The British Missionary Enterprise since 1700 (Christianity and Society in the Modern World)

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The British Missionary Enterprise since 1700 (Christianity and Society in the Modern World)

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The British Missionary Enterprise since 1700

Missions are an important topic in the history of modern Britain and of even wider importance in the modern history of Africa and many parts of Asia. Yet, despite the perennial subject matter, and the publication of a large number of studies on particular aspects of missions, there is no recent, balanced overview of the history of the missionary movement during the last three hundred years.

The British Missionary Enterprise since 1700 moves away from the partisan approach that characterizes so many writers in this field and instead views missionaries primarily as institution builders rather than imperialists or heroes of social reform. This balanced survey examines both Britain as the home base of missions and the impact of the missions themselves abroad, while also evaluating the independent initiatives by African and Asian Christians. Also addressed are the previously ignored issues of missionary rhetoric, the predominantly female nature of missions, and comparisons between British missions and those from other predominantly Protestant countries including the United States. Jeffrey Cox brings a fresh and much needed overview to this large, fascinating and controversial subject. Jeffrey Cox is Professor of History at the University of Iowa. His publications, The English Churches in a Secular Society and Imperial Fault Lines: Christianity and Colonial Power in India, 1818–1940 have established themselves as major works in the field.

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Christianity and society in the modern world Series editor: Hugh McLeod

The Reformation and the Visual Arts Sergiusz Michalski European Religion in the Age of Great Cities Hugh McLeod Women and Religion in England, 1500–1720 Patricia Crawford The Reformation of Ritual: An Interpretation of Early Modern Germany Susan Karant-Nunn The Anabaptists Hans-Jürgen Goertz Women and Religion in Early America, 1600–1850 Marilyn J. Westerkamp Christianity and Sexuality in the Early Modern World Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks The Death of Christian Britain Callum Brown The Redcoat and Religion: The Forgotton History of the British Soldier from the Age of Marlborough to the Eve of the First World War Michael Snape

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The British Missionary Enterprise since 1700 Jeffrey Cox

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First published 2008 by Routledge 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2007. “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.”

Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2008 Jeffrey Cox All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Cox, Jeffrey. The British missionary enterprise since 1700/Jeffrey Cox. p. cm.—(Christianity and society in the modern world) Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. 1. Missions, British—History. I. Title. BV2420.C69 2008 266!.02341—dc22 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 0-203-93621-3 Master e-book ISBN ISBN10: 0–415–09004–0 (hbk) ISBN10: 0–203–93621–3 (ebk) ISBN13: 978–0–415–09004–9 (hbk) ISBN13: 978–0–203–93621–4 (ebk)

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To Flossie and David

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C O NT E NT S

Preface List of abbreviations

xi xiii

Part I The religious crisis of the British imperial state, 1700–1800

1

1

Introduction: religion and empire in the modern world

3

2

Confessional improvisation Archbishop Secker’s lament 22 Native Americans 31 Slaves: episcopal racism and white privilege 36 Africa: the strange story of the Reverend Philip Quaque India 44 The limits of confessionalism 49

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3

Voluntarist improvisation Philip Doddridge’s dream 52 Moravians and slaves 54 A new model missionary: David Brainerd and Native Americans 57 ”The world their parish”: Methodist improvisation 60 William Carey and imperial providence 70

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Part II Building a movement, 1800–1870

77

4

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“Little detachments of maniacs”: early failures Archdeacon Sydney Smith’s lament 79

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CONTENTS

The voyages of the Duff 82 Chaplains and gentlemen: the CMS failure to recruit 85 Dismantling the confessional state and the slave empire 90 5

The home base: networks and societies Fundraising and social class 93 The professional missionary 102 “Not counting the wives”: the missionary couple 107 Male heroes and missionary wives 111

93

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Missionary literature: the defamation of the “other” 114 New genres 114 Cannibals and Christians: the Caribbean and South Pacific 117 Elevating the West Indian slave 121 The gigantic system of Hinduism 124 Christianity and civilization in paradise 132 Africa: the blank slate 139

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The missionary hero and missionary institutions The apotheosis of David Livingstone 145 Henry Venn and Bishop Crowther: the paradoxes of mid-Victorian missions 152

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Part III Imperial high noon, 1870–1945

169

8

The growth of mission institutions before the Great War Providence and geo-religious triumphalism: China and Islam 171 Recruiting men 183 Recruiting women 187

171

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Conflict and consensus in mission institutions Gender, race, and the missionary workforce 196 Breaking away: the revolt against institution building

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202

Ecclesiastical sprawl: the triumph of bricks and mortar Mission institutions before World War II 213 Social Christianity 221 The new conciliarism 226 Race and the rhetoric of retrenchment 233

213

CONTENTS

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ix

Part IV Post-colonial missions since 1945

241

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Evangelicals and unreached peoples China and India: the end of geo-religious ambitions 243 Church growth in Christian Africa 247 The new evangelical triumphalism of church growth 253

243

Appendix Further reading Notes References (in Notes) Index

263 273 278 298 311

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PR E FA C E

Historians often appear to work alone, with many hours spent taking notes in libraries and archives. All works of history are collaborative efforts, though, especially books such as this one which cover many centuries and many parts of the world. Although their books may appear dated in the twenty-first century, I am very much indebted to those who have gone before me in writing broad histories of missionaries, especially Kenneth Scott Latourette and Stephen Neill. Andrew Porter has done more than anyone else to establish the importance of missionaries in the field of British imperial history, and I am indebted to him for the invitations he has extended to me over several decades to present the results of my work at the Imperial History Seminar at the University of London’s Institute of Historical Research. Susan Thorne has called the attention of British feminist and social historians to this topic, and I have been influenced in numerous ways by her publications, her comments on my writings, and her example as a person sensitive to the political and ethical dilemmas we face in making historical judgments. In the thriving field of mission studies, The International Bulletin of Missionary Research has been an essential resource, and I thank its editors and contributors. Of the many librarians and archivists who have provided assistance I owe a special debt of gratitude to Rosemary Keen for introducing me to the rich archives of the Church Missionary Society. Hugh McLeod first asked me to contribute a volume on missionaries to a Routledge series on Christian history, and he and Dan O’Connor provided valuable readings of the manuscript. I received helpful comments on some chapters from a reading group composed of colleagues in the Departments of English and French at the University of Iowa: Teresa Mangum, Judith Pascoe, Eric Gidal, and Downing Thomas. It is difficult to imagine an institution more supportive of the practice of history, or one with better colleagues, than the History Department at the University of Iowa, and I thank all of my past

xii

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PREFACE

and present colleagues there, along with the people of Iowa for providing broad support for a great democratic experiment in public higher education. Members of my family have been collaborators in this volume too, and I give special thanks for her support to my wife Lois Cox, and also to my children Eleanor (Flossie) Cox and David Cox. My parents Jack and Lillian Cox did not survive to see this book in print, but if they had they would have proudly circulated it among their friends.

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A B B R E V I AT I O N S

ABCFM BMS CEZMS CIM CMD CMS FES LMS SPCK SPG SVM UMCA WCC WMMS

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions Baptist Missionary Society Church of England Zenana Missionary Society China Inland Mission Cambridge Mission to Delhi Church Missionary Society Society for Promoting Female Education in the East London Missionary Society Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts Student Volunteer Movement Universities Mission to Central Africa World Council of Churches Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society

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PA R T I THE RELIGIOUS CRISIS OF THE BRITISH IMPERIAL S T AT E , 1 7 0 0 – 1 8 0 0

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Chapter 1

I NT R O D U C T I O N Religion and empire in the modern world

Great Britain colonized large sections of the globe. During the imperial period, British religion experienced a rapid institutional revival in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and a period of decline in the twentieth century, one so rapid that by the late twentieth century one distinguished historian can speak of “the death of Christian Britain.”1 The rise and fall of the British Empire and the revival and decline of British religion are two of the central stories of modern British history. This book is about the uneasy and unpredictable relationship between the British Empire and British religion since 1700. The decline of Christianity in Britain, and in the European heartland of Christianity more generally, took place at the same time as a rapid growth of Christianity in other parts of the world, including Britain’s former colonies. Some of the fastest growing non-western churches were originally associated with the British missionary movement, and maintain close ties with British churches. By the early twenty-first century, Anglican bishops in Nigeria exerted sufficient power, in a dispute over the status of gays and lesbians in the church, to insist on the exclusion of the Episcopal Church of the USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada, from the counsels of the worldwide Anglican communion. Victorian missionaries set out to create independent, selfgoverning churches in Britain’s African colonial possessions, but they no doubt failed to anticipate the ways in which Britain’s ecclesiastical empire would strike back at its metropolitan center. The relationship between religion and empire has been controversial throughout the imperial period. The missionary enterprise has been broadly interpreted in one of three ways. The rulers of Britain’s empire often treated

D

URING THE LAST 300 YEARS,

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missionaries as marginal figures in the imperial enterprise. The relative indifference of imperial administrators and settlers to the spread of Christianity has had a powerful effect on the writing of imperial history, where missionaries are often simply left out of the story or relegated to a marginal or even a comic role. When in 1807 the Reverend Sydney Smith described the Baptist missionaries in Bengal as “little detachments of maniacs”,2 he was only expressing an attitude toward missionaries that was widespread throughout the colonial period in the imperial establishment. The treatment of missionaries as either ridiculous or even insane became a feature of popular culture in the Victorian period when the cartoon depiction of the unfortunate missionary in the cannibal cooking pot became popular in comic papers and music hall jokes. Anti-imperialists, on the other hand, have often assumed that missionaries were neither marginal nor comical, but something much worse: instruments of imperial rule, cultural imperialists who did the ideological bidding of imperial rulers or, even worse, attempted to colonize the hearts and minds of subject peoples. Direct European colonial control of the Earth’s surface grew in the nineteenth century to nearly 85 percent in a period that coincided with the rapid expansion of European Christianity in the non-western world. That missionaries were simply one kind of imperialist among others appeared obvious to many people even in the nineteenth century, and appears equally obvious to many people today. The notion that missionaries and exploitation represent two sides of the imperial coin is reflected in the popular saying, often quoted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “When the white man arrived, he had the Bible and we had the land; now, we have the Bible and he has the land.” That view has had a powerful influence on traditions of anti-imperial history. While imperial historians have treated missionaries as marginal, and antiimperialist historians treated them as colonial agents in disguise, missionary supporters depicted missionaries as male heroes. This tradition is alive and well in religious circles, and even in popular culture, as the recent popular interest in the figure of David Livingstone reveals. The modern historical field of mission studies has become vast in the twentieth century. Based initially on nineteenth-century narratives of male clerical heroism, the field of mission studies has become more critical and self-reflective during the last generation. Mission studies historians have struggled hard to overcome the traditions of male, clerical heroism that dominate the field. Despite these efforts, the influence of mission studies on the equally flourishing fields of imperial history, and anti-imperial history, has often been difficult to discern, largely because authors in mission studies often simply assume the centrality of missions as a subject of inquiry worthy in itself. These traditions of interpretation—imperial, anti-imperial, and ecclesiastical—are so strong that many people have already made up their minds about

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what they think about missionaries. In years of giving talks about missionaries, I have often found that an audience expected to hear stories of missionary heroism only to be disappointed when told that missionaries were rarely as heroic as their image. Other audiences expect to hear missionaries unmasked as racists and imperialists of the worst kind, only to become baffled or annoyed when I put forward a complicated picture of irony and unintended consequences in the missionary story, along with a history of genuine affection and spiritual cooperation across racial and gender boundaries. When the BBC produced a television series on missionaries, the producers received many emotional letters from people who appeared to know very little about them: Those with a positive view of mission enthused about our project and reeled off the names of their particular missionary heroes and heroines . . . Those with a less positive view, and there have been many, enjoined us to be sure to stress all the harm that missionaries have done . . . We have been urged to expose missionaries as cultural imperialists, iconoclasts, paternalists, and even as agents of the CIA.3 Now is a good time for a new overview of the history of British missions. The barriers between three distinct fields of history—imperial history, ecclesiastical history, and mission studies—have been breaking down in the last twenty years. Within these fields the self-confident certainties about the historical role of missionaries are receiving critical scrutiny, and historians have begun to pay attention to anthropologists, who have been interested in missionaries for decades.4 Imperial historians are beginning to pay closer attention to missionaries, who even received a foothold in the recent Oxford History of the British Empire. Distinguished imperial historians have recently examined the importance of gender roles, patriarchy, and humanitarianism and its influence on British imperial rule, and have challenged the very distinctions between the empire and the colonies, between metropolis and periphery, that have been taken for granted for centuries.5 The anti-imperial strand of interpretation has also been transformed during the last generation. Under the (often unacknowledged) influence of the American literary scholar Edward Said, and the even larger influence of feminist scholarship, there has been a flowering of interest in imperial history and imperial themes that sprawls across the borders between academic disciplines and literary genres. Often referred to as “post-colonial studies,” these new approaches are informed by a tradition of anti-imperial scholarship dating back to the nineteenth century. Like imperial historians, post-colonial scholars often ignore missionaries, for the traditions of Saidian and post-colonial

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scholarship are relentlessly secular. Like anti-imperial historians, they often treat missionaries, when they notice them, as nothing more than cultural imperialists. Post-colonialism is nonetheless important for the study of missionaries, for two reasons. The first is its breaking down of traditional boundaries that separate the important from the unimportant, especially in relationship to gender.6 The second is the broadening of the definition of imperialism to include matters of culture, and in particular the critique of culture in its relationship to imperial power broadly defined. Edward Said’s justly celebrated book, Orientalism (1978), treated western imperialism as first of all a question of ideas and perceptions of the other. For Said, though, ideas are intimately and inextricably related to power. A secular scholar despite his intense Arab Protestant upbringing, Said had no interest in the expansion of Christianity in the imperial age, but much of what he says about the nature of western perceptions of the non-western world in the age of imperialism, and the distortions of western scholarship created by the imperial context in which it was developed, is directly relevant to the understanding of British missions. Imperial history and post-colonial studies both appear at times to be dominated by binary distinctions: British and foreign, European and “native,” east and west, black and white, civilized and savage, tradition and modernity, resistance and collaboration, etc. These distinctions are so rooted in historical experience that they are in some respects unavoidable when discussing the past. The anti-imperial heritage of post-colonial studies itself reinforces binary distinctions between imperialists and anti-imperialists. At the same time, post-colonial scholars have struggled to transcend what is called, in scholarly jargon, “binarism.” There is a recognition that binary distinctions have been elevated into categories of analysis that threaten to obliterate the complexity of the past. Perhaps the most fundamental binary of all is the distinction between colonizers and colonized. Tied to the imperial archive created by colonizers, imperial historians, postcolonial scholars, and mission studies specialists alike approach their topics from one side of this binary, but not without endless frustration. If only we could tell both sides of the story, they ask, and look at imperial history or mission history from the point of view of both colonizer and the colonized, and weave the two points of view into a unified story based on a thorough knowledge of the history and culture of both sides of the binary. Frustrated with binary distinctions, post-colonial scholars have examined the space in between the colonizer and the colonized, describing that space as a “contact zone” or as a region of “hybridity” and labeling what happens in the space as “transculturation.”7 It is here, in these “contact zones” of the British Empire and other empires, that the encounter known as the missionary enterprise took place.

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The British missionary movement has always operated between worlds, in spaces between the colonizer and the colonized that are difficult to place within recognized traditions of interpretation. If binary distinctions are eroding both in imperial history and in post-colonial studies, they are also being worn away in ecclesiastical history. Because of the power of the distinction between “British and Foreign,” often enshrined in the names of missionary societies, the study of British religion at home and religious activities abroad has often proceeded on separate tracks. The traditions of British ecclesiastical history have been insular ones. The great revival of British religion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and its decline in the twentieth century, have often been treated as either distinctively British or at best European developments, with nods to the trans-Atlantic character of the evangelical revival. Owen Chadwick’s classic two-volume history of the Victorian Church, published in 1966, failed to mention the foreign missionary movement even once, and Callum Brown’s Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (2006) makes only passing reference to the importance of missions to the domestic life of Britain’s churches.8 When I wrote my book on the decline of British churchgoing, published in 1982, I ignored the large amount of evidence I found in parish and chapel records of the deep involvement of Britain’s churches with the wider world. I was, after all, interested in British history, not foreign history, and the history of missions took place in foreign countries.9 Like imperial historians and post-colonial scholars, British ecclesiastical historians have recently taken notice of the large amount of scholarly work done in the field of mission studies. Books such as Susan Thorne’s Congregational Missions and the Making of an Imperial Culture in Nineteenth-Century England (1999) and Catherine Hall’s Civilising Subjects. Colony and Metropole in the English imagination, 1830–1867 (2002) are mandatory reading for ecclesiastical historians, who are taking seriously the words attributed to John Wesley: “I look upon all the world as my parish.” Despite the great variety of writing on missionaries, however, there is no recent one-volume summary of the modern British missionary movement. Bishop Stephen Neill’s beautifully written History of Christian Missions, first published in 1964, is still in print but dated, and Brian Stanley’s The Bible and the Flag (1990) has been out of print for many years.10 These books are worth consulting, as is Kenneth Scott Latourette’s encyclopedic A History of the Expansion of Christianity (v. 1–7, 1937–45), and his subsequent five volumes on Christianity in a Revolutionary Age (1958–62). Each of these works approaches the topic with a different point of view from this one. Bishop Neill’s History begins with the words of Christ, and the footnotes in the first chapter and much of his second chapter refer largely to the Bible, while Stanley’s is a justification of the missionary enterprise in an imperial age. Latourette’s volumes constitute a narrative of triumphant Christian

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progress. In The British Missionary Enterprise since 1700 I intend to approach the topic in a more critical spirit, and incorporate and address the antiimperial critique of the modern missionary enterprise. This book nonetheless shares one significant characteristic with the earlier one-volume histories. Bishop Neill confessed that he had only been able to bring his story up to the 1960s in one volume because of “a resolute determination to omit.”11 Even though I begin nearly 1,700 years later than Bishop Neill, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and limit my story to missions originating in one European cluster of islands, I too must make some hard choices about what is most important in the story. Chronology and geography are fundamental to every work of history. This book begins in 1700, around the time when British Protestant Christians created two missionary institutions: the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) in 1698 and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) in 1701. These were not the first British missionary efforts, but they were the first permanent missionary institutions. They provided an institutional setting that both attracted and stimulated missionary effort, leading to debates about Britain’s relationship to the rest of the world in the eighteenth century. Some historians date the modern missionary movement later, to the period of the evangelical revival of the later eighteenth century, and there are good reasons for that, but as we shall see there was considerable interest in missions in the course of the eighteenth century by Protestants of all persuasions. That story is worth telling in order to understand the rapid proliferation of evangelical mission work in the very late eighteenth century. I have also decided to set geographical as well as chronological limits, and concentrate on the history of Protestant missions originating in Great Britain. That approach is an old-fashioned one in some ways, resembling the Protestant triumphalism of British mission historians who identified the origins of all modern missions in the British evangelical revival, and attributed the worldwide spread of Christianity to a Protestant missionary movement that was dominated in its early days by British missions. As recently as 1955 the British Baptist historian Ernest Payne published a history of British missions and called it “the story of the modern missionary movement.”12 In addition to running the dangers of reinforcing nationalism, a strictly British approach to missions could minimize the transnational character of Protestant missions, which got its start not in Great Britain but in Germany, among the Pietists at the University of Halle (though with a strong and sustained British contribution), and continued throughout its history as part of an international movement with a multinational and eventually a pronounced multiracial character. Despite these worries, there is a case for a history of British missions that concentrates on Great Britain and on Protestantism. The sense of cohesion

