Albert Christian Kruyt

Albert Christian Kruyt (Dutch: Albertus Christiaan Kruyt; born 10 October 1869 – 19 January 1949) was a Dutch Calvinist missionary, ethnographer and theologian. He was the first to pioneer Christianity in Central Sulawesi, notably in Poso.[1]

Albert Christian Kruyt
Albert Christian Kruyt (1938).png
Kruyt in his final years
Albertus Christiaan Kruijt

(1869-10-10)10 October 1869
Died19 January 1949(1949-01-19) (aged 79)
The Hague, Netherlands
Notable work
The Bare'e speaking Toraja of Central Sulawesi [id

Born in Mojowarno, East Java in 1869, he grew up in a missionary family.[2] In 1877, Kruyt was sent to the Netherlands to take missionary education. He returned to the Indies in 1890, and was stationed in Gorontalo. The Netherlands Missionary Society (Nederlandsch Zendeling Genootschap) sent him to open a new missionary post in Poso, located on the south shore of Tomini Bay.[3] Kruyt started his work in 1892.[4] The first years of his efforts were considered as failures, but the first baptism took place in 1909 and continued to grow in the following years.[5] The mission area he had pioneered until the 1920s, continued to spread through the highlands and mountains to the Gulf of Bone in the south.[6] Kruyt left the Dutch East Indies for good and returned to the Netherlands in 1932. In January 1949, he died in The Hague.

Kruyt is known for his ethno-sociological approach. In his duties as a missionary, he chooses to assimilate and study the civilizations of society first.[7] According to him, without adequate ethnological knowledge, effort in spreading the Gospel is unlikely to succeed. Kruyt argues that a missionary must understand the connection between thought and community life in which he works to win their hearts to embrace Christianity.[8] He prefers locals to embrace Christian voluntarily rather than through coercion.[9]

Kruyt is considered one of the leading theorists, missionaries and ethnographers in the early period of the 20th century.[10] The mission he led in Poso and Central Sulawesi was recognized as one of the greatest successes of the mission of the Gospel in the Indies.[6] His works on ethnography and evangelism—particularly in Central Sulawesi—are regarded as an "extraordinary" source of information. The book he co-authored with Nicolaus Adriani, entitled De Bare'e-sprekende Toradja's van Midden-Celebes (The Bare'e speaking Toraja of Central Sulawesi), is considered one of the best publications in the field of ethnology, and is the primary source of research by scientists and researchers.[11]


  1. ^ Enklaar 1978, p. 111; Schrauwers 2000, p. 5; Aragon 2000, p. 101.
  2. ^ Enklaar 1978, p. 111; Keane 2007, pp. 97-98.
  3. ^ Aragon 2000, p. 101; Coté 2010, p. 12.
  4. ^ Henley 2005, p. 47.
  5. ^ Aragon 2000, p. 104.
  6. ^ a b Schrauwers 2000, p. 9.
  7. ^ Kruyt 1915, pp. 86-87.
  8. ^ Schoor-Lambregts 1992, p. 104.
  9. ^ Aragon 2000, p. 103.
  10. ^ Coté 2010, p. 14; Hefner 2001, p. 575.
  11. ^ Rassers 1949, p. 163.


  • Aragon, Lorraine (2000). Fields of the Lord: Animism, Christianity, and State Development in Indonesia. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 978-0-82-482303-0. LCCN 99058189.
  • Hefner, Robert W. (2001). "Fields of the Lord: Animism, Christian Minorities, and State Development in Indonesia". Book Reviews - Anthropology of religion. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 7 (3): 612–623. doi:10.1111/1467-9655.00079.
  • Henley, David (2005). Fertility, Food and Fever: Population, Economy and Environment in North and Central Sulawesi, 1600-1930. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (201). Leiden: KITLV Press. ISBN 978-9-06-718209-6. LCCN 2006402352.
  • Keane, Webb (2007). Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter. The Anthropology of Christianity. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-52-093921-9. LCCN 2006019220.
  • Schrauwers, Albert (2000). Colonial 'reformation' in the Highlands of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1892–1995. Anthropological Horizons (14). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-80-208303-6. LCCN 00698098.


Primary sources