Fictional Mission An introduction to and bibliography for missionaries in fiction

Author: Richard Johnson, Head of Biblical Studies, Redcliffe College, Gloucester.


One of the smaller sub-genres of literature that should be of interest to all mission practitioners is that of ‘fictional mission’; in other words, novels (or other fiction) in which missionaries play a significant role within the plot, and at times may be the central character(s) within the story. Such novels have a long history – the earliest that I know of is Sydney Owenson’s The Missionary: An Indian Tale, published in 1811 (and reprinted by Broadview Literary Texts, 2002). I would guess that there must be over a hundred novels within this genre; in a provisional list at the end of this article I have mentioned about fifty candidates for inclusion, and I would be grateful if any readers of this article can add to the list!

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