A. Töpperwien: „Und er führte sie an das ersehnte Gestade“ – Wie die Denningers im heutigen Indonesien gelehrt und gelernt haben [PDF]


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ICul InterCultura – Missions- und kulturgeschichtliche Forschungen Volume 4

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200 pp.
1 map, 2 figures, 5 facsimile reproductions

Text language: German

The present volume gives insight into the long missionary life of Ernst and Sophie Denninger. Together they worked for almost thirty years in the former Dutch East Indies, trying to bring their faith to the indigenous people. The last stage of their life full of deprivations and toil was on Nias, an island off the west coast of Sumatra. The independent protestant church on Nias today, with communities distributed all over the island, bears vivid witness of Ernst and Sophie’s creative power.

To be properly able to reach out to their flock the Denningers had to learn and document several indigenous languages. Unfortunately, most of their linguistic work got lost. Only two documents from the Nias period survived, as well as instructions on how to use the Nias language properly. One of the Denninger’s achievements was the written documentation of this language. According to the author, the description of the observations the couple made at the various missionary stations of their life are much more important than their linguistic work.

Ernst had the gift to vividly describe not only the rain forest in Borneo or the steep mountains and deep valleys on Nias under the pitiless burning sun, but also the difficulties of dealing with the people there, especially while trying to win them over to his own faith. The precision of Ernst Denninger’s reports render his writings a remarkable research study.

Under these links you will find publications by Annemarie Töpperwien (born in 1929) and further studies of the history and the work of the UEM United Evangelical Mission:

Annemarie Töpperwien: Heimgeschickt – Ein Bericht über Kinder von Missionaren der Rheinischen Mission [PDF]
Annemarie Töpperwien: Seine „Gehülfin“ – Wirken und Bewährung deutscher Missionarsfrauen in Indonesien 1865–1930 [PDF]
J. Besten / G. von Kloeden / S. Parera-Hummel / A. Söhne (eds.): Sisters from Two Worlds – The Impact of the Missionary Work on the Role and the Life of Women in Namibian Church and Society [PDF]

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