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Missionary propaganda in the creole language of the Dutch Antilles

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The Roman Catholic Apostolic Church in Curaçao promoted the literary writing in the creole language Papiamentu in the 1920s and 1930s. The literary authors were native speakers of the language. Their prose writing was meant to promote Catholicism, both its religious creeds and, more particularly, its principles for everyday life. This creativity was unprecedented and grew in specifically demanding times for the missionary church, while Curaçao society rapidly industrialized. Missionary work was threatened by modern pleasures and comforts that loosened the bond of the people with the missionaries. This literary ‘propaganda’, though appreciated for being in Papiamentu, was shoved aside in the 1940s by secularized writing in the creole vernacular. Nonetheless, a firm stepping stone for writing in Papiamentu had been laid down.
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Keywords: Curaçao; Mission; Papiamentu; Roman Catholic Church

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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  • NTT Journal for Theology and the Study of Religion (NTT) provides academic articles on varying topics from all theological disciplines, with Dutch, English or German-speaking contributions, four times a year. In addition, there is a range of interesting reviews, which also highlight international books. NTT Journal for Theology and the Study of Religion is issued by the teachers of the University of Groningen, Leiden University, Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Faculty of Protestant Theology in Brussels and the Protestant Theological University.
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