The problem of the binarisms of colonial discourse has been considerably debated, yet the supply of historical text is still to be added. The Inner Mission (IM) movement adapted from the Elberfeld system (Germany) was introduced by the Rev. J.B. Paton in seeking to unite all the Christians to deal with social problems. In contrast to the foreign or outer mission of the church, it emphasizes the need for the missionary effort within the homeland and this subsequently encouraged the formation of the civic societies at the turn of the century. Focusing on the Midlands, but including other examples, this paper explores how the concept of colonization was applied to domestic problems by examining both ideology and practice of IM embodied in the civic societies. The epistemological irony of IM is discussed with emphasis in that the poor were regarded as neighbours in need, yet, at the same time, as enemies who could "shake modern Christian society back into the barbarian Chaos. At this point, the universality as the British should be immediately transferred into the difference between the destitute and the better-off. This shows how "the narrow epistemic violence of imperialism" shrinks itself by excluding the poor from the subject in the process of repeated identification and differentiation.
Last modified: 7 May 2001