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and pride that shaped Ernest Payne’s history has characterized British missions from the start. Protestantism has been an essential part of British national identity well into the twentieth century, and British Protestant missions did in fact thoroughly dominate the international Protestant missionary enterprise until the very late nineteenth century. The modern Protestant missionary movement began at a time when Roman Catholic missions were at a low ebb, largely because of the political eclipse of the Roman Catholic imperial powers and problems in the relationship of the Papacy and the religious orders. When British Catholic missions got started, they were a small segment of British missions, and an even smaller segment of the international Roman Catholic missionary enterprise, whose history cannot be written intelligibly with a purely British focus. Bishop Neill’s “resolute determination to omit” must be invoked at some point if the story is to be confined to one volume. Within these chronological, geographical and denominational limits, there are many ways to tell the story of missionaries. What then are the central themes in the story of modern missions told here? The first is the relationship between religion and imperial power broadly defined. The expansion of British Christianity took place during an unprecedented expansion of British power worldwide, and simply cannot be understood (as Latourette understands it) as a triumphal success detached from the political and social realities within which it operated. When dealing with imperial power, imperial historians instinctively deal with the obvious and visible instruments of that power: military force, legal compulsion, slavery and indentured servitude. The relationship between religion and imperial power was far more obvious in the Spanish and Portuguese empires, forged in the struggle with Islam on the Iberian Peninsula, whose leaders regarded the spread of Catholicism as a central justification for imperial expansion, and did not hesitate to use force as a means of conversion. Among the Protestant imperial powers, the Lutheran Danes and the Calvinist Dutch also resorted to forced conversions, fitfully and with less enthusiasm than the Roman Catholics, in Greenland and Sri Lanka and Indonesia, where it was illegal for a European to marry a nonChristian well into the twentieth century. The relationship between religion and empire in Britain’s imperial sphere of influence was obscured by the distinctive nature of the British religious settlement of the late seventeenth century. At the beginning of our period England, and from 1707 Great Britain, defined itself as a Protestant Christian state, and Protestantism was an essential element of the sense of British national identity that emerged during the imperial age. Despite the centrality of Protestantism to British national and imperial identity, the historical relationship between religion and empire has been complicated and unpredictable. The rulers of Great Britain were strongly committed to the maintenance of the

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Protestant religion through an established church: Anglican in England, Wales and Ireland, and Presbyterian in Scotland. Furthermore, they were willing to use force, often brutal force, as well as the rule of law against Roman Catholics in Ireland, who posed from their point of view a security problem. Following the Act of Toleration in 1689, however, the British ruling elite were unwilling to enforce religious uniformity on the people of England, Wales, and Scotland. Even Catholics were tolerated, barely; Protestant Dissenters were tolerated as a matter of policy; non-churchgoing, although illegal, and religious indifference were tolerated as well, as can be seen in the persistent complaints in the writings of English bishops. This was not because English rulers were secularists; it was because they were Protestants of a particular kind, and the Protestant religious settlement in Britain extended to liberty of conscience. That generalization will sound hollow to anyone with knowledge of the history of Ireland, where Protestantism was used with considerable brutality in a centuries-long attempt to impose religion as an instrument of imperial domination, and to force a sense of British national identity on a largely unwilling population. Taking the British Empire as a whole, however, the Irish case has been an exception in matters of religion. By the early eighteenth century the British ruling class was simply unwilling to enforce religious uniformity on the island of Great Britain using police or military power, or the force of law. A ruling class unwilling to enforce religious uniformity at home was unlikely to enforce it consistently in an empire. With some exceptions, British imperial rulers and settlers did not regard it as their obligation to use political and military power to force colonized peoples to become Protestant Christians. British imperial rulers in India in the eighteenth century, for instance, developed a reputation (not entirely justified) for positive hostility to the spread of Christianity, regarding it as a threat to the stability of British rule. British slaveowners in the West Indies, including some clergymen, neglected to even baptize their slaves in many cases. Native Americans in North America were treated as potential allies against the French or the Spanish rather than simply as potential fellow Christians. The spread of Christianity in the British imperial sphere of influence was not to come at the barrel of a gun, or through the coercive force of law. The official imperial point of view was officially enshrined with Queen Victoria’s proclamation of 1858, following the Indian Mutiny, at a time when some evangelical Christians were urging the British government to abandon its religious neutrality: “Firmly relying ourselves on the truth of Christianity and acknowledging the solace of religion, we disclaim alike the right and the desire to impose our convictions on any of our subjects.”13 The spread of British versions of Christianity would come instead, first, through fitful attempts to adapt Britain’s relatively weak established churches to an imperial setting,

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and then through the efforts of the voluntary societies in the missionary movement. The relationship between religion and imperial power was a complicated and indirect one, however, one which provides a central theme in the history of British missions. Despite the lack of direct military, police, or legal coercion in matters of religion, the spread of Christianity hardly occurred on a level playing field. Whether acting as authorities of the established churches of Britain, or participating in voluntary societies that were entirely independent of both the established church and the British state, missionaries and their supporters were heavily dependent upon the exercise of imperial power in order to conduct their activities. In some cases, when a convergence of imperial and ecclesiastical interests could be demonstrated, British rulers were persuaded to act in a straightforward way to promote the interests of Christianity. Missionaries acting as independent agents, without the sanction of the imperial state, were nonetheless dependent upon the willingness of imperial authorities to allow them to carry out their activities. British imperial power was rarely used to force conversions, but those who sought conversions were never in a position to ignore the realities of that power. If the relationship between religion and imperial power is obscured by the dismissive attitude toward religion by many British imperial rulers and settlers, it is also obscured by the rhetoric of missionaries themselves. Kenneth Latourette’s narrative of providential Christian expansion throughout history has its roots in the missionary movement that grew up outside the Protestant state churches in eighteenth century European Christendom, first among Lutheran Pietists, then among Moravians, and finally among British and, shortly afterwards, American evangelicals. The rules governing religion were changing in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Under the “confessional” religious settlements of Early Modern Europe, religion in its public aspect was primarily a matter for political and social elites to settle for the benefit of those under their jurisdiction. A central issue in the transition to a new religious settlement was the significance of the freedom to make conscientious choices. Under the “voluntarist” religious settlement in modern Europe and North America, public forms of religion were treated as consequences of the conscientious choices of individual believers.14 Voluntarist Christians of the eighteenth century were heirs of those seventeenth-century Baptists whose early confession of faith declared that “The magistrate is not by virtue of his office to meddle with religion.”15 By 1792 the Northamptonshire Baptist minister William Carey, one of the most famous of the eighteenth-century voluntarists, wrote in his Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians, to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens that “the spread of civil and religious liberty”

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meant that for the gospel “a glorious door is opened, and is likely to be opened wider and wider.”16 Whatever Carey thought about the British Empire (and his views on it were decidedly mixed), the expansion of the Empire of Christ ultimately had little directly to do with the Empire of Britain. For Carey, it was God who was opening the door for Christian expansion with the ships of the Royal Navy, just as God had used the pagan Roman Empire to create a network of paved roads for St Paul. How God chose to do this was not Carey’s concern; how true Christians should respond to the providential opportunity was his concern. But even a cursory look at Carey’s life indicates that imperial agents were involved in the opening of the glorious door. Carey first became inspired to take up the missionary cause because the Royal Navy sent Captain Cook to the South Seas. The glorious door for voluntary missionary work in India was alternately opened and shut in Carey’s lifetime by an institution known as the East India Company. Carey’s rhetoric obscured the imperial realities of imperial power that he was forced to confront and compromise with again and again in his long career as a pioneer missionary in India. It was not merely the blunt realities of military and administrative power that were obscured by Carey’s providentialist rhetoric. There was more to imperial power than state power, and even when acting as a purely private individual Carey was acting in an imperial setting—whether as an indigo planter or as a teacher of colonial administrators at Fort William College—in which his very status as an Englishman abroad opened up chasms of separation between him and those he wished to convert. When British imperial officials allowed missionaries to enter the open door, and act as private agents to promote the Christian religion among non-Christians, they were allowing missionaries to enter into social relationships at a time of massive inequality between westerners and non-westerners, inequality that was not by any means limited to superior firepower on the part of European imperial powers. British missionaries entered a world beyond the boundaries of Britain where the social and racial superiority of the people of Britain over non-western peoples was treated as axiomatic. This relationship was put in its strongest form by Edward Said, who observed that “It is therefore correct [to state that] every [nineteenth century] European, in what he could say about the Orient, was consequently a racist, an imperialist, and almost totally ethnocentric.”17 Said is referring less to an imperialism of military conquest and enforced servitude than to the genteel imperialism of professional advantage and material inequality. His is not an analysis of state power, but of other forms of power: the power of western wealth and prestige; the power of the employer and the educator; the power of the clergyman and the professional; the power of white privilege and patriarchy. Most important of all, it was the power of

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the civilized over the uncivilized. The Christianizing impulse, and the civilizing impulse, had been inextricably mixed during centuries of European history. The ultimate goal of all of the European state churches was the creation of communities of Christian believers one parish at a time who would receive the ministries of the church and as a result live godly, righteous and sober lives. For “confessional” Christians, Christianizing and civilizing were part and parcel of the same task. In the course of the expansion of British Christianity there were at one end of the missionary spectrum “confessional” Christians who wished to organize the people of the world in settled communities and provide them with the ministries of the church, much as the church provided its ministries to settled parishes at home. For those confessional Christians, civilizing and Christianizing were distinct but nonetheless entirely inseparable tasks. At the other extreme, the “voluntarist” end of the spectrum, there were Christians such as William Carey, who saw the world as a level playing field of individuals who would be equally likely or unlikely to choose the Christian faith, if only they were given the opportunity. The tension between civilizing non-western people, with all of the implications of unequal power and authority, and persuading them to adopt the Christian faith without reference to their material or social circumstances, set up a permanent and insoluble tension within the history of the missionary movement, one that has not been resolved to this day. In 1796 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland debated the following proposition: “Men must be polished and refined before they can be enlightened in religious truth.” The proposition was defeated, but the issue was far from settled.18 For missionaries with confessional attitudes, the relationship between Christianity and civilization was a fairly simple matter. The two went hand in hand. Some missionaries, notably the New Zealand pioneer Samuel Marsden, thought that non-western people should be civilized first, creating a path to Christianity. Far more common was the argument that civilization, however defined, was one of the fruits of Christianity. Other missionaries struggled mightily against the inequality that was inherent in a model of Christianity that linked it with civilization. Their goal was to create Christian institutions where men and women could meet on the basis of spiritual equality as soon as possible. Their method was to create indigenous non-western Christian churches as soon as humanly possible. Their aspiration was nothing less than what the distinguished anthropologists of modern South African history, Jean and John Comaroff, identified as “the multiracial Christian commonwealth of missionary fantasy.”19 Whatever their point of view about the relationship of Christianity and civilization, British missionaries were deeply implicated in imperialism. Most

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(but not all) of them were in political terms supporters of the expansion of British rule, although they were characteristically outspoken about the need for a humanitarian version of British rules. It is important to keep in mind, however, that whatever British missionaries thought about the British Empire, the missionary movement was not from their point of view about expanding British or even western power and influence over the globe. The Empire of Christ could never be identified with the Empire of Britain in the long run, for the Empire of Christ was a multiracial, multinational empire that not only transcended the provisional (if providential) boundaries of the British Empire, but transcended the boundaries of time itself. Despite the Comaroffs’ dismissal, the struggle to create a multiracial Christian Commonwealth in this world was not in all cases a miserable failure. In telling the story of British missions, I have introduced two distinctions. The first is the distinction between formal British power of the law, the military, the police, of slavery and indentured servitude on the one hand, and the informal power of massive social, scholarly, and religious inequality on the other. The second distinction is between two contending forms of Christianity, the confessional and the voluntarist. The first led missionaries to organize people into settled communities where they could receive the ministries of Christian institutions, especially schools. The second led missionaries to gather churches of voluntary committed believers first of all, and then deal with the problems of institution building afterwards. These distinctions are never clearly marked in history, which is a story of mixed motives and unintended consequences, but they are nonetheless real distinctions critical to understanding human behavior in the history of missions. They are also essential to understand other central elements of the history of missions, the importance of institution building, and the centrality of race and gender in mission institutions. The image of David Livingstone has done great damage to serious efforts to understand the nature of the missionary enterprise. The overwhelming majority of British missionaries never resembled the heroic, male itinerant evangelist, moving from village to village in a pith helmet bringing the message of the gospel, and denouncing slavery or some other social evil. The majority of British missionaries were women, for one thing, and lived not in primitive camps but in settled homes with missionary husbands or in communities of women, spending all or part of their adult lives building Christian institutions, and dying in obscurity. They certainly were not buried in Westminster Abbey. It was impossible for missionaries of any kind to build settled Christian institutions among non-western peoples without the cooperation of those peoples. This raised the all-important issue of race, or some other marker of difference. In order to build institutions among non-white, non-Christian

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people, it was essential to decide what those people were like, and what they were like potentially. It may well be the case, speaking in the broadest historical sense, that all missionaries were all racist and all ethnocentric all the time, but that generalization is only the beginning of the history of missions. Within the confines of massive inequality between white westerners and non-white, non-westerners, there was a great variety of thought about “the other,” and about how to build institutions for them and, necessarily, since British Christianity was not brought by force, in cooperation with them. Looking back to 1649, we find the last Cromwellian parliament creating a Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England to raise private funds to support the efforts of a New England minister, John Eliot, who was organizing Native Americans into settled communities of Christians in Massachusetts. Settled was the key word, for in some key respects the “praying Indians” of New England were to be turned into English men and women living in settled agricultural communities under the leadership of ordained ministers. But something new was being attempted here as well, as Eliot cooperated with Native American religious leaders in an attempt to base their social relations on the Book of Exodus, which had been translated into Pequot. This set off a controversy in Britain about what aboriginal peoples are like, and what is and is not appropriate in attempts to change their behavior in the light of Christianity, one that continues today in angry debates about the effects of missionary activity in New Guinea and the Amazon regions of South America. The attempt to create non-white Christian leaders for the Christian church was essential to the missionary aspiration to create a multiracial commonwealth of Christians within the setting of Britain’s empire. Early ordination of nonwhite Christians was a recurring element of missionary strategy, whether confessional or voluntarist. In 1754 an SPG missionary to the west coast of Africa brought to London a young African man, baptized in 1759 as Philip Quaque, who was duly trained for ordination in the only way the Church of England knew how to train a man, that is attaining classical and theological knowledge under the direction of a clergyman, and serving an apprenticeship in a parish church in London. Ordained by the Bishop of London in 1765, he was sent by the SPG as “Missionary, School Master, and Catechist to the Negroes on the Gold Coast,” where he remained on salary until his death in 1816. Most imperial functionaries, including missionaries, shared in the illusion of “permanence” that characterizes massively powerful social and political institutions. Embedded within all missionary efforts, however, was a countervailing recognition that their work must transcend the temporal realities of empire. In 1791 the editor of the annual report of the SPCK commented on a sermon by a “native priest” in India, Sattaniaden: “How long it may be in the power of the Society to maintain Missionaries; how long the fluctuations in the affairs

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of this world will afford duration to the Mission itself, is beyond our calculation; but if we wish to establish the Gospel in India, we ought to look beyond the casualties of war, or the revolutions of empires; we ought in time to give the natives a Church of their own, independent of our support.”20 “Beyond the revolutions of empires” is a decisive phrase. The British Empire, like the Roman Empire, was doomed to disappear, while God’s work on earth would continue much longer. But how should the churches proceed? How in the world does one “give” the natives their own church? How does one create a permanent church in an ephemeral empire? Both Philip Quaque and Sattianaden represented provisional answers to those questions. The ordinations of Philip Quaque and Sattianaden are the tip of the iceberg. The missionary movement stands apart from other institutions of British imperialism in its recognition of the need for voluntary consent in matters of religion. British imperialists ruled without the consent of their subjects. British investors had no interest in the consent of slaves and indentured servants. British imperial educators neglected to consult their students about the curriculum. The missionary movement, by way of contrast, was committed in principle if not in practice to the voluntary consent of those non-western peoples who became Christians. They were also committed to voluntary nonwestern leadership in the institutions that they built. Philip Quaque and Sattianaden are named in missionary history because they were ordained. The overwhelming majority of non-western participants in the missionary enterprise are nameless: “native agent,” or “bible woman,” or “native teacher” is how they appear in the missionary records, and in the missionary narratives of white, male, clerical heroism. It is almost impossible to restore the full extent of non-western agency in the building of Christian institutions in the British Empire, and the British imperial sphere of influence, but any accurate history must repeatedly look for and acknowledge those acts of participation. The British missionary enterprise was multiracial and multinational from the first. If the missionary passion for institution building led them directly into questions of race, it also led directly into questions of gender. If ordained, Protestant clergymen were to be sent to minister to non-western peoples, and they should be equipped with wives. Philip Quaque married an English woman before leaving for Gold Coast; after she died there, he then married an African. Perhaps the greatest exclusion in all missionary history is the exclusion of the missionary wife, who was often treated as an afterthought by the male missionary heroes who pioneered the missionary enterprise. In his prospectus for missionary advance published in the 1790s, William Carey mentioned women only once, suggesting they might be necessary “for domestic purposes.”21 Even a cursory examination of missionary work on the ground

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leads directly to the conclusion that missionary wives, and the unmarried missionaries who appeared in mission institutions long before they were acknowledged in official missionary records, were there for far more than “domestic purposes.” They were missionaries in their own right, and engaged in a cross-racial encounter with non-white women that has its own history. The histories of male, clerical heroism obscure non-western participation in the missionary enterprise; they also exclude female participation. I still find that audiences are often surprised when I assert what is generally acknowledged by specialists, that is that the majority of white British missionaries who embarked from Great Britain to foreign lands were female. Even a simple acknowledgement that the majority of missionaries were women understates the realities. Given the statistical surge of female mission recruitment in the late nineteenth century, it is almost certain that women were not merely a majority but a large majority. Furthermore, women were not mere foot soldiers in the missionary enterprise but leaders, overseeing mission institutions and playing significant roles in humanitarian campaigns at home and abroad. Non-European women were doubly excluded in missionary history. They appear as “my bible woman” or as the “catechist’s wife.” The flourishing field of mission studies has yet to make good on what is recognized in principle, that is the need to recognize the importance of women in the history of missions. There are very good books on women in missionary history,22 but few general histories of missions that recognize the centrality of gender or even the simple fact that most missionaries were women. The missionary enterprise created a distinctive “contact zone” in the British sphere of imperial influence, one where we can observe the interaction of male clerical heroes, obscure male missionary builders of institutions, missionary wives, unmarried women missionaries, ordained non-western Christians, far more unordained non-western men, and non-western women in large numbers. These interactions occurred in a zone of insoluble conflict between the realities of imperial power—especially the informal power of superior access to resources and status—and the aspiration to create what some have dismissed as the multiracial Christian commonwealth of missionary fantasy. Insofar as it was a fantasy, it was imperial inequality that made it so. In some important respects, the history of missions is the history of a struggle against imperialism, a story that is largely one of failure after failure, and the occasional success. The early ordinations of Philip Quaque and Sattaniaden are testimony to an early commitment to a multiracial Christian commonwealth. The realities on the ground were those of European male domination of non-western peoples, a fact that non-western Christians and non-Christians could hardly fail to notice. In their encounters with missionaries, non-western Christians took seriously the aspirations to create a multiracial commonwealth based on spiritual equality.

