitment to a distinctively biblical ontology of human unity informed strategies that extended Christian inclusivity to many aspects of Victorian science and Pacific Island cultures."
University of New South Wales
"Drawing on a wide body of sources, this major study illuminates the way in which missionaries sought to understand the Other. In doing so, it provides a fresh and significant perspective on the history of culture contact in the Pacific."
"Jane Samsons landmark study pours theology into history to explore how missionaries grappled with alterity in the Pacific in the 19th and early 20th centuries and contributed to or challenged the emerging discipline of anthropology. Her tropes of othering and brothering probe the tensions between missionary recognition of human difference and the Christian imperative to breach these distinctions. . . . This empirically based analysis of the theological anthropology of Christian mission in the Pacific is a powerful and innovative history."