Consecrated toil : American Methodist missionaries in postindependence Cuba / Mark G. Brennan.
iv, 282 p. ; 29 cm.
- Local subjects:
- Penn dissertations -- History.
History -- Penn dissertations.
- Officials from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, identified Cuba as a fertile missionary field shortly after the island's liberation from Spain in 1898. This work will argue that Methodist missionaries working in Cuba did not view the saving of souls or the extension of American influence as their primary goals. Instead, these Protestant southerners aimed to facilitate Cuba's transformation from an agricultural colonial outpost to a modern democratic republic. According to the Methodist Church's understanding of political evolution, only Protestant countries could enter the early twentieth century's select group of developed nations. And in order for Protestantism to take root, the illiterate populace needed to learn how to read holy scripture. Toward that end, missionaries trained native Cuban Catholic converts as Methodist ministers in the belief that a "Cubanized" pastorate would be more effective than an American one. Missionaries ultimately hoped that future American military interventions would be unnecessary after they helped Cubans build their Protestant democratic republic. However, the Roman Catholic Church's dominance in Cuba, along with the island's centuries-old Spanish heritage, posed serious hurdles to the realization of their ambitions. Through the creation of a network of schools, an island-wide missionary newsletter, and a crusade against vice, these Progressive Era missionaries "Protestantized" politically influential sectors of Cuban society.
- Adviser: Bruce Kuklick.
Thesis (Ph.D. in History) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
- Kuklick, Bruce, advisor.
McDougall, Walter A. committee member.
Steinberg, Jonathan committee member.
University of Pennsylvania. History.
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