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At the same time in their personal encounters with missionaries they frequently recognized, and sometimes asserted, the truth of the Saidian critique that power is the basis of cultural inequality, which in turn generates further inequalities of power. This recognition was further complicated by a fact that secular critics of missionaries often ignore: Missionaries were important and respected figures in non-western Christian communities, and in some cases also in nonwestern, non-Christian communities. One such set of encounters was documented in great detail in India, nearly a half century after the ordination of Sattaniaden. In the wake of the traumatic military rebellion of 1857–1858, missionaries and imperial administrators convened a conference on missions in Lahore, the capital of the newly conquered and forcibly unified province of Punjab, and published the proceedings. Missionaries and imperial administrators were well aware that in Punjab they were dealing with several ancient and highly sophisticated cultures, and they were also aware that the handful of early Christian converts were educated men and women who could not be ignored in the task of building up an indigenous Indian Christian church, one that would survive the demise of the British Empire. One of the purposes of the Lahore Missionary Conference of 1862 was to lecture Indian Christians on their rights, responsibilities, and obligations. Another purpose was to allow them to speak directly to missionaries and their supporters in the colonial administration, and document their words.23 The triumphant colonialists of the Punjab School of Indian administration believed firmly in the benefits of western expansion into the non-western world. Missionaries on the other hand never treated their own mission explicitly as subordinate to that of British imperial rulers, however much they might support imperialism in their political views. They regarded themselves as agents of God’s providential work in the world, a timeless mission of global expansion that extended beyond the boundaries of time itself. Long before the advent of post-colonial scholarship, Indian Christians set out to demolish missionary pretensions to neutrality at the Lahore Conference in 1862. At a conference panel dedicated entirely to the topic, “Sympathy and confidence: How can foreign missionaries secure, in the highest degree, the sympathy and affectionate confidence of their native brethren?” missionary after missionary lamented the lack of warm friendship and spiritual equality in their relationships with their Indian co-religionists. An Indian Presbyterian, the Rev. Golak Nath, responded with what amounted to an early Saidian analysis of the entire missionary enterprise: I have failed to discover how an European or American missionary can secure the full sympathy of Native converts: for sympathy must be considered a sort of substitution, by which we are placed

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in the situation of another, and are affected, in a good measure, as he is affected . . . But the social position of a missionary, his intellectual and spiritual attainments, his highly civilized ideas, and his cultivated, refined feelings, must place him so far above his converts, generally, that there can scarcely be any fellow-feeling between them. A missionary would hardly find any loveliness in the character of his converts, to excite much kind feeling towards them. They are necessarily objects of his compassion and pity, but hardly worthy of his friendship, or capable of communion with him, except on religious subjects.24 The Rev. Golak Nath was defining imperialism. If it were not for the phrase “except on religious subjects,” the conversation might have ended right there, with missionaries condemned as racist, imperialist, and totally ethnocentric in what they could say about the Orient. But Golak Nath was an ordained Christian minister in full charge of a mission. His daughter would soon become one of the first independent women missionaries in India. He was committed to a partnership with western missionaries dedicated to the building up of an indigenous Indian Christian church in which men and women could treat each other as spiritual equals across the imperial boundaries. He had not solved a problem, but identified one, and the problem was imperialism, the genteel imperialism of professional advantage, cultural access, the power of the clergyman, the teacher, and the educational administrator. Golak Nath could not stop at identifying the problem, and duly proceeded to outline a series of measures that might generate the sympathy between missionaries and Indian Christians that he had just declared impossible. Golak Nath was speaking among friends, western and non-western, who were committed to the missionary fantasy of a multiracial Christian commonwealth, but he also confronted the brutal and even violent realities of imperial power that were embodied in those personal relationships. The struggle to sustain those relationships became an imperial struggle, one acknowledged as such. In A Passage to India, E. M. Forster addressed the issue of personal relationships across imperial fault lines from a humanist point of view, where the central issue was friendship. For missionaries and non-western Christians, there was even more at stake, for they were committed to spiritual relationships that transcended mere friendship. More than a century after the ordination of Sattaniaden, at the time of the celebrated World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910, there had yet to be a non-European bishop of the Anglican Church in India. The man who would later become the first Indian bishop of an Indian church, the Rev. Samuel Azariah, traveled to Edinburgh in order to deliver an appeal to western

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missionaries, one that was largely ignored or rejected at the time but later became celebrated in missionary circles. After acknowledging the benefits brought by western educational and medical institutions to India, he said: “We also ask for Love. Give us Friends!”25 To a western world only beginning to come to terms with anti-imperialism, he was bringing to Edinburgh a conversation that had been going on in the missionary movement for many decades in thousands of disparate settings. During the struggle for decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s, imperial history fell out of favor. Its practitioners were thought of as old-fashioned and in some cases even nostalgic apologists for an outdated cause. Religion was also neglected because it too was in decline and associated rightly or wrongly with old-fashioned styles of conservative British politics. Neither the decline of empire nor the decline of religion were treated as interesting subjects in part because of the ready availability of explanations for their decline. Both the empire and the churches were thought to be victims of broad, irresistible forces of history, the rise of non-western nationalism on the one hand and secularization on the other. Public interest in lost causes is often limited to the dwindling number of people who still believe in them. Now is an opportune time for re-telling this story because of the exciting developments in scholarship on both the British Empire and British religion. Imperial historians as well as post-colonial scholars have begun to examine areas of British history that were formerly treated as purely “domestic,” including religion, with an eye on the importance of empire. The great outpouring of writing, loosely defined as “postcolonial scholarship,” is based on a recognition that empire, and in particular imperial power, did not grow entirely out of the barrel of a gun, and was not entirely a preserve of military officers, political leaders, and geopoliticians in the colonial office. The cultural legacy of empire has outlasted the formal mechanisms of imperial power, with large consequences both for former colonized nations and Great Britain itself, and nowhere is that more evident than in recent history of religion. Religion has become more interesting in part because of a recognition that it has not gone away in most parts of the world. Europe may be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to the decline of religion. The rest of the world may follow the European pattern of decline at some point, but there is as of yet no sign of it. The center of gravity in Christianity, at least, has shifted dramatically away from Europe, to the flourishing Christian world of North and South America and sub-Saharan Africa. This book ends in the early years of the twenty-first century, as South Korea overtook Great Britain as the nation providing the second largest number of Protestant overseas missionaries.

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The flourishing of non-western Christianity, much of it in denominational or ecclesiastical forms far removed from those of the European churches, has created a new historiography. Reacting against the narratives of male, clerical missionary heroism that dominated mission history for decades, historians of non-western Christianity have a tendency to underestimate the importance of missions in spreading Christianity in the non-western world. Eager to distance non-western Christianity from missionaries and even more broadly from western imperialism, for understandable reasons, some historians have asserted that non-western Christians took over Christianity from missionaries and transformed it into something entirely different, a thoroughly indigenous and non-western form of Christianity that had nothing to do with the age of imperial expansion.26 The precise relationship between missionaries and nonwestern Christians varied enormously over the globe, but wherever Christianity grew, missionaries were important figures in one way or another in nonwestern Christian communities. The arch-imperialist David Livingstone is revered in African Christian circles, both for his advocacy of African abilities in the face of Victorian racism and for his role in bringing the gospel to Africa. Even the entirely independent African churches emerged in a dialectical relationship with the missionary presence, producing genuinely non-western churches that nonetheless bore the mark of European Christian influence. Insofar as it is possible to generalize about such a diverse phenomenon, nonwestern Christianity is neither fully western nor fully indigenous, but a synthesis of western and non-western influences which deserves to be taken seriously on its own terms, just as the missionary role in that history deserves serious attention. From its beginning in the late seventeenth century to global struggles over the place of religion in the modern world in the early twenty-first century, the British missionary enterprise has been caught between the empire of Christ and the empire of Britain. Virtually all historians who work on the history of this enterprise do so in the shadow of two competing master narratives, two stories that both incorporate elements of the truth. One is the triumphal story of the spread of world Christianity. The other is the unmasking of the missionary enterprise as a form of cultural imperialism, even or perhaps especially in its modern, voluntarist form. The story of the missionary enterprise that follows contains elements of both master narratives that will be invoked inevitably depending on the particular story under consideration. Taken as a whole, it is a story full of unintended consequences, arrogance, fanaticism, and selfdeception, but also one that pits love and compassion against the brute realities of imperial rule, and post-colonial cultural imperialism.

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Chapter 2

CONFESSIONAL I M PR O V I S AT I O N

Archbishop Secker’s lament spiritual leader of the established Church of England, defended his church against charges that the Anglican clergy had neglected to bring the Christian religion to American Indians in British North America and African slaves in the British West Indies.1 Secker’s reflections on more than half a century of missionary efforts, mostly failures, in the British Empire shed much light on the distinctive characteristics of the British missionary enterprise. He fully accepted the Church of England’s obligation, both religious and imperial, to make the Christian religion available to the two great non-white populations within the British Empire. Secker wastes no time addressing the arguments of those who dismissed nonwhite people on the basis of essentialist racial theory. There is no hint here of Enlightenment scientific racism, or the Hamitic theory of racial origins, or the argument that Negroes have no souls, or the theory that Native Americans are under a different covenant or dispensation from white people, or that Native Americans are depraved savages incapable of Christian faith. His response is in the form of a lament over the church’s failure. Yes, we have failed, he responded, but it is unfair to accuse us of not trying, and there are some good reasons for our failure. One of the reasons he cited was the fact that the Church of England was not the Roman Catholic Church, which can command clergy to go to the wilds of Quebec and other disagreeable places under vows of absolute obedience. Church of England clergy, on the other hand, cannot be commanded to become missionaries, and will not volunteer, and “reasonable persons will be moderate in blaming them, if they consider the manifold disagreeableness and danger of

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such an employment.”2 Denominational competition has been a powerful incentive for missionary expansion, and Roman Catholics had set an example by sending missionaries to those beyond the boundaries of Christendom. Because of the abolition of religious orders in Protestantism, purposeful Christian expansion outside the west before the eighteenth century had been almost entirely Roman Catholic. At a crucial time in the course of western expansion, the Roman Catholic church sanctioned an entirely new order of specialists in expansion, the Jesuits. Furthermore, Roman Catholicism became part of the official state ideology of the two leading imperial powers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Spain and Portugal, who used the Jesuits and competing church orders to promote ecclesiastical expansion. For both bureaucratic and ideological reasons, Roman Catholicism had a head start in non-European church growth, a fact that Secker lamented and attempted to explain. For the two major Protestant imperial powers, Great Britain and the Netherlands, the relationship between state power and religion was much more ambiguous than in Catholic Spain and Portugal, or in the new Catholic imperial rival France. Neither Protestant empire had at the disposal of either church or state a group of religious specialists who could be deployed for purposes of ecclesiastical expansion. The Dutch were willing to make limited use of state power to force conversions, but their efforts to do so in Sri Lanka were timid when compared to those of the Portuguese rulers of Goa, who persecuted Hindus and created an Inquisition that lasted until 1812. The imperial expansion of the two Protestant nations was carried out in part by religious and commercial bodies one or two steps removed from the government. Both state churches supplied chaplains for their trading companies, but the bureaucratic difficulties turned out to be daunting. The duties of these chaplains with respect to the native populations, if any, were never made clear. The East India Company charter was amended in 1698 by parliament to instruct chaplains to “apply themselves to learn the language of the country, the better to enable them to instruct the Gentoos who should be servants of the Company in the Protestant Religion.”3 This provision only extended to non-Christian employees of the company, however, and was in any event largely ignored by the Company. The same confusion that beset the Dutch and English East India Companies plagued the Church of England’s Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts (SPG), founded by royal charter in 1701, headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Did it exist to minister to Englishmen abroad, or at least those who were willing to accept Anglican ministry, or did its mission extend to the imperial “others,” Indians and slaves, as recommended in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer’s provision “for the Baptizing of Natives in

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our Plantations?” The SPG’s charter limited its work to English plantations in the Americas, but those plantations included both Indians and slaves, and Archbishop Secker accepted without reservation the society’s obligation to minister to them. The important word is “minister.” The Church of England was a territorial, parochial, confessional state church, like many other Protestant state churches that emerged from the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Its primary goal was to provide religion for the people of England, who were assumed to be, by default, members of the church. As a church for the people rather than a church of the people, its mission was not to recruit members, but to provide religious services, and use its extensive social influence and political power to inculcate religious principles. The ultimate goal of the church was a nation of Christian believers who, after receiving the ministries of the church, would in the words of the Book of Common Prayer, “hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life.” Despite its reputation for institutional weakness, the Church of England was an institution of vast social influence in the eighteenth century. The nation was blanketed with parishes, and the people of England, including those who dissented from the Church, made use of their parish churches for the essential rites of passage from baptism to burial. Thousands of country clergymen, although often socially inferior to the more prosperous country gentlemen and other lay patrons of the church, were intricately linked to the social hierarchy and exercised extensive social influence. The Church of England is often portrayed as weak and ineffective in the eighteenth century, but that judgment is not based on any reasonable portrayal of its relative importance as a social institution. It is based instead on the peculiar political and legal situation of the English state church in comparison to the other state churches of Europe, and to the complaints emanating from clergy and bishops (such as Secker) about those perceived liabilities. On the continent of Europe the wars of religion had exhausted themselves in the seventeenth century on the principle of cuius regio, eius religio, that is the religion of the ruler is the religion of the people. In a Europe fractured along religious lines, this principle worked to the advantage of the Roman Catholic church, as the French and Hapsburg monarchies worked to impose uniformity on a religiously divided population. The imposition of greater Catholic uniformity generated a strong sense of international Protestant unity in the eighteenth century, particularly in dealing with the victims of religious persecution.4 The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in 1685 produced a large influx of highly visible French Protestant refugees, especially in London. The entire Protestant world mobilized to receive the tens of thousands of Protestants expelled from Salzburg in the bitter winter of 1731–32. The extremely harsh treatment of Irish Catholics at the hands of the English,

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and later British, state was not of course seen in the same light, Catholicism being closely associated with treason. The Protestant state was prepared to persecute Catholics in Ireland, but not prepared in the late seventeenth or eighteenth centuries to impose religious uniformity in England, Scotland, or Wales. There the challenge to uniformity came, not from Catholics, but from Protestant dissent and a growing body of practical indifference to the claims of the church. The state churches of England and Scotland were not the only legal bodies of Protestant believers in either country. As we shall see, Protestant denominational competition within the boundaries of Britain was to be a driving force behind the British missionary enterprise from its origins to the present day. The rulers of England and Scotland were deeply committed to the maintenance of religious establishments in both countries, but that religious establishment incorporated a commitment to a considerable degree of liberty of conscience and, from the Act of Toleration of 1689, included a commitment to protect the religious rights of some if not all Protestant Dissenters. Laws still on the books throughout the eighteenth century mandating church attendance became unenforceable because of a lack of interest by Britain’s rulers in enforcing them. When people are allowed to ignore the ministries of a confessional church, some number of people will ignore those ministries. When people are allowed to think for themselves in matters of religion, some people will think for themselves, and draw different conclusions from those of their social superiors. From the point of view of the leaders of the established churches, whose institutions appear with hindsight to be very strong, their institutions were helpless in the face of what appeared to them to be religious and therefore moral chaos. As early as 1690 the Bishop of Chichester was asking his ministers and church wardens whether there were “any in your parish who, under the pretence of liberty of conscience, wholly neglect all public worship of God.” As Bishop of Oxford in 1738, Secker bemoaned the fact that “an open and professed disregard to religion is become, through a variety of unhappy causes, the distinguishing character of the present age.”5 Secker was looking out over a country that from his point of view was out of control, and there was little he could do about it without violating his own Whig principles. The rules governing religion were changing in Great Britain, and those changes extended to the British Empire. Put briefly, Britain was in the midst of a long transition from a confessional to a voluntarist religious settlement. Under the “confessional” religious settlements of Early Modern Europe, religion in its public aspect was primarily a matter for political and social elites to settle for the benefit of those under their jurisdiction. Under the “voluntarist” religious settlement in modern Europe and North America, public forms of religion are treated as consequences of the conscientious choices

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of individual believers, or non-believers. This transition did not happen all at once, and elements of the old confessional religious settlements survived, as they still survive, throughout modern Europe. Nonetheless, the spread of religious liberty, that is the right to ignore or dissent from established religion, is the single most important historical change affecting religion in the modern world, dwarfing the importance of industrialization, urbanization, and the rise of modern science. The confessional and voluntarist public settlements of religious matters had their counterparts inside Christian institutions as well as in society at large. Was the church an institution to provide services to Christians, or even in some cases to the broader community whether believers or not? Or was the church a body of believers committed to persuading those outside to come in? Is the church designed to influence society, or to recruit individuals? Confessional and voluntarist impulses jostled together with each other for centuries, as they still do, and may be found in almost every denomination. In 2004 a new Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, continued to make a case for confessional methods in a voluntarist society. He told The Times that one of the measures of his success when he retires will be “whether I’ve managed to persuade anybody out there that the Christian religion is worth taking seriously, intellectually and imaginatively and spiritually, pushing it back a little bit towards the cultural mainstream. Or maybe even drawing the cultural mainstream back towards Christianity.”6 His eighteenth-century predecessor, Archbishop Secker, might have regretted some of the consequences of liberty of conscience, but as part of Britain’s Whig establishment he accepted the necessity of such liberty as part of Britain’s constitutional settlement. The problem for Secker was this: how does a confessional church react to religious liberty, taken for granted by the Church of England now but new in the eighteenth century? His answer, and an answer for many church leaders since, was improvisation. The Church of England experimented with new ways to assert the church’s traditional confessional roles in society. Creating a hybrid established church encompassing confessional and voluntarist approaches, the Church of England began in the eighteenth century a long and uneven period of institutional revival that lasted into the early twentieth century. This sustained institutional expansion was based on the provision of religious services for the people through England’s parishes, supplemented with a bewildering array of voluntary societies designed for special purposes. The social status of the clergy rose in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and the church attempted to substitute for legal compulsion the inculcation of social deference among the laity. Anglicans continued to uphold in their minds the ideal of religious uniformity, of a nation where everyone was a literal Christian believer all the time and everyone deferred to the

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authority of the clergy. Some church leaders believed that such a golden age of Christendom had actually existed until recently, and as a result were often utterly incapable of judging the success of their institutional revival. Until the twentieth century, however, the Church of England did a remarkable job of inculcating Christian principles among a large section of a population who were no longer required by law or even in many places by social custom to believe or participate in any aspect of the church’s life. Faced with the de facto legalization of Protestant religious dissent and religious indifference in the late seventeenth century, pious Anglicans responded with a new religious form that was to be the characteristic religious organization of the modern world: the private, voluntary religious society dedicated to specific ends not met by the local parish. Among the dozens of new societies for personal devotion, the reformation of manners, the disciplining of the poor, and the promotion of Christian education were two whose founding marked the beginnings of the modern missionary movement: the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) in 1698 and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) in 1701. The driving force in both societies was an energetic, indefatigable ecclesiastical entrepreneur named Thomas Bray, who had become concerned over the lack of Anglican imperial expansion while serving as a clerical representative of the Bishop of London in Maryland. In both the West Indies and North America, church affairs were the responsibility of the royal governors acting under the ecclesiastical authority of the Bishop of London. In Bray’s view, royal authority was inadequate and the royal governors lax, neglecting support for the established church and thus allowing the spread of indifference, atheism, religious Dissent, and Catholicism. His solution consisted of two voluntary societies, both committed to building up a confessional church in the empire and at home. Although voluntary societies operating outside the structure of bishop and parish, both the SPCK and the SPG were heavily marked by their confessional origins and worked under the authority of and as a supplement to the parochial and episcopal work of the church. They were meant to complement the parochial work of the established church, and to create parishes where none existed within the British Empire. Bray could conceive of no greater good a person could do than to place a clergyman in a position to instruct people indifferent to religion, whether at home or in the Empire. He summarized the confessional approach to the new climate of religious competition in a pamphlet of 1703: As it is scarce worth being born into a sorry world, unless to do some considerable good to the Amendment of it, And Amended it can never be to any purpose, till that Ignorance and Barbarity,

