The Steamer Parish: The Rise and Fall of Missionary Medicine on an African Frontier

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University of Chicago Press, Jan 10, 2004 - Medical - 487 pages
In the mid-1800s, a group of High Anglicans formed the Universities' Mission to Central Africa (UMCA). Inspired by Dr. David Livingstone, they felt a special calling to bring the Church, education, and medical care to rural Africans. To deliver services across a huge, remote area, the UMCA relied on steamer ships that were sent from England and then reassembled on Lake Malawi. By the mid-1920s, the UMCA had built a chain of mission stations that spread across four hundred miles.

In The Steamer Parish, Charles M. Good Jr. traces the Mission's history and its lasting impact on public health care in south-central Africa-and shows how steam and medicine, together with theology, allowed the Mission to impose its will, indelibly, on hundreds of thousands of people. What's more, many of the issues he discusses-rural development, the ecological history of disease, and competition between western and traditional medicine-are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago.

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Christian Medical Missions and African Societies
The Lake Malawi Region Forces of Change in the Late Nineteenth Century
The Return of the UMCA to Malawi Technology and Political Relations in the Quest for Permanent Influence
Expanding the Steamer Parish Ten Thousand Square Miles for Mission
Steamer Technology Local Ecology and Regional Economy
Health in SubSaharan Africa and Malawi on the Eve of Colonization
Medical Services for Missionaries and Africans
Gauging Change African Health and Wellbeing
Treatment and Control Limits and Contradictions of Science and Missionary Medicine
The Rise and Fall of Missionary Medicine

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About the author (2004)

Charles M. Good Jr. is a professor emeritus of geography at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is the author of The Community in African Primary Health Care and Ethnomedical Systems in Africa.

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