The SAGE Handbook of Geographical Knowledge is a critical inquiry into how Geography as a field of knowledge has been produced, re-produced, and re-imagined. It comprises three sections on Geographical Orientations, Geography’s Venues, and Critical Geographical Concepts and Controversies. The first provides an overview of the genealogy of ‘geography.' The second highlights the types of spatial settings and locations in which geographical knowledge has been produced. The third focuses on venues of primary importance in the historical geography of geographical thought.
Chapter 15: The Mission
Locating Missionary Science
On 7 January 1844, Johann Ludwig Krapf of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) arrived at Zanzibar on the coast of East Africa. A German missionary, educated at the University of Basle, he had been employed by the Society to establish a mission base from which to Christianise ‘the interior’, which at this stage was still little known to Europeans. Though primarily and ultimately a Christianising endeavour, Krapf was aware of the scientific opportunity that such a venture could afford, suggesting in 1860 that:
The labours of a missionary pioneer must ever form a contribution to geographical and ethnographical science, if as should always be the case, those missionaries who enter unexplored wilds become at the same time promoters of geographical knowledge ...