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which is the fruitful parent of Impiety, and vicious Morals, shall be rooted out of it; So the most direct and the shortest way that I can imagine how any Person can contribute to so Blessed a Work, is by Putting the Clergy, whose very business it is, to open Men’s eyes, and to turn them from Darkness to Light, into a Capacity to Instruct the People.7 The SPCK concentrated on providing educational materials and support for schools both at home and in the colonies, but much of their attention was devoted to supplementing the parochial mission of the church at home. Before going to Maryland, Bray was a clergyman in an English country parish where he developed an enthusiasm for the catechism, that is assembling young people, and having them memorize the principles of the Christian religion and repeat them to schoolmasters and clergymen. Catechism required elementary literacy, and the SPCK’s first major project was primary education for the poor. Their charity schools to catechize poor children in London and the south of England enrolled more than 30,000 by 1725.8 The SPCK would soon pioneer Protestant mission work in India, largely by accident, but that was not part of its original mission. The confessional impulse meant looking first at the unevangelized parts of England and Wales. When looking beyond the English poor, the great mission field that loomed in the minds of the SPCK was Wales. In 1713 one of the SPCK’s patrons, Sir John Philipps, recommended Griffith Jones as a missionary to India, but both Philipps and Jones decided that God was calling them to work in Wales instead, in the Welsh language. Although the Welsh were regarded as largely unchurched, Jones regarded the Welsh language as being free of the “deadly venom of atheism, deism, arianism, popery, lewd plays, immodest romances, and low intrigues.”9 Having secured a clerical position in Carmarthenshire, Griffith began preaching in public in Welsh, and later supervised a system of “circulating schools” where itinerant teachers would inculcate Anglican values with Welsh language textbooks supplied by the SPCK, with the ultimate goal of catechizing the young in Welsh. This was a religion for the people supplied by social superiors, although the SPCK focus on the Welsh language eventually contributed to religious and social movements that would undermine the authority of the Anglican church in Wales. Scotland had its own established church, Presbyterian rather than Episcopalian, but equally confessional in its methods. The Anglican revival of the late seventeenth century was part of a transnational awakening within Protestantism which extended to Scotland, where voluntary societies were created in Edinburgh and Glasgow to extend the influence of Christianity. Many Protestant theologians argued that God had partitioned the world into

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Christian and non-Christian portions, and that the obligations of Christians were limited to those within the parochial boundaries of confessional Christianity. Reinforcing that powerful argument against meddling with foreigners was the very real presence of irreligion and indifference in Scotland, and the common sense argument that Christians should get their own house in order before interfering with the religions of people in faraway places. When a Society for the Reformation of Manners in Scotland was formed in 1701, “the dreary and dark regions in their own country, arose first into view, presenting a melancholy and affecting picture of human wretchedness.”10 The “other” here constituted the people of the Highlands and Islands, speaking the wrong language, ignoring the right religion, constituting one-third of the population at the time. Thus began the long campaign to “reduce” the Highlands to confessional Protestant Christianity, with the catechism the major tool of reduction. Queen Anne granted a royal charter in 1709 to the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge in the Highlands of Scotland, and in Popish and Infidel Parts of the World. The “Popish and Infidel” parts beyond Great Britain would have to wait, for the Church of Scotland had urgent work to do at home. These societies in Scotland and Wales were acting within a confessional world view, where Christendom was territorial and primarily European, and the churches’ main responsibility was to minister to subordinate populations by providing them with religious services, catechizing their children, and disciplining them to lead godly and subservient lives.11 The Welsh-speaking and Gaelic-speaking peoples of Britain lived squarely within the territory of Christendom. That the state churches of England and Scotland resorted to cooperation with voluntary societies signaled their adjustment to new circumstances, where the universal effectiveness of the parish could not be assumed, and where deference to established religious authority could not be left entirely to the magistrate, the police, or the military. Those methods were deployed by the British state in Ireland, but by the mid eighteenth century it was obvious that they had failed in Ireland to produce a nation of settled Protestant parishioners living deferentially under the watchful eye of a settled Protestant clergyman. New methods would have to be improvised for the Catholic population of Ireland just as for the Welsh-speaking and Gaelicspeaking populations of Britain. The English Society for the Propagation of the Gospel faced a different problem of re-establishment of confessional control. Founded by Bray and others with a royal charter to minister to “foreign parts,” the definition of “foreign” was redefined to exclude India in 1709 when their secretary, responding to an inquiry, referred to an opinion of the Attorney General which limited them to English plantations in America. Their initial mission was to combat the influence of Protestant Dissent in British North America

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and Roman Catholic influence seeping in from French Canada and Spanish Florida. Thomas Bray had the Roman Catholic Church and other competitors in mind when he proposed a Protestant version of the Papal “Congregation pro Propaganda Fide” by charter from the King: Whilst the Papists, the Dissenters, and the very Quakers have such societies for carrying on their Superstitious Blasphemies, Heresies, and Fooleries we have nothing of this nature yet set up in order to promote the pure and primitive Christianity which we profess.12 In 1699 the very first SPCK committee met at Lincoln’s Inn to discuss efforts “towards the instruction and conversion of the Quakers . . . in order to redeem that misguided people to the knowledge and belief of Christ.”13 This concern carried over into the SPG after they received their royal charter in 1701, bearing the biblical text “Come Over and Help Us.” The first two SPG missionaries sailed for New England in 1702. George Keith had a special mission to the Quakers; Patrick Gordon settled in a New England parish of Anglicans and Dissenters. The SPG might be unable to recruit more than a handful of clergymen as missionaries to Indians and slaves, but they could and did recruit them to settle in overseas parishes, ministering to English-speaking settlers in North America and the West Indies. Drawing from the large reserve army of clerical labor in the British Isles, the SPG recruited highly educated men with university degrees who presumably found their prospects better in the New World. Of the 410 ordained men sent by the SPG in the eighteenth century, 309 went to what is now the US, 59 to what is now Canada, and 39 to Barbados, Jamaica, or the Bahamas.14 Heavily clerical in its outlook, the SPG did not bother to count unordained catechists and schoolteachers, who were far more likely to be assigned to work with native Americans or slaves. Nor did they count those, including women, who were recruited locally to cooperate with SPG work. By one estimate the SPG sent more than 600 agents to North America alone before the outbreak of the revolutionary war.15 Denominational and political competition drove the Anglican missionary movement as it attempted to establish episcopal parishes in Puritan and Presbyterian areas of North America. Secker’s pamphlet set off a firestorm of controversy in America because he mentioned, almost in passing, the need to establish a North American episcopacy. American episcopal clergy supported from abroad by the SPG (77 in 13 states in 1776, about 1/3 of all clergy) were also those most likely to support the loyalist cause in the American revolution. Forty of them left the country in the large American Tory exodus to Canada or the West Indies.16 An imperial church met defeat at the hands of an anti-imperial revolution, and

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the new American episcopal church would have to rebuild without direct assistance from a discredited imperial establishment. Its first bishop was ordained by three bishops from the unestablished Episcopal Church of Scotland. Native Americans Archbishop Secker had a sense of the difference between a professional missionary as a clergyman with a distinct mission to the “other” on the one hand, and a clergyman in a settled parish ministering to civilized, Englishspeaking parishioners on the other. The SPG itself, and many historians of the SPG, classify the latter as missionaries, and in a sense anyone supported by the SPG in foreign parts was a missionary. But clergymen in settled parishes, with mixed sources of support, are best seen as part of an attempt by a confessional state to settle a regular clergy ministering to English men and women. They were not men (or women) setting forth from Great Britain to bring the Christian religion to non-Christian peoples. Unlike many Protestants of the eighteenth century, Secker rejected the arguments that the Church of England had no obligation to those who did not belong to the “nation” or “people” of English-speaking Christians. In particular, he accepted a missionary obligation to both Native Americans and African slaves there and in the West Indies, who although clearly other “peoples,” that is not English, were within the territorial confines of the British Empire and therefore proper subjects of missionary enterprise. He was also very much aware of denominational competition for Native American allegiance from both French Roman Catholic missionaries and non-Anglican Protestant missionaries in British North America. Secker’s analysis of relative Catholic success and Protestant failure reflected an accurate and early observation of the contrast between Catholic missionary methods and Protestant missionary methods. Secker, however, was succinct: Catholic missionary efforts produce superficial rather than sincere Christians. They leave Native Americans in their own uncivilized communities, and provide them with the shallow trappings of the Christian faith: Teaching them a few Words and Ceremonies, of which they know not the meaning; giving them a few trinkets, and inspiring them with a mortal hatred against the English, makes them good Christians enough to serve the purposes of the French; and no wonder that such conversions are effected with ease.17 This is more than sour grapes. Protestant critiques of Catholic piety often focused on the allegedly mechanical and superficial character that left Catholics without a true inward spirituality. Secker claimed, as many Protestant

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missionaries would claim after him, that Roman Catholic converts were not sincere Christians, a critique that would later be extended by some Protestants to rival Protestant missionaries who were successful in gaining converts. Secker gave two other reasons for the failure of SPG missions to the Native Americans. The first was a more general lament that the Church of England could not recruit missionaries. This he attributes to the unattractiveness of the missionary task to the typical English clergyman. Discussions about the best methods to convert the heathen, and the providential opportunities provided by the British Empire, had been ongoing since the seventeenth century. The missionary impulse was fully formed in the Church of England in 1764; what church leaders lacked was a mechanism for recruiting missionaries that included an effective appeal for recruits. It was only later, when the heroic profession of the missionary was effectively sold to the public in the early nineteenth century, that English and Scottish missionary recruits were forthcoming in significant numbers. The second reason for missionary failure had to do with the Secker’s perception, widely shared, of the character of Native American society itself. English Christians of all persuasions had almost insuperable difficulty in imagining a Christian society that was not settled. Living in one place, pursuing agriculture, was regarded almost as a precondition for Christian living. It was not because a flighty, mobile society could not have faith in Christ; it was that such a faith could not be sustained by the permanent ministry of a settled clergymen. A church was necessary to sustain faith over the years, and a church could only do that with settled communities organized into parishes. The alternative would be, like the Catholic alternative, superficial and not genuinely Christian. In his Missionalia of 1727, Thomas Bray denied that Native Americans constituted a “nation,” and suggested that they were more like “Gangs of Strolling Gypsies.” He proposed to convert Native Americans “from a Savage to a Civil and Human Life” by settling among them catechists, who would stop them from “Roam[ing] about in the Woods, Hunting after Prey as the Wild Beasts do.”18 There in a nutshell is the heart of the defamatory Anglo-American treatment of Native American culture and society. To be civilized, one had to be settled. To be Christianized, one had to be settled. Everyone involved in missions was aware of the experiments of the New England minister John Eliot, the “Apostle to the Indians” of New England, who learned the Pequot language, settled communities of “praying Indians” first in Natick and then in several other New England villages, organized them into settled agricultural communities governed according to the principles set forth in the eighteenth chapter of Exodus, trained Native American pastors, and translated the Bible and, naturally, the catechism. These efforts set off millenarian speculation in both England and New England about the spread of the gospel to all peoples as a portent of a new age. One

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of the last Cromwellian parliaments contributed to Eliot’s efforts, creating a society to raise funds for his efforts. (The funds of the renamed New England Company were diverted to other charitable purposes after the Restoration.) By 1674 there were over 3,000 “praying Indians”, but many of them were killed by settlers during the genocidal King Phillip’s War of 1675–76, and others were deported to remote locations. The last native pastor died in 1716, and when the 200th anniversary celebrations of Eliot’s mission were held in the nineteenth century, there was one lone survivor of this experiment in confessional Christianity.19 The fact that Eliot’s experiment was a complete failure did not prevent early mission historians from celebrating it as the providential beginnings of the Christianization of the Native Americans, along with another effort by the Puritan minister Thomas Mayhew on Martha’s Vineyard where Native Americans survived contact with Europeans and even sustained their Christian faith.20 Archbishop Secker, however, did not share that celebratory attitude, directed as it was to Dissenters, and pointed out that not only the praying Indians but almost all Native Americans in New England were now nearly extinct. He then chronicled the failure of SPG missions to the Mohawks in New York, which began as early as 1702. He added a second reason for SPG failure to the well-established argument that Indians cannot be converted until they are settled. Secker believed firmly in stratified diffusion, that is, mission efforts begin by recruiting the leaders of the community, the equivalent of the nobility and landowning class, and then Christianization of the entire community would follow in course, assuming that the people were suitably deferential. The SPG was involved in the celebrated trip of four Indian Chiefs, or Sachems, to London in 1710, an event that was perhaps the first of a series of missionary-related displays of imperial deference in the metropolis, extending to the well-known colonial and imperial exhibitions of the nineteenth century. The four chiefs impressed the English public greatly with an appeal to have Christian teachers sent to their nation. They were presented to Queen Anne, who was so moved by their denunciation of the French that she pledged £400 for a missionary house, a chapel, and (prudently) a fort.21 The SPG responded to this royal largess by sending a missionary, Mr. Andrews, to the Mohawks. According to Secker: He was presented to the Indians with great solemnity, and received by them with great marks of joy; but the parents obstinately refused to let their Children learn English. Therefore both parents and children were instructed in the Indian tongue, as well as the nature of it would permit. But in a short time they grew weary of being taught. The fathers would not suffer their boys to be corrected

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or displeased, in order to their learning anything. As the boys grew up, they took them when they went out in bodies to hunt, for several months together, and they could not be brought to a settled life. They took and dismissed wives at their please; they were continually making expeditions and practising cruelties one upon another; left the aged men and women to perish; got drunk whenever they could, and in their drunkenness were made mischievous to the highest degree. They who had learnt something, showed in their lives no regard to it; and even the four Sachems became savages again.22 There are a number of illuminating elements in this story. From a confessional point of view, in order to receive Christianity through foreign missionary effort, the people must be settled, they must be deferential, and they must have indigenous leaders sympathetic to the Christian enterprise. Furthermore, the British missionary effort is entirely dependent on persuasion. Secker did not suggest that the British army should be sent in to reduce the Mohawks to Christian submission, despite the presence of a British fort in their vicinity. There was to be no British Inquisition in New York. The Christian religion must be based on sincere assent rather than the use of force, and it must be genuine rather than superficial. Under these circumstances, the end of Secker’s story is not surprising. The French Jesuits got to the Mohawk Sachems, and Mr. Andrews had to withdraw in fear of his life under the protection of British soldiers. That is the end of Secker’s story, told in 1764, but it is not, as one might assume from the Archbishop’s pessimism, the end of the story of Anglicanism among the Mohawks. Undeterred by their unsettled lifestyle and unsatisfactory piety, the SPG continued to send missionaries, often after long lapses. A Yale graduate, William Barclay, arrived as an unordained catechist in 1735, returning to England two years later for ordination in the Church of England. He built institutions: a school to train Mohawk adults in catechetical methods, a stone church. By the time of his departure he claimed that most Mohawks submitted to baptism, and had available a Mohawk language Bible, Prayer Book, and, naturally, a catechism. What is even more important was the recruitment of lay leadership loyal both to the Anglican church and the British Crown. At the time of the American revolution, most surviving Mohawks, under the leadership of their devout and highly literate leader Captain Joseph Brant, tilted to the Loyalist side in the revolution. As a result, they lost their land, were abandoned by the British in the peace settlement, and emigrated destitute to Canada. Their SPG missionary John Stuart, forced to leave America as a loyalist, found the Mohawk communities in Ontario, and began rebuilding

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Anglican institutions among a population where, to his surprise, Anglican piety had survived British betrayal. The SPG mission to the Mohawk was not the only Anglican mission effort among native Americans, but it was the only one that produced any longterm results. The entanglement of the Mohawks with British power, and with the British state church, was in many ways a thoroughgoing disaster for them. That Anglican piety survived at all among the Mohawks is perhaps the most remarkable part of the story. The model of territorial Christendom, with clergy ministering to settled parishioners, was so pervasive that confessionally oriented missionaries were often unable to recognize Christian faith when it took unfamiliar forms among unfamiliar people. Although the story of the SPG and Native Americans is in many ways distinctive and atypical in the broader history of British missions, a number of themes emerge that will be important throughout that history. (1) Missionaries are not primarily itinerant preachers moving from place to place, but first and foremost institution builders. (2) Translation is central to the Protestant missionary enterprise, although the consequences of translation can only be assessed by looking at particular efforts in their specific historical context. (3) Non-Christian peoples, when confronting missionaries committed to persuasion rather than force, often pick and choose from elements of the Christian presence, and missionaries often find the results of those choices unsatisfactory or unintelligible. (4) Despite their lack of respect for the results of their own work, missionaries often become, sometimes for unanticipated reasons, important figures in the non-western communities where they live, whether Christian, part-Christian, or even non-Christian. (5) It is very difficult to count the number of missionaries because of the focus on male ordained agents in the missionary movement, and the unwillingness to even acknowledge that the entire enterprise was from the first dependent upon unordained males, local agents, non-western agents, non-western Christian leaders, and women of all sorts recruited into the enterprise at different levels. (6) From a metropolitan point of view, the missionary impulse was alive and well within Christendom. The greatest problem that mission enthusiasts faced, as Archbishop Secker made clear, was the inability to recruit the preferred form of missionary, the devout, committed ordained male willing to forego the white male privilege of ministering to a settled community of Christian parishioners. (7) It was important to the missionary enterprise to defame the people that they wished to Christianize. The form of this defamation varied; what was said about the non-Christian population was often identical to what was said about the unchurched and irreligious at home, that is, they are drunken, adulterous, fornicators, indifferent to authority, prey to unreliable religious or political doctrine, etc. In an imperial

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context, however, singling out the most offensive aspects of a different culture and presenting them as emblematic of the larger culture either created or reinforced a sense of the superiority of a Christian society over a non-Christian one, which is to say of Europeans over non-Europeans. This defamatory impulse was in constant tension with the genuine Christian universalism of most missionaries, who would not have become missionaries unless they believed in some sense that all human beings, regardless of race or culture, were spiritual equals in the eyes of God. It is essential to understand the imperial, political, and military context of any particular missionary enterprise. What looks like persuasion to a European missionary might look like something more sinister to a person whose land is being overrun by foreigners in the shadow of forts being constructed by a foreign military power. In an imperial setting, there is inevitable tension between persuasion on the one hand and imperial power on the other, a power that extends considerably beyond the point of a gun. The missionary impulse is not one of the consequences of the evangelical revival of the eighteenth century, but is instead an ecclesiastical response to the growth of religious liberty and the expansion of the British Empire, which created both opportunities and obligations for Christian expansion. Slaves: episcopal racism and white privilege At the heart of Britain’s eighteenth-century empire lay the labor of hundreds of thousands of Africans, kidnapped from their homes in Africa and put to work as slaves on the plantations of the West Indies, mainly to grow the vast quantities of sugar that was transforming the British diet. The number of slaves in the West Indies grew to roughly 600,000 by the end of the eighteenth century, numerically overwhelming the white elite that owned them, managed them, or otherwise profited from their labor. The Royal Governors of the West Indian colonies were responsible for establishing ecclesiastical parishes, and settling in them clergymen who were under the spiritual authority of the Bishop of London. However inadequate the parochial provision was from the point of view of reformers such as Bray, parishes were established and clergymen were recruited. In the late seventeenth century it was reported that all of Barbados’s eleven parishes had clergymen, although Jamaica had only four clergymen in fifteen parishes. St Kitts had six churches, and St Nevis four.23 These clergymen, however, only served white people, neglecting to carry out even elementary parochial obligations of the baptism of slaves. Catechizing slave children, and even marriage among slaves, was neglected altogether. As further islands were added in the eighteenth century—St Vincent, Dominica, Grenada, Tobago—the pattern continued: partial provision of parishes for white settlers, with virtually no provision at all for the spiritual care of slaves.

