The essays in this volume study cultural conversions that arose from missionary activities in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Both Catholic and Protestant missionaries effected changes that often went beyond what they had intended, sometimes backfiring against the missions. These changes entailed wrenching political struggles to redefine families, communities, and lines of authority. This volume s contributors examine the meanings of "conversion" for individuals and communities in light of loyalties and cultural traditions, and consider how conversion, as a process, was often ambiguous. The history of Christian missions emerges from these pages as an integral part of world history that has stretched beyond professing Christians to affect the lives of peoples who have consciously rejected or remained largely unaware of missionary appeals."