For Dutch Calvinist missionaries in Central Java, two events bookended the radically transformative decade of the 1890s. The first, at the start of the decade, was the severing of relations with a charismatic Javanese leader named Sadrach, a decision that marked a redoubled commitment to suppress local Christian syncretism and to promote Calvinist orthodoxy in its stead. The second, at the decade's end, was the establishment of a modern clinic to serve as the flagship institution of a reformulated and reinvigorated missionary project. This article considers how these two seemingly disparate events are related. It suggests that much of what was troubling to missionaries about Sadrach and his indigenous Christian movement involved their understandings and uses of the body. I then consider how the mission attempted to use modern clinical experience and the anatomical perspective to address a range of ethical and epistemological problems posed by Sadrach and his followers' understandings of the body. The modern clinic would serve as a key pedagogical and disciplinary tool for the reordering of a vocabulary and syntax of bodies and souls, a grammar of religious and social expression.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.