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At a rhetorical level at least, the bishops of the Church of England found this situation wholly unsatisfactory, particularly the lack of parochial care for slaves, and regarded the SPG as the institution to carry out their spiritual obligations to the slave population. However degraded they might be, from an episcopal point of view slaves were fully human, were within the parochial confines of the Church of England, and deserved the ministries of the imperial church. The chosen instrument for the amelioration of the spiritual destitution of slaves was to be the SPG, with eleven bishops on its committee and the Archbishop of Canterbury by custom its elected chair. In 1764 Archbishop Secker responded to the charge that the Church of England generally, and the SPG in particular, had neglected to carry out its own principles, and neglected to use funds entrusted to it, and ignored the spiritual welfare of slaves. Secker does not deny the charge that the overwhelming majority of slaves received none of the ministries that the Church of England was obliged to provide for them. When responding to similar charges about the SPG’s relationship to Native Americans, he blames the Native Americans, but he does not blame slaves themselves in any way for Anglican neglect. He blames, instead, their owners, “hard masters, too many of whom forbid them to be instructed in religion, and others deprive them of time for it, by making it necessary that on Sundays they should work for themselves.”24 This argument should be taken seriously, given the nature of the eighteenthcentury established church. Lay control was well established in the Church of England, where the right to name a parish clergyman was often in the hands of the local landowner, a property right to be exercised along with ownership of an estate. Clergymen had tenure in office once they were appointed, but landowners were unlikely to appoint clergymen who challenged the fundamental basis of the landowner’s wealth and power, that is, his right to own or control land and deploy labor on it. West Indian proprietors who cared about religion often endowed parishes on their estates, and with that endowment came control of the appointment. They were obviously unlikely to appoint clergymen who acted in ways that undermined the racist and imperial privileges of the proprietors, and many proprietors thought that the baptism and even marriage of slaves did just that. They were also unlikely to give permission to SPG missionaries or catechists to come into the plantation from the outside, and there was nothing the SPG could do to compel them. The issue was not the legitimacy of slavery or the slave trade, but the spiritual care of slaves. The SPG and the Anglican bishops did nothing to challenge slavery, and little to challenge the slave trade, in the eighteenth century. Some of them were slave owners, as was the SPG itself. Secker claimed that the SPG acted to provide baptism and worship services for slaves in every case where the proprietor agreed to cooperate, and where the parish had no

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endowment set aside for that purpose. He also claimed that there were such cases, although the entire tenor of his argument implies that they were few and far between. Secker was not alone in shifting the blame to slave owners; SPG annual sermons throughout the eighteenth century are laced with denunciations of the slave owners for neglecting the spiritual welfare of their slaves. What undermines Secker’s claims that the SPG was making a good faith effort is the SPG’s own record as slave owners. In 1710 the society received two plantations on Barbados as a bequest from Christopher Codrington, former governor of the Leeward Islands and a missionary enthusiast. The bequest had two purposes. First, the SPG was to maintain 300 slaves on the plantation and Christianize them by baptizing them and catechizing their children. Second, the labor from these slaves, who were to be treated humanely, was to support a college in Barbados for the training of “monks and missionaries” who would then serve as missionaries to Negroes and Indians. Codrington had nothing against slavery, but he felt a religious obligation to bring the benefits of Christianity to the non-Christian populations of Britain’s empire. Furthermore, he recognized that the mission enterprise required institutional structures that were distinct from those of the confessional, parochial, Church of England.25 The SPG ran their plantation from the first like any other West Indian plantation. The record throughout the eighteenth century is one of neglect of the working conditions of the slaves, the sale of “surplus slaves” by plantation managers, demographic decline in the population of the plantations, and resort to the whip as punishment. Managers had great difficulty keeping the number at 300 as specified in the bequest, and often requested permission, which was granted, to sell “surplus slaves.” The SPG committee only ordered a hospital to be built for slaves in 1792, and this order was ignored. As late as the 1820s, when the SPG attempted to abolish the whip, they received a report that this was impossible as the slaves would become uncooperative. White catechists were provided for religious instruction of the SPG’s slaves, but they were provided irregularly and those who were sent often reported that their work was impossible either because the slaves were unteachable or because teaching them to read would be useless to the slaves and possibly dangerous politically. Some slaves were baptized. One catechist reported in 1740, the first such report, that sixty-five were baptized, but that they could not attend worship because the plantation was short of labor. In an estate under their direct control the SPG sent agents who did a little to baptize slaves, almost nothing to educate them, and nothing at all to promote Christian marriage. Instead of providing them with the ministries of a confessional church, the SPG allowed them to be whipped when they were working and sold when they could no longer work. Secker justified this neglect by complaining of difficulty understanding the technical details of estate

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management, but that only underlines his direct responsibility for such details, and is surely beside the point in connection with his self-proclaimed responsibilities to maintain an effective catechist on their own plantations.26 What about the college for missionaries, supported by slave labor? The missionary impulse produced numerous schemes for training colleges for missionaries, beginning with Cromwell’s scheme to convert the old Chelsea College into a missionary seminary, with four secretaries responsible between them for the entire world to be paid by the government. In the 1720s Bishop Berkeley actually secured a parliamentary grant for establishing a college in Bermuda to train missionaries to Native Americans and slaves, although the money was never paid. Codrington’s bequest was meant to support a college for “monks and missionaries.” The SPG’s slaves worked for several decades before the wealth they created was used to build a college to train missionaries for them, but when Codrington College officially opened in 1745 it enrolled instead the sons of West Indian slave owners as well as the academically able sons from poorer white families. Despite their universalist rhetoric and resistance to essentializing racial language, the bishops associated with the SPG used African labor to maintain white privilege. The Codrington Estates were not the only SPG initiative directed to AfricanAmericans. SPG catechists trained black school teachers for catechetical schools opened in both New York City and Charleston, SC, apparently in defiance of local colonial laws, and Archbishop Secker was right to point out that some SPG-financed clergymen made efforts to baptize, if not marry, slaves within their parishes in the West Indies and the Carolinas. The bishops never asserted that Africans could be enslaved and neglected because they belonged to a fundamentally different category of humanity. On the contrary, they asserted that Africans were human beings who deserved humane treatment and, what is more important, deserved the spiritual ministry of the established church because they were human beings within the territorial confines of Christendom, which was extending beyond the shores of the island of Britain because Britain was an imperial power. It is presumably this well-documented rhetorical record that would lead a contributor to the recent Oxford History of the British Empire to assert that “No other agency throughout the Imperial eighteenth century worked as assiduously to convert and secure humane treatment for the victims of slavery.”27 The behavior of the bishops of the Church of England in managing the Codrington Estates, however, demonstrates why the bishops emerged from the eighteenth century with a well-deserved reputation not only for neglect of their spiritual obligations but for hypocrisy as well. There was a large gap between their universalist and humanitarian rhetoric and their actual efforts to ameliorate the conditions of slaves, which were few and far between. The SPG’s major involvement with slavery on the Codrington Estates

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involved the systematic neglect of the welfare of their own slaves, lasting over a century, and the ill-use of funds left in their care for the benefit of slaves. Historians of empire often receive warnings to avoid moralism, and to avoid applying the ethical standards of a later age to men and women of the past. In the history of Europe’s relationship to the rest of the world, the phenomenon we label “racism” has taken many forms. By the standards of their day, those bishops who were active in the SPG were liberals (although the same cannot be said of Anglican clergymen in the West Indies). The racist practices of the SPG were rooted in the facts of its confessional relationship with the British state and empire. Everyone agreed that the Church of England’s primary responsibility lay in ministering to white European Christians within its parishes; thus there was a strong practical link between race and religion. Furthermore, the Church of England was very proud of its close links with the landed proprietors of Britain, and not at all ashamed that its institutions (notably the universities) served the interests of that social class, whose loyalty they regarded as essential to maintaining the existence of Christianity. It is not then very surprising that the principle of deference to lay wealth, and deference to lay influence in the church, extended to the West Indies, where the influential laity were the very “hard masters” routinely criticized in SPG annual sermons. The Church of England was deeply implicated in the system of slavery that was the foundation of the British Empire of the eighteenth century. Aspects of that system, notably the dehumanizing racism that allowed it to operate, were in direct conflict with Christian universalism and Christian humanitarianism. When push came to shove, the bishops capitulated to white privilege, even (as in the case of the Codrington plantations) where an alternative course of action appears to have been within their reach. The humanitarian and universalist rhetoric of the bishops was not however inconsequential. Unlike their agents on the scene in the West Indies, they never capitulated to the racist principle that slaves were unreachable by Christian teaching, nor did they entirely give up on the aspiration to temper the “hard masters” with the presence of Christian teachers. Furthermore, they continued to improvise, within the confines of their confessional world view, with attempts to bring Christianity to both slaves and Africans. That brings us to the strange story of Philip Quaque, which illuminates the history of both empire and missions in the eighteenth century. Africa: the strange story of the Reverend Philip Quaque Archbishop Secker ended his defense of the SPG’s role in converting Africans and slaves by pointing out that the SPG was currently training an African to be sent back to Africa as a missionary. The story of the Rev. Philip Quaque

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demonstrated the Church of England’s good faith opposition to racism as understood by the bishops, that is, the widely heard assertion that Africans were too low on the hierarchy of either race or civilization to become Christians. It implied not only that the Church of England believed that Africans could be Christianized; it also demonstrated their belief that an African could be a gentleman, capable of receiving the same training as European gentlemen, serving in a parish where he would minister not only to African Christians but to European Christians who were within the territorial confines of his spiritual ministry. The contradictory and unstable relationship between Christianity and imperialism, between a confessional church and an imperial state, between Africans and Europeans, all come to the surface in the story of Philip Quaque.28 The British government required slave traders to participate in The Company of Merchants Trading in Africa, provided them with an annual parliamentary grant, and charged the company with maintaining fortifications on the coast of Africa to protect the heart of the eighteenth-century imperial enterprise, the West Indian slave trade. In the 1750s the SPG sent an ordained missionary, Thomas Thompson, to the Cape Castle on what was then called the Cape Coast (later Gold Coast, then Ghana). An ardent defender of the slave trade, Thompson served as a chaplain to the staff of the fort, but as an SPG-sponsored chaplain he was interested in promoting Christianity among Africans, a task that he thought would be best accomplished by a black clergyman. He sent three African boys to London to be trained as missionaries by the SPG. One of them, Philip Quaque (sometimes spelled Kwakoo), became the first ordained African clergyman in the Church of England. When Philip Quaque arrived in London in 1754, the SPG had no idea how to train a black person to be a missionary to Africans, so they did what came naturally to them: he was trained to be a clergyman in the Church of England, following Thomas Bray’s dictum that the best way to root out ignorance and immorality was “Putting the Clergy . . . into a Capacity to Instruct the People.” Quaque was placed in the home of a schoolmaster in Islington, at SPG expense, until he was judged ready for baptism in 1759. Then he was placed for seven years under the care of the Rev. John Moore, Curate and Lecturer of St Sepulchre’s Church, who wrote to the Secretary of the SPG in 1766 that Quaque “has rewarded my labours by improving in every branch of knowledge necessary to the station for which he was designed, and it is hoped will prove a worthy missionary.”29 At St Sepulchre’s, Quaque learned the parochial and pastoral routine of a confessional state church. The clergyman of St Sepulchre had particular responsibility for condemned prisoners at nearby Newgate prison, where he was responsible for tolling a hand bell outside the condemned prisoner’s cell

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the night before his execution, standing on the steps of the church tolling a bell as the procession passed on execution day, reading a passage of scripture, and presenting a nosegay to the prisoner. St Sepulchre’s also maintained an endowed charity school to catechize the poor children of the parish and thus rescue them from vice and immorality. Quaque’s mentor judged him to be making rapid progress toward the qualifications of a missionary. Quaque was ordained in 1765 by the Bishop of London at the Chapel Royal, St James’ Palace, and returned to Gold Coast as missionary in 1766 at a salary of £60 plus £13 for his wife. The cost of the salary, which was rarely paid, was shared by the SPG, who supported him as “Missionary, School Master, and Catechist to the Negroes on the Gold Coast.” and the Company of Merchants Trading in Africa, for whom he was designated “chaplain” to the Cape Castle. An African trained as an English clergyman, with an English wife, was charged with providing the services of the state church to imperial agents supervising the slave trade on the coast of Africa. Quaque served as an SPG missionary until 1816; his English wife died shortly after their arrival, and his second and third wives were Africans. He returned to England only once to arrange for the education of his children. His letters show that his training succeeded in producing a dutiful clergyman attempting to carry out his duties, including his duties as a missionary to his own people. Beyond paying his salary, the SPG expected that Quaque, like SPG missionaries elsewhere in the world and like clergymen at home, would depend on local notables to support his efforts. That support was not forthcoming. Quaque needed first an institutional base for his ministries, and repeatedly requested the construction of a house, a chapel, and a school. All the Cape Coast governor would provide was a room in the castle, where Quaque conducted divine service and a small school. The white company officials at Cape Castle proved indifferent to the provision of divine services, although one governor made an attempt to fine Europeans who refused to attend. When one officer refused to “attend to hear any black man whatever,” the Governor reprimanded him: As to the colour of the preacher’s complexion, none but the most illiterate could make objection to that, as, under any colour, piety and good sense might inhabit, and that we ought to suppose this was the case in the person in question, that I and every one else attended with pleasure that a good example was necessary in a case which the Committee had directly informed me was designed to make converts of the natives.30 The example of mixed-race worship was meant to inspire African conversions to Christianity.

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Quaque’s letters to the SPG are filled with complaints of lack of resources and indifference from his lay patrons, and occasional complaints about the indifference of the SPG, from whom he received a grand total of three letters during his first 27 years as a missionary. In order to raise money, Quaque began trading on his own account, which led to complaints from the SPG despite the fact that virtually all imperial officials were trading privately. The SPG complained that Quaque had lost all facility with African languages, despite the fact that they had trained him exclusively in English for eleven years. Quaque was essentially left on his own to develop methods to recruit Africans to Christianity, and the only method he knew was to open a school for children, mostly mixed race children including girls who were taught the English alphabet, the ten commandments, and of course the catechism. Quaque appears to have taken the slave trade for granted, although the accusation that he never once mentioned the fate of his black brothers and sisters is not true.31 Quaque occasionally adopted the humanitarian rhetoric of the bishops and the SPG, complained of hard masters on the slave ships forcing their cargoes into revolt, and even compared Africans on one occasion to the Israelites under the Pharaoh. For the most part, though, Quaque went about his business as best he could of baptizing those willing to be baptized, visiting white dignitaries, burying the dead, and catechizing children. He maintained his sense of clerical dignity, including suffering a suspension by the governor for refusing to take up arms to defend the fort. In his very last letter to the SPG, at age 75 in 1811, he complains of illness and ungrateful children, and concedes that his mission had been a failure, despite his former hopes. Given his training as a confessional clergyman, trained to minister to settled groups of Christians in a territorial setting with the support of lay patrons, it is difficult to see how his mission could have been anything but a failure. Quaque at the very end reminds the society, however, that whatever his failures he has been a dutiful clergyman: “But beg leave to inform the Society that within these few years, I have buried two and fifty persons and baptised eleven children. Prayers regularly every day in my room and on Sundays some of the gentlemen do attend.”32 The story of Philip Quaque was used to illustrate the SPG’s opposition in principle to racial hierarchy in the church. Ordaining a black clergyman and sending him to Africa was no small matter in the eighteenth century. SPG missionary efforts, though, were thoroughly encapsulated within the imperial system, which was in turn based on slavery. SPG missionary efforts were confined within the boundaries of the confessional church, with its territorial and parochial boundaries. Furthermore, the SPG and the bishops of the Church of England could only work through lay patrons, and if the governors of the Cape Castle (like the hard masters of Jamaica and Barbados) would not cooperate

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to further the interests of religion, then their hands were tied. Finally, the confessional missionary advocates of the SPG had no theory that would allow them to reach out to non-white people who were beyond the confines of settled European influence. They trained Quaque to be an Anglican clergyman, and then complained when he spoke the language of an Anglican clergyman rather than his native African language. In Quaque’s story we find elements of later missionary failures in Africa and the rest of the world: the early ordination of non-western clergy in an attempt to create a non-western church; the practice of blaming those non-western clergy for their inadequacies; the shifting of the blame for failure onto those who had been trained to fail. India The confessional assumptions of both the SPG and the SPCK led them to focus on Wales and the English plantations in the Americas, which encompassed both Native Americans and African slaves. India was regarded as a separate imperial category, where British subjects traded under the East India Company but were not regarded as having territorial responsibility that extended to non-Christians. An exception was made for company servants who were nonChristian, but when the 1698 revision of the East India Company Charter instructed their chaplains to learn Indian languages for that purpose, the instruction was simply ignored. When approached by a clergyman with an interest in mission work in India in 1709, the SPG referred to a legal ruling by the attorney general limiting their work to North America. The confessional view that the work of the English church in India was limited to Christians lasted long after the British assumed territorial control of large portions of India. As late as the early nineteenth century the Bishop of Calcutta (1814), Thomas Middleton, although interested in missions to non-Christians, felt restricted by the terms of his appointment to ministering to the nominally Christian European population: “We have work enough for years to come, in schools, barracks, hospitals and prisons, and among those who have no religion at all, without interfering with any species of superstition.”33 The British missionary enterprise in India came about through an accidental connection: Queen Anne (1702–1714) was married to Prince George of Denmark. George however brought with him to London his Danish Lutheran chaplains, and through their influence this imperial regime fostered a Britishsupported missionary presence on the east coast of India. His chaplains were linked in turn to the German Lutheran pietist center at Halle, in Saxony. Like the Church of England, the Lutheran church of the German-speaking realms of Europe experienced an institutional revival in the very late seventeenth century, attempting to reclaim ground lost by the confessional churches of

