Teaching All Nations: Interrogating the Matthean Great Commission

Teaching All Nations: Interrogating the Matthean Great Commission

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Mitzi J Smith; Jayachitra Lalitha
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That Christian missionary efforts have long gone hand-in-hand with European colonization and American imperialist expansion. The role played in those efforts by the "Great Commission" - the risen Christ's command to "teach all nations" - has more often been observed than analyzed. With the rise of European colonialism, the Great Commission was suddenly taken up with an eschatological urgency, often explicit in the founding statements of missionary societies; the differentiation of "teachers" and "nations" waiting to be "taught" proved a ready-made sacred sanction for the racialized and androcentric logics of conquest and "civilization."