Thousands of Irish men and women have served as missionaries in the world’s poorest countries. In God’s Entrepreneurs, Joe Humphreys examines this unique movement, showing how a plan to bring Christianity to ‘pagan lands’ was, over time, accompanied by a humanitarian operation that has affected millions of lives.
Drawing on original research, Humphreys examines what motivated people to join the missions, and why they still feel their work is relevant today. Missionaries speak candidly about their experiences: the doubts, feelings of loneliness and struggles with hierarchy, as well as the consolations of their vocation and the great bonds they now enjoy with people across the globe.
The legacy of the movement is still uncertain, but it is hard to identify a cultural phenomenon from Ireland that has had such a profound international impact. With the average age of Irish Missionaries now well over seventy, and their numbers dwindling, God’s Entrepreneurs is a last chance to hear their extraordinary story.
Joe Humphreys is an Irish Times journalist and author. Born in Galway and educated at UCD, he holds an MA in Political Philosophy and lives in Dublin. He is currently Education Correspondent with The Irish Times, for which he also contributes the weekly ‘Unthinkable’ philosophy column. He has previously worked as an assistant news editor, and as a correspondent from South Africa, and has a particular interest in African and development issues.
often uplifting and always informative
- The Irish Times
Humphreys explores a shrinking world…this popular, readable, and brisk overview reminds us of what the missionaries can teach Ireland.
- New York Journal of Books