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Germany with their own population. Under the leadership of August Herman Francke, Halle became a center of reform and innovation throughout the Protestant world. The author of A Great Project for a Universal Improvement in all Social Orders (1704), Francke funded schemes for Protestant expansion through the large-scale sale of religious literature. Amongst the orphan houses, charity schools, teacher training colleges, translation center, and publishing houses at Halle was a training school for missionaries, all funded primarily from the sale of literature, a new independent source of ecclesiastical funding. Like other German-speaking Lutheran principalities, Saxony had no colonies, but Lutheran Denmark held from 1620–1845 a small trading fort at Tranquebar on the east coast of India. Due to pietist influence at the Danish court, Protestant mission efforts began in India in 1706 with the arrival of Bartholomeus Ziegenbalg, a Halle-trained clergyman and relative of Prince George of Denmark, and Heinrich Plütschau. Much like Philip Quaque at Cape Colony, Ziegenbalg found himself totally dependent on the good will, or lack of it, of his Danish imperial hosts, and set about persuading them to support a small school for company servants. Unlike Quaque, he worked on translating Christian texts into a vernacular, in this case Tamil.34 Although dogged by controversy, Ziegenbalg had an advantage that Quaque lacked, that is, a serious institutional base of support in Europe for his missionary efforts, which included training for missionary tasks. The pietist mission to India was a hybrid effort, combining the voluntary and largely independent institutions at Halle, funded by receipts from their publications rather than endowments or government stipends, with influence at the courts of Dresden and Berlin and essential support at the Imperial court of Denmark. The involvement of the Church of England in the Halle mission displayed a similar mixture of confessional and independent, voluntary activity, along with a considerable admixture of sheer accident. From 1705 the court chaplain to Prince George of Denmark, Prince Consort to Queen Anne, was Anton Wilhelm Böhme, a protégé of Francke at Halle. Böhme acted as a publicist for the Tranquebar mission in London, continuing in this role after Anne’s death until 1722. Böhme persuaded the SPCK to set up a Malabar Committee to provide financial support for the mission. In 1711 the Tranquebar mission received from SPCK a printing press, fonts of Latin type, and gifts of £50.35 In subsequent years the Tranquebar mission was funded from Halle and the SPCK, and supervised formally by a College of Missionaries at the Danish Court. By 1713 Ziegenbalg began to use a Tamil typeface. The hybrid nature of this enterprise was put on display in 1715, when Ziegenbalg attended the annual meeting of the SPCK. When the Rector of Stockport delivered a congratulatory sermon in Latin, Ziegenbalg responded in Tamil, which was then translated into Latin for the learned audience.36

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The indefatigable Böhme pressed the SPCK and the East India Company to expand the Halle mission into adjacent British imperial territory, and in 1728 the SPCK agreed to set up a separate Tamil mission in British Madras, having received authority from the East India Company. They hoped to send an English clergyman for this work, but instead sent the Halle-trained Benjamin Schultze, the first missionary to India supported by an English missionary society. Unable to procure English clergymen, the SPCK continued to fund missionaries from Halle throughout the rest of the eighteenth century. While the SPG was sending over 400 ordained English clergymen to minister primarily to European settlers in the Americas, the SPCK sent over 50 Lutheran missionaries to the Tamil-speaking peoples of the British Empire.37 The East India Company did everything possible to prevent English missionaries from entering other parts of India, but they welcomed German missionaries in Madras, and even recruited them to serve as East India Company chaplains, despite their lack of Anglican ordination. The SPCK Tamil mission illustrates the sheer difficulty of defining something classified as “the British missionary enterprise,” but it also makes clear the imperial origins of eighteenthcentury mission effort. A number of features of the pietist mission are important for the subsequent history of missions. One is the extent to which missionaries attempted to replicate the position of clergymen at home, both in England and in Germany, by building up institutions and by cultivating influence with people in positions of wealth and power. A key figure in the mission was Christian Friedrich Schwartz, who served the SPCK mission for nearly fifty years until his death in 1798. Schwartz served as chaplain to the British military and commercial communities in several South Indian cities, and was at one time representative of the East India Company at the Indian court of Mysore. Fluent in Tamil, Persian, and Hindustani, he raised funds for churches and schools, and wherever they existed small communities of Christian converts gathered around them. The presence of relatively small numbers of Indian Christians overshadowed by expensive Christian institutions set off a debate, chronic in the history of missions, about the character and quality of the converts. Were they sincere? Were they “Rice Christians” converting for material gain? Could they ever escape dependency, and become independent ecclesiastically? Schwartz was criticized, and still is, for being too lax in his standards for conversion, and for observing caste distinctions within his Christian institutions. Many Christians within his institutional penumbra appear to have melted away after his departure. Missionaries with influence, and non-western Christians without influence, provide one of the central contradictions of the history of western religious expansion. The Halle pietists and the SPCK were united in providing an answer to this difficulty, and that was early ordination of non-western Christians.

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Philip Quaque was ordained before he was even sent to Africa. About a dozen Tamil pastors were ordained under the auspices of the SPCK, the fact that their orders were Lutheran rather than Anglican conveniently ignored. A great deal was at stake in the emergence of a class of non-western Christian pastors, not the least being the relationship between non-western Christianity and imperialism. This relationship was fully recognized by missionaries and SPCK mission supporters alike. Empire provided a providential opening for Christian expansion, but the empire was not itself a Christian institution. Furthermore, it was not a permanent institution. How does one go about creating a permanent, non-western church within an ephemeral, western empire? The SPCK’s annual report for 1791 included a commentary on a sermon by Sattaniaden, a “native priest” of the SPCK Tamil mission: How long it may be in the power of the Society to maintain Missionaries; how long the fluctuations in the affairs of this world will afford duration to the Mission itself, is beyond our calculation; but if we wish to establish the Gospel in India, we ought to look beyond the casualties of war, or the revolutions of empires; we ought in time to give the natives a Church of their own, independent of our support; we ought to have suffragan Bishops in the country, who might ordain Deacons and Priests, and secure a regular succession of truly apostolical Pastors, even if all communications with their parent Church should be annihilated. 38 The importance of this statement, and others like it, cannot be overestimated if we are to understand the relationship between the British Empire and the Christian missionary enterprise. The eighteenth-century missionary enterprise was not only deeply implicated with imperialism, but was in some respects an offshoot of imperialism. Expansion by the confessional churches of England and even Scotland was in essence a response to the expansion of British imperial rule. With this statement about the need for an independent Christian church in India, one “beyond the casualties of war, or the revolutions of empire,” one that would survive even if the imperial connection between India and Britain were severed entirely, the SPCK was making a distinction between their religion and their imperial connections, between the Empire of Christ and the Empire of Britain. They also identified an aspiration, coming in this case from the heart of a thoroughly confessional society totally loyal to the territorial established Church of England, to foster in some way an Indian Protestant church that was independent of the established imperial church, connected only in its origins through the characteristic High Church doctrine of apostolic succession. The links between the home church and the daughter church were to be spiritual

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rather than political, and would be immune to the vagaries of politics, even imperial politics. British imperialists were very much aware of the Roman Empire and its fate, and very much aware that the British Empire, like the Roman, was transient. Christian Friedrich Schwartz conducted the Tamil mission according to confessional principles of stratified diffusion recognized by the Lutheran and Anglican state churches alike. He drew an income as East India Company chaplain in Trichinopoly, accepted the patronage of the Indian princely ruler of Tanjore (Thanjavur), built institutions that were funded by wealthy patrons and foreign contributors, and assembled around them groups of poor Christians who were there to be baptized and catechized. In his commitment to ordination of Tamil clergy, however, with the attendant need to provide Tamil language training for an educated clergy, lay the seeds of a future conflict between the aspirations of non-western Christians and the control of patronage and resources by European clergy and other missionaries. Even more significant was the emergence of large-scale conversions to Christianity in parts of Madras. As the British extended their political control over the southern tip of the subcontinent, including the state of Tinnevelly (now Tirunelveli), Schwartz visited the city of Palamcottah (Palayankottai). With characteristic elitism, he found a Brahmin widow who had become a Christian while living with an English officer. He baptized her, named her Clorinda, and put her in charge of building up a small church there. In 1790 Schwartz sent the Tamil clergyman Sattaniaden, whose ordination was mentioned on the SPCK accounts, to take charge of the Christian community in Tinnevelly. Sattaniaden began baptizing large numbers of a community of Shanars, or Nadars, a low-caste community that characteristically collected sap from the palm trees that grew there. The SPCK sent a Halle missionary to join him, and Christian baptisms grew rapidly, reaching according to some accounts more than 1,000 per month. After 1805, when no new missionaries were sent, this wave of conversions appears to have run its course, but the Christian community in Tinnevelly did not go away. They persisted, under the care of catechists known by the SPCK as “country priests”, until they were “rediscovered” by missionary societies in the nineteenth century, and again grew rapidly, although not necessarily because of the missionary presence. Here are the unintended consequences of the missionary enterprise at work, for the developments in Tinnevelly were not at all what any of the confessional missionary organizations had in mind. They believed that Christianity would spread from the top down, from Brahmins or Rajahs or Mohawk Sachems or ordained African clergymen trained in England. Here Christianity was spreading among an illiterate low-caste community, who were picking and choosing among elements of the Christian presence. They

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were choosing Christianity collectively, although they were not choosing it on a level playing field. Elements of patronage and British imperial power were obviously there in the background, but there were also internal dynamics to these conversions that were rarely understood well by missionaries or by the critics of missionaries. Both for different reasons were skeptical about the motives and sincerity of low-caste Christian converts, and accused them either of being insufficiently Christian or of being collective hypocrites, changing their religion for material or political advantage. The defamation of low-status Christian converts will be a recurring theme in the history of missions right down to the present day. The limits of confessionalism The British missionary enterprise is often portrayed as an outcome of the eighteenth-century evangelical revival begun by John Wesley and George Whitefield and spreading to other denominations.39 The original impetus for British missions came, not from evangelicals, but from the leaders of the state churches in England who were contemplating the new spiritual obligations imposed by the presence of the British Empire. The territorial and parochial structures of the confessional churches of Protestant Christendom placed severe limits on their ability to act in response to changing circumstances, especially in the absence of religious orders. However, the range of voluntary organizations created by confessional leaders hoping to meet those obligations constituted an impressive network of international cooperation. Groping to find ways to compete in a world in which religion was no longer automatically imposed from above, the confessional mission activists were inching their way toward the adoption of voluntarist methods, of ecclesiastical institutions that were not designed primarily to minister to people, but to recruit people from outside their ranks. Both the SPG and the SPCK were confounded by the entrenched professionalism of the eighteenth-century clergy, committed primarily as a body to the parochial care of English-speaking Christians wherever they might be found in the world. Despite their Christian universalist ideals, they also foundered on the violent racism embodied in the slave system, in which the Church of England was deeply implicated despite its periodic resort to humanitarian rhetoric. An integral part of a system of class privilege in England, the clergy became a system of class and racial privilege in the West Indies, even on the SPG’s own Codrington Estates and College. The good faith attempt to send missionaries to persuade Native Americans, with the exception of the Mohawks, failed for similar assumptions, that is the defamatory treatment of Native American culture as uncivilized because unsettled, without stable agricultural communities.

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Puritans and Anglicans alike had no clue as to how to provide the ministries that they were familiar with to whole peoples who were not deferential. What was missing were mechanisms to recruit English clergymen and train them as professional missionaries to “others,” with obligations that both encompassed and diverged from those of a parish clergyman. Although mechanisms were in place to support clergymen once recruited, no English or Scottish institutions existed to recruit and train them, a lack supplied by the energetic pietists at Halle. Contrary to much popular missionary history, the East India Company was prepared to tolerate missionaries within its realms under certain circumstances, if they were associated in some way with the established church. Although remaining within the confessional state churches, the Halle entrepreneurs created independently funded voluntary institutions to serve missionary purposes. As the case of Schwartz indicates, the Halle missionaries in India shared many of the assumptions of English clergymen in the West Indies. Anglicans and Lutherans alike believed in assembling settled communities of Christians who would receive the ministries of an influential clergy presiding over expensive institutions funded by elites both at home and abroad. In the far south of India, those confessional assumptions began to break down as groups of Indians adopted Christianity for their own reasons, and settled into Christian communities that were beyond the control of European clergymen. The importance of the evangelical revival in England and Scotland is that it created new possibilities for independent action outside the boundaries of the confessional churches. Evangelical clergymen inside the Church of England were not welcome in either the SPG or the SPCK, which were organized on high church lines and did not welcome the forms of religion known in the eighteenth century as “enthusiasm.” As evangelicals managed to gain a foothold in the church in the late eighteenth century, they succeeded in having some of their number appointed as chaplains in the East India Company, with the overt and covert support of a tiny number of East India Company officials who were sympathetic to evangelical religion. The most important official was Charles Grant (1746–1823), a Scottish trader in India from 1767 to 1799, when he returned to Britain to become a prominent politician, indefatigable promoter of schemes to Christianize India, and influential defamer of the Hindu religion. The first prominent evangelical chaplain was David Brown (1763–1812), who came under evangelical influence at Cambridge and then went to Calcutta in 1786, first to head an orphanage and then to take an appointment as chaplain to the military establishment in Calcutta. Brown soon discovered that his position as an establishment chaplain allowed him to be a missionary, but only privately and on his own time. He took over a bankrupt mission church run by a Halle pietist in Calcutta, who had

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gathered a small congregation of Portuguese and mixed-race descent. Brown was acting as a private patron of a church, without a missionary society to back him up, and without government support except for his stipend as a chaplain. In 1789 the SPCK actually sent an English clergyman, A. T. Clarke, to take charge of the church, but within two years he had become an East India Company chaplain, and Brown assumed pastoral responsibility again. The overwhelming majority of chaplains had no interest in ministering to anyone but Europeans. Even Brown, who wished to Christianize nonEuropeans, saw his tiny mixed-race congregation at the old “Mission Church” grow into a fashionable place of worship for Europeans. When Brown published his “Proposal for Establishing a Protestant Mission in Bengal and Behar” in 1787, it received a cold response despite its warm endorsement by Grant. In Brown and Grant’s scheme, the government of India would Christianize the nation by granting land to Christian clergymen, creating in effect a government-funded mission. Under the confessional theory of Christian expansion, Christianity would emanate from the simple presence of endowed clergymen exercising their influence and their ministries. The East India Company might tolerate, or even covertly encourage, certain forms of missionary work, but it was inconceivable to most of its directors that they could take on the task of Christianizing India. The Archbishop of Canterbury was unimpressed, as was John Wesley, who although an Anglican clergyman was now the head of a new religious denomination, Methodism. Writing on Wesley’s behalf, Thomas Coke wrote to Grant explaining their lack of enthusiasm: “Our missionaries have not all concerned themselves with applications to the civil power . . . In all the places which we hitherto have visited, we have gone to the highways and hedges to compel sinners to come in.”40 The voluntarist impulse was given freer rein in ecclesiastical bodies that existed outside the established churches, and it is to those experiments that we now turn.

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Chapter 3

V O L UN TA R I ST I M PR O V I S AT I O N

Philip Doddridge’s dream recognized position in Great Britain, their liberty to worship guaranteed by the Act of Toleration of 1689, their political interests protected in fits and starts by prominent Whigs in government throughout the early eighteenth century. Dissenters enjoyed neither political nor social equality with members of the established church, but in many urban areas their ministers were men of distinction and influence in the community. Philip Doddridge occupied such a position in the town of Northampton, where he was the minister of the Independent (Congregationalist) chapel on Castle Hill from 1729 until his death in 1751. The Independent chapel was a private, voluntary organization, composed of members who supported the chapel from voluntary contributions, and employed ministers as they saw fit. Although Doddridge’s chapel was a voluntary society, that does not mean it was free of confessional attitudes. Wherever there was a settled body of Christians, inside or outside the established confessional church, there were still confessional ministries to be supplied: the baptism of infants, the education of the young, pastoral care of church members, the provision of edifying religious literature, including hymns, and the burial of the dead. The voluntarist impulse, the universalist Christian desire to bring people in from the outside, was in very little evidence among Northampton Dissenters of the 1730s and 1740s. Doddridge was an extremely busy man, but hardly anything he did during his daily routine involved anything remotely resembling evangelism or any other kind of recruitment. In addition to his pastoral duties, he supervised a well-known Dissenting Academy where he lectured on natural philosophy

P

ROTESTANT DISSENTERS HAD A

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(i.e. science) and theology. He was an indefatigable writer and publisher of devotional books and pamphlets, the best known being The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul (1745). Even while overwhelmed with pastoral, academic, and writing routine, Doddridge took an interest in methods to bring outsiders under the sway of Christianity, both at home and abroad. Like the innovators in the confessional church, he first looked to the thorough Christianization of Great Britain, which he by no means regarded as universally Christian: Now when we have given this plain Account of Religion, it is by no means necessary, that we should search among the Savages of the African or American Nations, to find instance of those who are strangers to it. When we view the conduct of the generality of people at home, in a Christian and Protestant nation whose obligations to God have been singular, almost beyond those of any other people under heaven, will any one presume to say, that Religion has a universal reign among us? Will any one suppose, that it prevails in every Life, and much less that it reigns in every Heart?1 Doddridge is making distinctions in this passage that have remained central to the British missionary enterprise. On the one hand there are civilized and savage nations. On the other hand there are Christian people and non-Christian people. He assumes that all or virtually all Native Americans and Africans are non-Christian. The people of the civilized nations, however, may or may not be Christian. What Doddridge does not address is the issue that would plague almost all missionary efforts involving “civilized” white British Christians as they encounter people assumed to be “savage,” and that was the relationship between civilization and Christianity. It was obviously problematic even for Doddridge, since from his point of view people of civilized nations are obviously not all Christians. As to the relative obligations of recruiting true Christians among the English or among the savages, Doddridge’s rhetoric leans in the direction of the former. He does not, however, any more than Archbishop Secker, reject the obligation to promote Christianity among those beyond the pale of Christian civilization. Within the Calvinist tradition Doddridge would have been aware of the teachings of Calvin’s protégé Theodore Beza, who believed that the command of Christ as recorded in Matthew 28:19–20 to preach the Gospel to all nations had been fulfilled in apostolic times, and that the obligation of Christians now was the maintenance of the purity of the faith within Christendom. Overweighed as he was with obligations to white Christians at home, Doddridge’s mind nonetheless began to range over possible ways to extend

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Christianity. Doddridge addressed a gathering of the Independent ministers of Suffolk and Norfolk with ten proposals for a more profound spiritual life. Before publishing his address, he added an eleventh: Whether something might not be done . . . towards assisting in the propagation of Christianity abroad, and spreading it in some of the darker parts of our own land? In pursuance of which it is further proposed, that we endeavour to engage as many pious people of our respective congregations as we can, to enter themselves into a society, in which the members may engage themselves to some peculiar cares, assemblies, and contributions, with a regard to this great end.2 Nothing ever came of Doddridge’s proposal, presumably because his interest in missions was crowded out by his pastoral, academic, and writing obligations. He continued to support two existing mission societies at the time of his plea for a new Dissenting mission society, and both of these take us into the international world of eighteenth-century Protestantism. Moravians and slaves With Doddridge, as with missionary improvisers within the confessional churches, we encounter influences from far beyond Northampton: from New England, from Scotland, and most important of all, from Germany. One of the most colorful transnational religious entrepreneurs of the eighteenth century was Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. Descended from the exiled Protestant aristocracy of the Hapsburg realms, Zinzendorf accepted in 1722 a community of Protestant refugees from Moravia who settled on his estate in Saxony in a community that they named Herrnhut. These fractious religious separatists found themselves stranded, with no recognized religious status in a confessional Europe where religious opinions were derived from the rulers. Acting as a good European prince, Zinzendorf took an interest in the spiritual welfare of the Moravians, as they were subsequently called, and began to read theology and church history. Having decided that these refugees represented an ancient Protestant Church, he refashioned the Herrnhut community into a separatist church, with himself as their head. Unlike the Halle pietists, Zinzendorf had refashioned a new religious denomination beyond the control of the confessional state churches of Europe. The missionary impulse of the Moravians appears to have come from the restless energy of Zinzendorf himself, who was constantly on the move promoting the Moravian community and attempting to arrange for Moravian

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emigration to British North America. Well connected at the Danish Court, he offered to provide Moravian missionaries for Greenland. When in Copenhagen in 1730 for the coronation of his friend Christian VI, he encountered a black slave from the Danish slave island of St Thomas, and took him to Herrnhut to address the Moravian congregation on the urgent needs of slaves for the gospel. Missionaries were duly sent to Greenland and St Thomas, although the first missionary to the West Indies almost starved to death for lack of means of support until the local governor took pity on him and named him an official in his household. Although the Moravians were to all appearances an extreme case of voluntarist Christianity, there was nonetheless a strong confessional impulse among them, and they concentrated on creating settled communities of orderly Christians who lived well-regulated lives under the leadership of their spiritual guides, including Zinzendorf, who became a Moravian bishop. There was also a strong voluntarist impulse in the Moravian structure, where Zinzendorf’s restless expansionism became a spiritual principle and the missionary outreach of the small denomination a source of pride as well as evidence of divine approval. Zinzendorf was gradually developing a theory of mission outreach, which he explained in a letter to a member of the SPG in 1732. Speculating on the failure of earlier attempts by Lutheran missionaries to evangelize Greenland, he wrote: You are not to aim at the conversion of whole nations: you must simply look for seekers after the truth who, like the Ethiopian eunuch, seem ready to welcome the Gospel. Second, you must go straight to the point and tell them about the life and death of Christ. Third, you must not stand aloof from the heathen, but humble yourself, mix with them, treat them as Brethren, and pray with them and for them.3 Moravian missionaries were to recruit individuals, not whole peoples. This represents a fundamental break with the confessional assumptions of European Christendom, and a clear statement of the voluntarist impulse that runs throughout modern British missions. There are two other principles of Moravian missions that Zinzendorf neglects to mention in this letter. The first is utter subservience to ruling political powers whoever they may be. The second is that missionaries are to make their own living on the spot rather than count on regular salaries from Herrnhut, which became the administrative center of mission operations. These latter principles led Moravian missionaries directly into disastrous entanglements with some of the most brutal aspects of British imperial rule.

