Religion Past and Present

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(908 words)

[German Version]

The term missionary gained currency during European overseas expansion (Colonialism and mission), generally designating someone active in the organized attempt to convert a non-European ethnic group to Christianity. In contrast to passing on one's faith, considered the duty of all Christians, modern mission has always argued for a special “calling” of missionaries (by God, the church or other delegates) as special (ordained) ambassadors of Christ. However, the history of mission (Mission, History of) offers a great variety of differing interpretations…

Cite this page
Ustorf, Werner, “Missionary”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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