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The nature of the influence of the European Enlightenment on the beliefs and practices of the Protestant missionaries who went to Asia, Africa, and the Pacific from the mid-eighteenth century onwards is attracting increasing interest and debate among scholars from a wide variety of disciplines. The late South African missiologist David Bosch claimed in his classic work Transforming Mission that "the entire modern missionary enterprise is, to a very real extent, a child of the Enlightenment." The present volume, however, is the first to subject such a claim to detailed historical examination. Christian Missions and the Enlightenment concentrates on British Protestant missions and the formative role of the Scottish Enlightenment on such topics as education and the relationship between "conversion" and "civilization." After discussing the problematic nature of all attempts to define the Enlightenment, the book breaks new ground by setting the British missionary awakening in the context of its continental European predecessor. It includes regional studies of missions in India, the Cape Colony, and the South Pacific, as well as analyses of debates in Scotland and England over whether missionaries should first seek to "civilize" or whether conversion to Christianity offered the only sure route to "civilization." The volume concludes with a theological perspective on what it may mean to uphold Christian orthodoxy in mission encounters in an age no longer bounded by the horizons of modernity. Written by a team of renowned and emerging scholars, this book is destined to make an important contribution to the debate over what place remains for a universal Christian mission to a world that has repudiated the assumptions of European superiority and progress inherent to the Enlightenment.
This volume offers a detailed historical examination of the influence of the European Enlightenment on the beliefs and practices of Protestant missionaries who went to Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. Discussing such topics as education, the relationship between "conversion" and "civilization, " and the problem of defining the Enlightenment, the contributors break new ground by setting the British missionary awakening in the context of its continental European predecessor. Individual regional studies on India, the Cape Colony, and the South Pacific help clarify the role of the Western missionary enterprise since the mid-eighteenth century.
Buy Christian Missions and the Enlightenment (Studies in the History of Christian Missions) by Brian Stanley from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780802839022 & 0802839029
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