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Zinzendorf seemed to be everywhere in the Protestant world of the 1730s. In England in 1737 he met with the Trustees of Oglethorpe’s Georgia Mission in an attempt to settle Moravians in North America and send Moravian missionaries to Native Americans. He also met Doddridge at St Albans, who came away deeply impressed. Zinzendorf’s extraordinary combination of Christian universalism and egalitarianism with political and social conservatism contributed to his many-sided personality, one that was combined with great personal charm. The Moravians remained a small but vigorous denomination, isolated from other Protestants because of the peculiarities of their Christocentric and blood-oriented piety, and also because their fortunes rose and fell with those of Zinzendorf, whose international financial speculations almost bankrupted the denomination, and nearly discredited it entirely. Although the influence of the Moravians on John Wesley is well documented, until the recent books of Colin Podmore and J. C. S. Mason, the broader importance of the Moravians as an English denomination has been obscured.4 In the early days of the evangelical revival, the numbers of English Moravians were not that much smaller than the numbers in the nascent Methodist movement. Moravians recruited English missionaries from English Moravian congregations, but they were not trained in England or directed by an English-based mission society, but sent to Herrnhut in Saxony for their training. The English Moravian missionary society that Doddridge contributed to in its early years, the Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel, was concerned almost entirely with raising funds to be sent to Herrnhut. Of the 300 Moravian missionaries in the eighteenth century, twenty-six were British. With the exception of five sent to Labrador, the rest were sent to British slave islands in the West Indies—Barbados, Jamaica, St Kitts, and Tobago.5 Moravian missionaries were known for their extreme subservience to the slave system. Moravians believed that missionaries should make their own living, and as white people in the West Indies made their living off of the labor of slaves, that is what Moravians ultimately did. A wealthy Moravian bought a plantation in St Thomas, turning missionaries into slave owners who counseled patience to their converts. Zinzendorf himself was unusual among missionary leaders in his belief in the Hamitic hypothesis that God had punished Africans for the sin of Ham by consigning them to the status of a subject race. In the British West Indies Moravian missionaries were protected by a handful of pious slave owners who allowed them access to their slaves in return for work as plantation managers. Unlike SPG agents, the Moravians did not neglect the most fundamental of their pastoral obligations, baptizing and catechizing young slaves and organizing them into congregations. They did however abandon their insistence upon the Christian institution of monogamous legal

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marriage, which was thought to be inconsistent with property rights, although they restricted church office to slaves who had only one irregular relationship. Moravian subservience to the slave system was partly a matter of expediency rather than racist conviction. All missionaries were regarded with great suspicion by planters, and Moravian agents in London carefully cultivated the imperial government in London. Moravians succeeded in obtaining parliamentary recognition for their status as an English religious denomination in the eighteenth century, and entered into a cooperative relationship with the Royal Navy to send English Moravian missionaries to Labrador, where they attempted to convert the surviving natives while the Royal Navy supervised a land and fishing rights grab. The English secretary for Moravian missions in the late eighteenth century, Christian Ignatius Latrobe, hated slavery and rejected the controversial racist Hamitic thesis, but his first obligation was to the survival of Moravian missions, and to that end he never allowed a critical voice about slavery to appear in Moravian publications. He was afraid, with good reason, that slave traders or planters would attack and kill Moravian missionaries, or that the imperial government would order all Moravians out of British territory if they were seen as a cause of instability. Latrobe also had to rebuild the reputation of the Moravians after the financial scandals associated with Zinzendorf, and attempt to overcome the Moravians’ reputation, widespread among other evangelical Christians in England, for extreme and eccentric forms of personal piety centering on the veneration of the blood and wounds of Christ.6 That Moravian missions survived at all in the British Empire was surprising, given the marginal and foreign nature of the enterprise. It remained isolated, centered in a foreign country, surviving on the sufferance of imperial officials, royal governors, and the isolated, relatively pious plantation owner. The Moravian denomination itself was isolated in England from its evangelical neighbors by the nature of its piety, and by its passive attitude to recruitment. Zinzendorf did not believe in recruiting members of established denominations. Moravians would only accept pastoral responsibilities where they were asked to accept them. Most English men and women were at least nominally churched. It was only in the British Empire, where Moravians were encouraged by a minority of imperial officials, that Moravians grew, becoming even more of a transnational denomination but remaining a small one. A new model missionary: David Brainerd and Native Americans Philip Doddridge initially took a great interest in Moravian missions but along with almost all other evangelical Protestants in England eventually turned against them. It would be another half century before the Moravians, under

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the leadership of Latrobe, re-established regular fraternal relationships with other Nonconformist denominations. There was a second important influence on Doddridge in addition to the Moravians, and it too involved religious developments beyond the boundaries of England. The Scottish Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, as we have seen, worked primarily in the confessional setting of Scotland, hoping to turn Highlanders into good Presbyterians. The Scottish Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge was nonetheless an interdenominational enterprise, drawing support from English Nonconformists and North American Congregationalists and Presbyterians as well as members of the Scottish established church. Among the corresponding members of the Scottish society was Doddridge, who took a particular interest in the 1750s in the odyssey of a North American missionary to Native Americans, David Brainerd. Once again we find a British missionary society raising funds to support a mission by a foreigner, if Brainerd with his English Puritan ancestry can be considered a foreigner. An aspiring Congregationalist clergyman, Brainerd entered Yale in 1739 where he continued to suffer from fits of depression. Caught up in the evangelical enthusiasm associated with the revivals presided over by his friend Jonathan Edwards in Northampton, Massachusetts, and George Whitefield’s early tours of North America, he was expelled from Yale for questioning the authenticity of the religious faith of one of his tutors. Brainerd was then taken up by Presbyterians, eventually ordained in the Presbytery of New York, and became a missionary to the Native Americans with a salary of £40 a year supplied by the Scottish SPCK. Brainerd’s mission to different groups of Indians appears to have suffered from many of the difficulties of earlier attempts at conversion by Puritans and Anglicans, for whom Christianity appeared to be impossible outside of settled villages of agriculturists. Much of his work was with the Delaware Indians of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and like other missionaries to the Indians he objected to their manner of living: “They are almost continually roving from place to place.”7 Preaching to mixed groups of white settlers and Indians, he complained of the evil influence of white people, who not only mistreated the Indians and lived immoral lives, but spread heresy among them: Some Indians were newly come here, who had lived among Quakers, and had imbibed some of the Quaker errors, particularly this fundamental one, viz. That if men live soberly and honestly, according to the dictates of their own consciences (or the light within) there is no danger or doubt of their salvation. These persons I found worse to deal with than the mere Pagans, who have no self-righteous foundation to build upon.8

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Brainerd’s success, or lack of success, with Native Americans was less important than what he made of it in his journals, published first in Philadelphia as Mirabilia Dei inter Indicos; or, the Rise and Progress of a Remarkable Work of Grace Among a Number of the Indians in the province of New Jersey in 1746. After Brainerd’s death in 1747, Doddridge published an abridged version in London in 1748, dedicated to the Scottish SPCK. The most successful publicist was Brainerd’s close friend Jonathan Edwards, who published An Account of the Life of the Late Rev. David Brainerd, chiefly taken from his own Diary and other Private Writings in 1749. Edwards was one of the most widely read devotional and theological writers of eighteenth-century North America, but this work became his most popular publication, an international best-seller throughout the Englishspeaking world with many new editions and abridgements (including one by John Wesley) appearing well into the nineteenth century. Brainerd became an early David Livingstone, a model of the missionary hero. His heroism was linked to an inner religious compulsion, possibly related to the depression that Edwards purged from his diaries, that broke the boundaries of confessionalism. Brainerd was not there primarily to create settled communities, although he complained about their absence. He saw himself as guided by the spirit of God, and when Native Americans came under his influence, they were treated in a very different way from the settled, civilized praying Indians under the influence of John Eliot. It was not mere baptism or mere catechism or mere sermons that brought Indians to Christianity: The reformation, the sobriety, and external compliance with the rules and duties of Christianity, appearing among my people, are not the effect of any mere doctrinal instruction, or merely rational view of the beauties of morality, but from the internal power and influence that divine truths (the soul-humbling doctrines of grace) have had upon their hearts.9 This shift in emphasis marks a departure from the confessional methods of the SPG and the SPCK. Instead of “mere doctrinal instruction,” there was the work of God’s grace on the heart. Confessional Christians believed in the work of God’s grace in the heart too, but they placed greater faith in regimentation and deference and catechizing as mechanisms to stimulate that grace. Evangelical Christians such as Brainerd directed against the confessional churches, including the settled Congregational parishes of New England, the same criticism that Archbishop Secker had directed against Roman Catholics, that is their religion was mechanical. Brainerd had been expelled from Yale for asserting that a Congregational minister who was also a college tutor had “no more grace than a chair.”10

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Brainerd was a new model missionary, a dedicated spiritually inspired male hero acting alone in the wilderness, even if married. Doddridge was so inspired by tales of Brainerd’s heroism that he recruited two of his students to be missionaries to the Indians (they were prevented by level-headed relatives), and declared himself “glad at my heart should I be if my only son were desirous of being the third.”11 Creating a model of missionary heroism was one of the elements needed for a full-scale British missionary enterprise to emerge. Doddridge’s son did not go to North America, though, and Doddridge himself never acted on his proposal for an interdenominational, evangelical Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel. The voluntarist missionary impulse in England was diverted into other channels. The SPG provided white male clergymen for settled parishes in North America and the West Indies, and managed a slave-funded college for the sons of white planters in Barbados. The SPCK helped fund a steady stream of Lutheran pietists for the British imperial possessions in India, but recruited no English missionaries. The Moravian Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel helped recruit and fund a handful of English missionaries for training at Herrnhut, and deployment in the largely German Moravian missionary enterprise. The Scottish Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge cooperated with English Nonconformists and North American Congregationialists and Presbyterians, but did nothing to recruit Scottish or English missionaries directly and send them to nonEuropean peoples. Why Doddridge did not act on his 1741 proposal is unclear; perhaps he was simply too mired down in his publishing, educational, and pastoral duties. It is evident from Doddridge’s history that the missionary impulse did not originate in the evangelical revival that was breaking out in the English-speaking world in the 1730s and 1740s. It was, however, greatly enhanced by it. The boundaries of confessional religion were being broken, especially by John Wesley and Doddridge’s friend George Whitefield, and it is to their relationship to the missionary enterprise that we now turn. “The world their parish”: Methodist improvisation The story of John Wesley and his role as the originator of the evangelical revival has been told many times.12 One of the goals of this study has been to put the evangelical revival into the context of a transnational revival of Protestantism, beginning in the late seventeenth-century Halle in Saxony and reaching to mid eighteenth-century Northampton in New England, and encompassing an extraordinary variety of theological and social views.13 Furthermore, the revival of Protestantism occurred in an imperial context, which is why Protestants ended up so often competing for influence at the royal courts of Denmark and Great Britain.

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John Wesley was important, though, along with his associate George Whitefield, because they, like Zinzendorf, transgressed the parochial boundaries of confessional, territorial Christendom. From their base in the Church of England, Wesley and Whitefield were able to spread the voluntarist impulse in the English-speaking world in ways that the Moravians never could, despite their early influence. When all qualifications are made, both Wesley and Whitefield saw the Christian church as a voluntary society gathering people from the world, rather than an established institution ministering to people in already settled communities. We should not underestimate the power of two Anglican clergymen, one a powerful organizer and the other a charismatic preacher, when they uttered in 1739 the famous words “I look upon all the world as my parish” (Wesley) and “the whole world is now my parish” (Whitefield).14 It is not by accident that these phrases have become slogans for the Methodist missionary enterprise and for expansive evangelical Christianity in general. Both Wesley and Whitefield had strong missionary impulses. Innovative and charismatic leaders though they were, neither founded a foreign missionary society, largely because they brought with them into their respective religious worlds large elements of the confessional impulse into which they had been born and trained.Wesley’s domineering, high-church father Samuel Wesley offered his services as a missionary to India in 1705; Wesley’s mother Susanna, upon reading Anton Böhme’s Propagation of the Gospel in the East in 1712, wrote to her husband that I was, I think, never more affected with anything . . . For several days I could think or speak of little else. At last it came into my mind . . . I might do somewhat more than I do. I thought I might pray more for them [the missionaries], and might speak to those with whom I converse with more warmth of affection. I resolved to begin with my own children.15 John Wesley himself after his early days in the “methodist” society at Oxford volunteered as a missionary for the SPG, arriving in Savannah, Georgia, only three years after the first white settlers, and demonstrating that the SPG could recruit missionaries and get them in the field quickly when the parochial needs of English Christians were at stake. Wesley’s adventures in Savannah constituted an imperial mission, not only because he was a chaplain to imperial invaders, but because of Wesley’s concern to Christianize native Americans. He expected them to be a simple people with a sense of God’s providence, but of course they were not settled in teachable communities, and the white settlers who were settled showed signs

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of godlessness and infidelity. The white Christians of Savannah proved as unteachable as Native Americans, and Wesley fled hurriedly under threats of legal action, but his conviction of a confessional mission to white people stayed with him through the strange warming of his heart at the Moravian Chapel in 1738, and his separation from that chapel and organization of a new independent organization at the Foundry in 1739. Wesley was willing to walk over the line separating the confessional from the voluntary in creating a new religious denomination, despite his denials, but he nonetheless regarded the people called Methodists in the light of parishioners. Funded with income from the unprecedented sales of his publications, Wesley stalked both England and Ireland (forty-two preaching tours there!), but never took his mind off the details of organization and discipline. Whitefield followed a parallel but contrasting path, creating eventually a separate denomination in England and Wales, but choosing as his providential field the unregenerate Congregational, Presbyterian, and Anglican churches of North America. If Wesley’s genius was bureaucratic order, Whitefield’s lay in the disruption of the existing churches and the recreation of a non-confessional, non-ecclesiastical world of freelance evangelical enthusiasm based on public revivalism and the printed word. His tours of Leith and Glasgow in 1741 and 1742 produced something resembling pandemonium in all the Scottish churches as Whitefield insisted on preaching without regard to denominational affiliation. The Whitefieldite Weekly History has been called Scotland’s first religious periodical. Some historians attribute to Whitefield, and the Whitefieldite imagined community of the regenerate, the first steps in the creation of a distinctly American national identity. By mid century there were in England three emerging new denominations with thousands of people affiliated, each dominated by a strong leader willing to transgress the boundaries of the confessional church. By one estimate, in 1748 there were 5,000 people associated with the Moravians, 12,000 with Wesley, and as many as 20,000 with Whitefield. Wesley became the public face of the evangelical revival eventually because of his success in building up a tightly organized Wesleyan denomination, funded not only with contributions but with the proceeds from Wesley’s lucrative publications. The Wesleyan connection had 100,000 members by the time of his death in 1791. Whitefield died sooner, but left a murkier institutional legacy, especially in Georgia. His institutional legacy was perpetuated in England and Wales with a new denomination named after his Patroness, The Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion. By the 1790s the Wesleyan connection dwarfed the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion in both influence and numbers, and the English Moravians were self-consciously attempting to repair their image as a tiny, eccentric sect.

