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With research based on extensive primary sources, the author examines the activities of the Methodist mission in Peru, in particular its educational work, within the Peruvian socioeconomic formation and its ideological and intellectual changes. Yet her study goes beyond Methodist boundaries: Social Gospel doctrine and educational theory, which link American Progressivism (especially John Dewey's pedagogical ideas) with Christianity, are also treated at an interdenominational level.
The book contends that Methodist schools constituted an educational system of their own within a socioeconomic formation of uneven character, a society where an imperialist presence was interwoven with pre-capitalist as well as local incipient capitalist forms. The author's analysis of the political dimension of missionary work--from the quest for religious freedom to the attempt to exert influence on social movements--leads her to consider the relationships among APRA leaders, the missionaries, and the interdenominational Committee on Cooperation in Latin America. Bruno-Jofre argues that Social Gospel doctrines, although couched in reformist language, were ultimately a vehicle of North American theology.
This book presents a refreshingly wide perspective on the development of education in the Third World as affected by missionary bodies from the First World.