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date: 24 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter highlights negotiations of meanings a Western church worker encountered in a Chadian congregation. For many mainline churches, “missions agencies,” focused on proselytization, are not the sole or even primary mode of outreach; “development agencies,” focused on local economic and social development, complement them. These two types of agencies are tied, through institutional memories in Western and African churches, to the cultural, including musical, practices of missions. The chapter retells the story of a Western development worker who frames her role as “learner” but finds she is understood as missionary “teacher” and is asked to teach and not learn music. Music is a persistent indicator of a history of missionary interactions between Chadian and Western Christians that lends meanings to and constrains present-day transnational interactions between them; it can provide a shared space of practice that is not contiguous with the “meanings” of the music under discussion.

Keywords: Christianity, music, Africa, Chad, development, missions, teaching, practice, transnational, Mennonite

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