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For a space approach to the mission


How to mobilize a support for the Christian mission which settles in a country considered difficult and dangerous? In the last quarter of 19th S., it is the challenge which takes up each week the specialized periodical Missions catholiques, by publishing letters and images sent by the missionaries of Black Africa. Their cards are not an ordinary illustration: if they reveal a territory which cumulates all the signs of the otherness, they especially translate by graphic and toponymic choices a clean speech, entirely devoted to the evangelization. Located on the margins of the known world, the mission is staying alone, without colonial competitor; the multiplication of the Latin crosses proves progress of the apostolate; the mention of the catechist presence testifies to a methodical framing and reveals the space strategies to occupy the ground; the sharing and division in fields of apostolate finally make possible the adaptation of the Church to the territory. Thus, the cards transform a faraway, ungrateful and pagan ground in a Christian space, hopeful and becoming nearer by the vital cord which connects it to Europe. Tables, diagrams and cards clarify this presentation.

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