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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Highly educated mission: the University of Leuven, the missionary congregations and Congo, 1885-1960
Authors:Mantels, RubenISNI
Tollebeek, JoISNI
Year:2007
Periodical:Exchange: Bulletin of Third World Christian Literature
Volume:36
Issue:4
Pages:359-385
Language:English
Geographic terms:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Belgium
Subjects:missions
universities
Catholic Church
colonial period
Link:https://doi.org/10.1163/157254307X225034
Abstract:This article discusses the relationship between the Catholic University of Leuven and the Catholic missionary congregations during the period when they were involved in the Belgian colony of the Congo. Their relationship was successful and longstanding, thanks to local networks and interaction between the two institutions, as well as to their shared values and complementary strengths. The forms of cooperation in which they engaged ranged widely, from setting up student missionary movements and teaching programmes for missionaries to providing agricultural and medical university support at the mission stations; and from studying the colonial language experience of the missionary to large-scale cooperation as was the case with Lovanium, the first Belgian university in Congo, named after its 'mother institution' and operational from 1949 onward. These examples indicate that the partnership was active both in Leuven and in the Congo. The missionary archives, however, reveal that the colonial reality could differ from the image that was created in official language and propaganda. The difficult relations between the Leuven specialists and the local missionaries and the disputes between the boards of the Leuven councils and those of the missionary congregations were typical for the University's colonial activities. From 1955 onwards, as the movement for independence was gaining strength, the process of decolonization set in and the cooperation collapsed. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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