Sunday, November 27, 2011

Book Review: The Moravians in Labrador

This book, written by an unknown person and published in the mid 1830s, details the missionary efforts of the Moravian Church among the Esquimaux (aka Eskimo) people of Labrador. The work details what like was like among the natives and missionaries. Food was sometimes difficult to come by. After the Moravian missionaries had been there a few years, they finally got to the point that a ship arrived from England once a year. The hardships were incredible, but the Moravians did appear to have a great deal of success in evangelizing the Eskimos. There seemed to be quite a bit of repetition in the book, and there was a lot of what I would call "padding" or "fluff" in the text by including conversations, particularly those of a spiritual nature, which probably were not exactly as they are written. I would have preferred a more concisely written historical account. It's difficult to provide a rating to a book that was written in another time and probably for another purpose other than that which I read it. In the end, I chose to rate it by today's standards. While the book contains glimpses into the culture and into the evangelization efforts, there is little here that would compel an individual to read this account. A journal article or book essay containing the essence of the historical and cultural nuggets and written in a style more engaging for late 20th or early 21st century readers would be much more engaging.

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