Jason Lilly
Jason Lilly asked:

Nathan Price or Brother Fowles? Which "Christian" leader do you feel most drawn to or familiar with and why?

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Parikhit I have to vote for Brother Fowles. His views and opinions set me thinking and I found a well explained logic in them; for instance when he talks about washing of feet, and the stripes. They may sound funny and amusing but when you carefully and judiciously think about the little examples he cited, they seem way too sensible. His take on Christianity was based on the foundation of helping the downtrodden which I have felt is the true essence of Christianity. But nothing beats when he says, 'There are Christians and then there are Christians', So much is concealed in a few words.
Jenny Nathan Price is the type of religious leader I grew up with. Brother Fowles is the type of religious leader I seek - one who adheres to personal beliefs, makes a difference in another person's life, finds peace with our Creator, and has some wisdom to offer along the way. The journey is long and feels mildly like my own personal stent in the Congo. I feel like an Orleanna right now. I just wanna keep my nose to the ground, dig my fingers into some soil, and bring about something beautiful.
Philip Drawn to as a person, or as a character? As persons, that's a no-brainer and rather uninteresting. Now as characters, it is Price who comes across much more picturesque and compelling as a tragic figure. These two are representing polar opposites on a scale. That's a literary device, so don't complain about the lack of middle-ground representation (Kingsolver does btw acknowledge--in Leah's early marriage days--the presence of missionaries who are neither Price nor Fowles extremes and presents them in a positive light).
You can't read this story outside the context of Conrad's classic, Heart of Darkness. Price is very believable in the light of Kurtz. Price is a Kurtz wanna be who can't quite get there. But they both represent something important to come to grips with in the "white" or "western" response to Africa. Something that the more admirable Fowles does not. (Still, I admit I was rather rooting for Mama Tatumba to convert Price.)
Sall Brother Fowels because he could see that whilst he wanted to share his beliefs the Congolese already had their beliefs and he respected them enough to allow them to make a choice by giving them information opposed to forcing his views on them as Nathan Price did.
Emilly R Brother Fowles is the religious leader that is compassionate and understanding about the people he is trying to teach the word of God.Nathan Price in the other hand is unreasonable and intolerant toward his family and followers.
Kayla Even as a Southern, conservative, evangelical Christian... I do not see how anyone in their right mind could be drawn to Nathan Price. He is a monster. I feel so sad for any person who grew up with that kind of Christian influence in their life.
Emma Brother Fowles, hands down. He seems so much more in tune with the Earth and those inhabiting it along with him. The way he approaches conversion and bringing people to Christianity is so much more humanitarian based and seems to fit the basic Christian ideology. What's that saying about attracting more flies with honey? Reading about the way that Nathan Price puffed his chest and threatened fire and brimstone made me legitimately feel anxious. Brother Fowles offered a life, a point of view, and a deeply contemplative way of thinking about the world that I can respect. Reading about Brother Fowles made me feel calm and at ease. He even managed to make me crack a smile a few times when he was discussing Christianity in the Congo with Nathan Price :) He just seems like that happy go lucky old man that so many people can relate to as well as count on for support and understanding.
IvanOpinion Could anyone read this book and say they were more drawn to Price?

I guess the answer is that anyone who has a similar world-view/values/personality would be more drawn to him, though thankfully (to me) such people are rare. I doubt many of them would even pick up a book like this, however, so are unlikely to end up here saying so. If such a person did start reading this book I imagine they would soon stop, as they would quickly realise that we are not meant to like or agree with Price.
Jen Brother Fowles for most drawn to. If more Christian leaders had been like him and adapted and respected their "flock" there would have been a lot less harm caused in the name of Christianity.
Hari Brandl I am more drawn to Brother Fowles because he seems to be what I think of as Christian in his good works and thoughts. (I am not a Christian but have a definite belief in the Golden Rule, and Brother Fowles seems to be closer to understanding it and living by it than Brother Price.) Brother Price is so misguided, and unwilling to understand the different world of the Congo he found himself in. He is a colonialist at heart, (which makes his inability to make effective use of the tonal nature of the language of the natives entertaining,) and is continually making a fool of himself.
In his refusal to understand why the natives did not want to be baptized his way, and perhaps negotiate with them he is emblematic of the struggle that all colonialists deal with.
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