Fortress Press

Missionary Conquest: The Gospel and Native American Cultural Genocide

Missionary Conquest

The Gospel and Native American Cultural Genocide

George E. Tinker (Author)


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George Tinker's fascinating probe into U.S. mission history pierces the romantic veil of most history writing and shows how four of the most noted Christian missionaries—men of the highest moral character, the best of intentions, and sincere commitment to the gospel—confused gospel values and European cultural values, often with lethal results.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800625764
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 192
  • Publication Date September 1, 1993


"This powerful book will become a watershed in understanding the impact of Christian missionary efforts among tribal and non-Western peoples. George Tinker brings precise scholarship to the examination of leading historic religious figures to show that for all their efforts to assist Indians they did not and could not hear the common humanity in the people they helped. I only wish the book were longer and covered more religious personalities—it is superior!"
— Vine Deloria, Jr., University of Colorado
author of God Is Red

"With incisiveness and honesty, the work of four proselytizing missionaries and their drive to convert American Indians to Christianity are convincingly linked with Euroamerican political and military strategy. The result: A continuing genocide, unmatched in historical literature, a brutal fantasy confounded by contradictions. With unmistakable indignation and a keen awareness of contemporary politics, Tinker reminds us that these myths have held sway for so long that we—Indians and non-Indians—must now open our eyes and refuse to participate in the marginalization and threats to American Indians and their diverse ways of life."
— Ines M. Talamantez, University of California
Santa Barbara

Table of Contents


  1. Missionary Intentions, Missionary Violence

  2. John Eliot
    Conversion, Colonialism, and the Oppression of Language

  3. Junípero Serra
    Spiritual Conquest and Famine in California

  4. Pierre-Jean De Smet
    Manifest Destiny and Economic Exploitation

  5. Henry Benjamin Whipple
    The Politics of Indian Assimilation

  6. The Enduring Dilemma
    Where Do We Go from Here?

    Selected Bibliography