Tag Archives: Missionary

Tribunal instead of canonization

Tribunal Junipero Serra 091215The canonization of the missionary Junípero Serra by Pope Francis this week has once again brought the discussion about the connection between mission and colonialism into the world public. Already in advance there was a lot of protest from Native American organizations and activists. The American Indian Movement (AIM) in California held a tribunal for Serra in Los Angeles in which he was convicted of enslavement, torture, and participation in genocide, among other crimes. The Walk of Anchestors proclaimed a Day of Mourning on the day of canonization after a 650-mile pilgrimage in memory of the victims of missionization. An initiative around Norma Flores tried to prevent the canonization by petition. An interview with Flores can be found here.

For those interested in the connection between mission and colonialism, the film The Colonial Misunderstanding by Jean-Marie Teno is recommended.

Addendum: And here is the reference to a detailed background article by Indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.

Statement on the feature “Musical Missionization. Baroque music from the jungle”.

On August 30, 2013, Deutschlandfunk broadcast the feature “Musikalische Missionierung. Baroque music from the jungle”. Lena Böllinger has written a letter in response to this, which we would like to make public herewith. Several organizations have signed it, including glocal.

Addendum: Judith Grümmer wrote a response for Deutschlandfunk, which you can find here.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I heard your August 30, 2013 feature “Musical Missionization. Baroque Music from the Jungle” on Deutschlandfunk. I am deeply appalled and outraged by the way colonialism and the related missionary activities of the Jesuits have been addressed. At no point in your feature is there a critical reflection on the connection between missionization, colonial history of violence, and racism. Instead, the feature attempts to whitewash and legitimize missionization as “soft colonization.” In doing so, it updates and reproduces colonial-racist stereotypes and white[1] superiority fantasies. Continue reading