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Both Wesley and Whitefield were interested in theory in the evangelization of non-white peoples of the British Empire, and Wesley himself demonstrated that vehement denunciation of both slavery and the slave trade did not prevent a person from becoming influential in the eighteenth century. Both men nonetheless focused their efforts overwhelmingly on persons of European descent in Great Britain, Ireland, and North America. Their goal was the spiritual, social, and moral, regeneration of territorial Christendom using the innovative methods of the religion of the heart. They were voluntarists in that they regarded all the world as their parish, but they were confessional in that they regarded their global parish as primarily white. Wesley in particular placed great emphasis upon discipline following conversion, notably with his famous system of class tickets, issued quarterly, that could be withdrawn for unsatisfactory moral behavior. Wesley used the spread of the gospel to African-Americans and Native Americans for rhetorical purposes. In his widely circulated sermon of 1783, The General Spread of the Gospel, he claimed to discern a limitless global expansion of Christianity in the eighteenth century beginning with his small group at Oxford. Wesley ranked the civilizations of the world in a hierarchy based on their distance from a true knowledge of God. Worst are the heathen, including the heathen of the South Seas recently brought to everyone’s attention by Captain Cook. The dominion of the heathen encompassed Africa, China, and India apparently, but not Islamic nations, which although a step above the heathen, was in a degraded state. Barely above Islam were the backward, unregenerate Christian churches of the eastern Mediterranean and middle east. In characteristic evangelical fashion, Wesley then turns to Europe, more civilized because more Christian, but in fact lacking in a true knowledge of God, especially those under the sway of Roman Catholicism. Wesley’s missionary theory involved the regeneration of Christendom from within, and the spread of true Christianity in those lands that are physically contiguous to regenerated Christian lands: the Kingdom of God will spread, he anticipated, Through the isles of North America; and, at the same time, from England to Holland, where there is already a blessed work in Utrecht, Haerlem, and many other cities. Probably it will spread from these to the Protestants in France, to those in Germany, and those in Switzerland; then to Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and all the other Protestant nations in Europe. May we not suppose that the same leaven of pure and undefiled religion, of experimental knowledge and love of God, of inward and outward holiness, will afterwards spread to the Roman Catholics in Great Britain, Ireland, Holland; in Germany, France, Switzerland; and in all other countries

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where Romanists and Protestants live intermixed and familiarly converse with each other? Will it not then be easy for the wisdom of God to make a way for religion, in the life and power thereof, into those countries that are merely Popish; as Italy, Spain, Portugal? And may it not be gradually diffused from thence to all that name the name of Christ, in the various provinces of Turkey, in Abyssinia, yea, and in the remotest parts, not only of Europe, but of Asia, Africa, and America? 16 Wesley was clear about his territorial and confessional assumptions about the spread of Christianity, but it was also clear that Wesley’s position was based largely on expediency. His theology was pro-missionary, but his practice one of institutional conservatism. Mission enthusiasts within the Wesley connection were eager to go further than their leader, and they could draw on Wesley’s own ideas to do so. In response to this sermon, an up-andcoming young Methodist minister named Thomas Coke, like Wesley an ordained Anglican clergyman, circulated in 1784 his Plan of the Society for the Establishment of Missions Among the Heathen (addressed to all “real lovers of mankind”). He proposed a missionary society supported by subscription, mainly Methodist but not exclusively Methodist, and claimed to have pledges of at least 2 guineas a year from 24 donors. His proposed mission society never met. In 1784, after consulting his preachers, Wesley recorded that : “We were unanimous in our judgment that we have no call thither yet, no invitation, no providential opening of any kind.”17 A deflated Coke then presented a modified plan more in line with Wesley’s cautious judgment about the timing of God’s work in history, explaining that “the Providence of God has lately opened to us so many doors nearer home, that Mr. Wesley thinks it imprudent to hazard at present the lives of any of our preachers, by sending them so great a distance.”18 Coke’s new scheme contained in its title the prudent word “adjacent,” focusing Wesleyan missionary attention on Scotland, the Highlands, and the Islands, the Channel Islands, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. He managed to mention the West Indies, a part of Britain’s empire where Wesleyan planters had already begun mission work with slaves. Wesley diverted Coke’s attentions to the new American republic, where he became one of the organizers of an independent American Methodism. Named by Wesley the “superintending minister” of American Methodism, Coke went to America, ordained Francis Asbury as another superintending minister, persuaded American Methodists to rename their superintending ministers “bishops,” and set off a theological dispute over the status of these “ordinations” that continues to this day. Thus did Coke become the first Methodist bishop, although only in the United States. Returning to England,

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he was put in charge of Methodist missionary efforts by Conference in 1790. For the next two decades, Methodist missionary effort was, in the words of a recent historian, “kept in a state of suspended benign chaos by the venerable and opinionated Dr. Coke.”19 For Wesley, as for the SPG, the West Indies were within the confines of the British Empire and therefore already appropriate places for the care of souls. Methodist work began on Antigua, where the son of a prominent planter, and member of the island assembly, Nathaniel Gilbert, happened to come across a pamphlet by Wesley. He returned to London, and in his house in Wandsworth Wesley preached in 1758 and subsequently baptized a slave in Gilbert’s household. Inheriting his father’s slave plantation in 1761, Gilbert and his brother Francis began mission work among their own slaves, creating a Wesleyan meeting for them. Despite his own doubts about the morality of slavery, Gilbert did not emancipate them. He withdrew from public life and devoted himself to building up the Methodist meeting. On his death in 1774 the leadership of the meeting passed into indigenous hands, at least temporarily, and female black and mixed-race hands. Dismissed in one Methodist mission history as “a Mulatto woman and a Negress,” Mary Alley and Sophia Campbell were early representatives of the thousands of often unnamed non-western women who have sustained the missionary movement from its very beginnings.20 The indefatigable Coke followed up on these local beginnings in order to build up his own one-man missionary enterprise, following what he regarded as a providential intervention in 1786. On his way to Nova Scotia, he was blown (substantially) off course and ended up on the islands of Antigua, St Christopher, and St Vincent, where he took an interest in the fate of the surviving Carib Indians. Coke appointed his traveling companion, William Warrener, missionary to Antigua. By 1788 Coke issued a thank you letter to his subscribers describing Methodist mission work on four different islands, with the following racial breakdown:21 Antigua St. Christopher’s St. Vincent’s St. Eustatius (Dutch) Total

White/Mulatto 60 50 12 2 124

Black 2,670 350 149 140 3,309

Coke was running a one-man show, refusing to create a regular committee to raise funds for fear of losing control to the Wesleyan bureaucracy, and keeping his list of subscribers private, and drawing independent mission efforts

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in the West Indies under his influence. Although subject ultimately to the authority of the English Wesleyan conference, he saw to it that Conference deferred to him. His published accounts show contributions of roughly £1,000 a year from 1788–1793, and annual expenditure on the West Indian missions of roughly twice that much. Coke put his own private funds into the mission, and local contributions and in-kind contributions do not show up in most mission spending accounts, but it is still a very small sum that produced almost immediate results, if the numbers of Methodists in the West Indies are to be considered results. By the time of Coke’s second visit to the West Indies, twelve missionaries worked on ten islands and counted 6,570 Methodists.22 Despite his failure to create an independent, self-sustaining missionary society, Coke had created a regular, ongoing mechanism to raise funds and send English missionaries to African-Americans and Native Americans in the British Empire. The enterprise proceeded amidst much confusion, and with many false starts. The Wesleyan mission to the Caribs on St Vincent was a characteristic response to some local initiative. A resident of St Vincent had published in 1797 a pamphlet on the surviving Caribs of his island. He offered to support a Wesleyan mission, but his interest was in civilizing them before Christianizing. A school was put in place with a Wesleyan schoolteacher. Coke oscillated between defaming the Caribs and praising them for their nobility and simplicity. He claimed that “the sweet simplicity and cheerfulness they manifested on every side, soon wore off any unfavourable impression my mind had imbibed from the accounts I had received of their cruelties.”23 Before the Caribs could be organized into the requisite settled community, warfare between the British and the French disrupted the mission and it was closed. Like all mission efforts among slaves in the eighteenth century, the Wesleyan missions depended entirely on the good will of slave owners and the local authorities. Once they were allowed access to slaves, the Wesleyan missionaries believed strongly in the importance of genuine consent, that is slaves had to be converted to a true Christianity, not merely catechized and educated, important though those efforts remained. Some hint of the way in which slaves could exercise some degree of discretion in matters of religion is hinted at in the 1788 report from a lay Wesleyan missionary, Mr. Hammet, on St Christopher’s: The proper method of doing good to the estate Negroes is to preach first among the free blacks and mulattos. Then you convince them little by little that you have nothing in view but their welfare. If a missionary goes on to an estate to preach, at the desire of the manager, without the request of some of the coloured people, he can do them no good; as he will suppose he and the manager,

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or proprietor, unite to impose religion as they do other labors upon them. Hence, I have adapted my plan to these views. First I preach in the principal town, and then in all the smaller towns where the free blacks live. And from thence I go to the estates.24 Hammet was in effect denying his own entanglement with a particularly brutal form of British imperialism, the slave plantation, a connection that some slaves regarded as obvious to anyone. Even some missionaries confessed their own complicity in the slave system. A former Moravian missionary retrospectively described the estate missionary as “A spiritual police officer sent out to care for the interests of the proprietor.”25 The mission was both deeply complicit in forms of imperialism that Wesley himself rejected (i.e. slavery), and obliged to disentangle itself from the imperial connection in order to respect the free choices of the slaves, who were obviously not on some kind of level playing field in which all religious opinions were of equal value. In the towns, Wesleyan missions had to compete with independent black Baptist congregations that had been started by freedmen from North America. When Coke began work in Jamaica, there was already a large chapel in Kingston established in 1784 by George Leile, a freed slave from Savannah, Georgia. When their work was judged threatening to planters and local legislators, Wesleyan missionaries and the slaves in their care faced obstruction and violence. On his 1793 visit Coke found the missionary Matthew Lumb in jail on St Vincent for violating new laws against public preaching, and black Methodists on the Dutch island of Eustatius flogged for attending worship. With characteristic energy, Coke returned to England to attempt to persuade the Imperial government to override the St Vincent authorities, and even went to The Hague to intervene with Dutch authorities on behalf of the Methodists of Eustatius. This was the beginning of nearly half a century of three-way struggle between missionary advocates in the imperial metropolis, the royal governments, and local authorities making judgments about the balance between the rights of missionaries to promote the Christian religion among slaves and the hypothetical or real powers of that religion to undermine the system of slavery. However much the missionaries might be seen as spiritual police, Christian teachings on marriage had the potential to destabilize or discredit the slave system, and the tiny realm of genuine consent allowed to black slaves who became evangelical Christians, not to mention the opening up of a social space beyond the direct control of the planters, was deeply threatening to many planters and legislators. The conflict between the Empire of Britain and the Empire of Christ produced a fault line in the Caribbean that landed Matthew Lumb in jail.

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In the 1790s Coke turned his attention to Africa. The ensuing fiasco illustrates both the serious disorganization of the Wesleyan missionary effort, all the more remarkable in a denomination known for its high levels of bureaucratic structure, but also the continuing inability of missions to proceed on the confessional model. There was a perception by the 1780s that hundreds of freed slaves were congregating in London, avoiding work and living on charity. The American revolution contributed to this sense of racial crisis in the empire as thousands of African-Americans and former slaves who had fought on the loyalist side claimed compensation for their sacrifices. In 1786 a group of religious philanthropists, including the ubiquitous political radical and evangelical Granville Sharp, founded a company for the purpose of shipping free blacks in London, particularly those who were living in charitable institutions, to Africa. With government assistance, the St George’s Bay Company brought 400 black people from England along with a few dozen whites to the west coast of Africa, creating an imperial enclave that would be the nucleus for the growth of British imperial power there. The settlers appear to have been largely abandoned by their patrons, and suffered from violence and disease, but “Granville Sharp’s Province of Freedom” caught the attention of black loyalists settled in Nova Scotia. In 1791 the company was reorganized as the Sierra Leone Company, and taken in hand by Henry Thornton, William Wilberforce, and other evangelicals of the Clapham Sect who employed an agent to gather the surviving settlers into a settled community, Granville’s Town. In 1792 John Clarkson, brother of the prominent abolitionist writer Thomas Clarkson and a lieutenant in the British Navy, brought a fleet of fifteen vessels carrying nearly 1,200 settlers from Nova Scotia. Sierra Leone thus became a major project of the evangelical Anglicans who wished not only to provide clergymen to the people of Africa, but also to create a model of an industrious, orderly, profitable settlement that would promote Christianity through the example of orderly, capitalist, profit-making civilization. The dream of linking Christianity and civilization will appear again and again in the next century of missionary enterprise, but it was always controversial among missionary enthusiasts and almost never successful on its own terms. Despite the forceful reorganization of the Sierra Leone colony, it met yet another series of disasters. John Clarkson was made governor of the colony, but he immediately fell into disputes with Henry Thornton over the company’s desire to make a profit as soon as possible, and with what Clarkson claimed were overly close ties between the government and what he saw as a philanthropic enterprise. Clarkson was dismissed, to be replaced by the evangelical leader Zachary Macaulay, who was named governor in 1794. The hard-nosed Macaulay remained until 1799, however, attempting both to turn a profit and

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promote the Christian religion among the settlers. The Nova Scotian settlers in Sierra Leone had their own indigenous black Christian leadership. The company had provided in 1792 the only kind of religious ministry to Sierra Leone that they knew how to provide, that is two evangelical chaplains. Contributing to the disorder in Sierra Leone was a black-controlled Methodist meeting under the care of Moses Wilkinson. Although his local society had originally been organized in Nova Scotia, it was listed officially as a circuit of the Aberdeen Methodist district. Zachary Macaulay appealed to Thomas Coke for help in disciplining this threat to evangelical and confessional order, writing to him that “their government is a pure democracy, without subordination to anyone.”26 Coke responded by raising funds to send missionary artisan families to live in Sierra Leone and provide a model of godly industry and, presumably, some white order to the unruly Methodist proceedings. The four missionary couples, and two single men, who arrived in 1796 proved as much trouble to Macaulay as did Moses Wilkinson. Without a properly organized missionary society to supervise them, they were not really under the control of the Methodist Conference or even of Coke, and they certainly did not regard themselves as subordinate to either the evangelical chaplains or the government of the country. When the missionaries began arguing among themselves, Macaulay initiated what might be the first debate over the role of the missionary wife by blaming the mission’s failure on their luxurious lives, a fault he evenhandedly matched by complaints that their husbands attempted to avoid hard work. He promptly shipped them off to America, bringing down a storm of recriminations upon Coke at home for his lack of order in missionary proceedings. Despite Macaulay’s efforts, the colony struggled along with subsistence agriculture and large subsidies from the company. The only Christianity to thrive there was a religion of the people, existing at least partly beyond the control of governors and chaplains, but the rulers of Sierra Leone were incapable of learning any lessons from that fact. Plagued by misgovernment, the colony was taken into direct government control in 1808. In a triumph of hope over experience, the company issued one final statement that year claiming that they had succeeded in establishing “a colony which, by the blessings of Providence, might become an emporium of commerce, a school of industry, and a source of knowledge, civilization, and religious improvement, to the inhabitants of the African continent.”27 Much of this story is only hinted at in subsequent mission histories, largely because of the great appeal in the nineteenth century of the dream of extending the territorial boundaries of Christendom into the empire, of creating settled communities of non-western people who would be beacons of western civilization as well as western, confessional religion.

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William Carey and imperial providence In 1792 William Carey published An Enquiry Into the Obligations of Christians, to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens in Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of the World, the Success of Former Undertakings, and the Practicability of Further Undertakings, Are Considered. Carey is often depicted as the founder of the modern missionary movement, but his pamphlet was a contribution to an established eighteenth-century genre, the appeal for a new missionary society. Bray, Doddridge, Coke, and Wesley had issued such appeals. The arguments Carey used were by the 1790s familiar ones, designed to combat the entrenched opinion that missionary enterprises were not timely, that God had yet to open the appropriate providential doors, and that much more work should be done to Christianize Great Britain before wasting scarce resources overseas. Carey’s classification of the parts of the world according to religious opinion was commonplace in the eighteenth century, along with his spasms of anxiety about the vast numbers of people descending into hell daily (although the image was such a horrendous one that even devout evangelicals avoided dwelling on it). Carey was one of many eighteenth-century religious men and women whose eyes had been lifted to new possibilities by reading accounts of Captain Cook’s voyages. Carey was in other respects a very different person from Doddridge or Coke, not to mention Bray or Secker or Wesley, lacking their education, their social graces, their standing in their respective communities, and their access to resources. Carey was a shoemaker who fell under the influence of evangelical teaching in Northamptonshire, and became first a Baptist and eventually a Baptist minister. He continued work as a shoemaker (by most accounts a not very competent one), and tried his hand at school teaching, although “he could never assume the carriage, nor utter the tones, nor wield the sceptre of a schoolmaster. He would frequently smile at his incompetency in these respects.”28 He always felt a sense of personal inadequacy about his social origins, his lack of personal charm, and his educational deficiencies, writing once to his father that “I was so rusticated when a lad, that I am as if I could never recover myself.”29 He suffered bouts of depression which were only exacerbated by his reading the works of an earlier depressed evangelical missionary pioneer, David Brainerd. What set Carey apart was his sheer determination. Having conceived of a world in need of the gospel, and having been persuaded of the possibility of acting on such a vision, he simply persevered. When he first suggested a missionary enterprise to a meeting of Baptist ministers in 1785, he was rebuked by the chair of the meeting and informed that only miracles could indicate the advent of a new age of Christian expansion. He met a lifelong supporter

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at that meeting, though, Andrew Fuller, the Baptist minister at Kettering, who had been deeply influenced by the writings of Jonathan Edwards which suggested that a new age of Christian expansion was at hand. Carey tried again in 1792, when he delivered a sermon to Baptist ministers in Nottingham on the biblical text “Enlarge the place of thy tent” (Isaiah 54:2). The subheadings for his sermon, “Expect great things from God,” and “Attempt Great Things for God,” have become missionary slogans. In October of 1792 Baptist mission supporters gathered in Kettering to organize a Baptist missionary society, an independent, voluntary society dedicated to raising funds from English Baptists to support English Baptist missions to the heathen. Andrew Fuller became the major organizer of the meeting, which at this time hardly extended beyond the Baptists of Northamptonshire. By actually organizing a voluntary missionary society, Carey had taken one step further than Doddridge and Coke. By going as a missionary himself to India, he took yet another step. It is difficult to overstate Carey’s marginal status in the eighteenth-century British Empire. Whatever it meant to be an evangelical Baptist in the late eighteenth century, it emphatically did not mean committing one’s life to the maintenance of the British Empire. Baptists believed in local democracy in their local churches—ecclesiastical self-government. The Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) was entirely voluntary and private, with no links whatsoever to the established church, to the slave system, or to the East India Company. Baptists were contemptuous of hierarchies of wealth and power as defined by establishments in both church and society, and had a long tradition of hostility to the state. If Carey was committed to an empire, it was the Empire of Christ, not the Empire of Britain. The Empire of Christ, however, could not exist in the 1790s without coming to terms with the Empire of Britain, as Carey discovered when he attempted to sail to India in 1793 along with John Thomas, an unstable bankrupt who had practiced as an East India Company surgeon in India and attempted voluntary missionary work in his spare time. Back in England, he volunteered to go with Carey. The BMS began raising a small amount of funds immediately, but Carey and Thomas were determined to go at once to India, trusting in God to provide funds on their arrival if they were willing to both expect great things from God and attempt great things for God. Carey’s wife Dorothy, who had married him before he even became a Baptist, much less a missionary, refused at first to go but was finally persuaded, and Carey booked a passage on an East India Company vessel. As Thomas moved about to avoid creditors while awaiting their embarkation, the East India Company ordered Carey ejected from the ship. The ebullient Thomas managed to find a passage for them on a Danish East Indiaman with a pietist captain, anchored providentially off of Dover.

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So Carey sailed to India with an unwilling wife and an unstable partner, with no money, and with the reasonable expectation of being sent back home by the authorities upon their arrival. That did not happen, and upon their arrival in Calcutta Carey and Thomas immediately went to the nearest bazaar where Thomas preached in Bengali to the no doubt incredulous audience for nearly three hours. The contrast with confessional missionaries of the SPG embarking to minister to settled communities of Christians, or potential Christians, could hardly be more striking, and the image of the missionary as an itinerant preacher roaming about in the open air was born. Even itinerant preachers, however, need food and shelter, and Carey soon found himself without either. Leaving Thomas behind, he set out for a rural area where, with the assistance of a government minister who was utterly incapable of understanding what Carey was doing there, built some huts and wrote: “Wild hogs, deer, and fowl, are to be procured by the gun, and must supply us with a considerable part of our food.”30 One can only imagine what Dorothy Carey thought of her fate, married to a man widely regarded as embarking on an act of insanity and now reduced to living in a hut in Bengal eating wild fowl. Thomas came to the rescue again, however, by persuading an acquaintance of his to offer Carey a position as a manager in his indigo plantation and warehouse, a position that Carey accepted as a means of providing an income while he pursued his missionary interests. He remained in this position for the next five years, learning Bengali and Hindustani, attempting to preach in the vernacular, and beginning what was to be his life’s work, the translation of the Christian Bible into the Bengali vernacular and other Indian languages. Depending on one’s point of view it is a miracle or an improbable accident that Carey and his family actually survived this adventure, but with William and Dorothy Carey we enter a new period of missionary endeavor, the period of the private, voluntary missionary society sending missionary couples for purposes of recruitment. If the Baptist Missionary Society had not been organized, it is certain that others would have appeared in the 1790s. Why the 1790s? Missionary activists, and later missionary historians, attributed the organizational breakthrough to the new perception of providential opportunity. Providence involved discernment of God’s work in the world, and for inhabitants of an imperial nation that involved some judgment on the progress of Britain’s empire and its significance. William Carey believed that he could read the signs of the times. In his Enquiry of 1792 he felt confident enough to argue that “the spread of civil and religious liberty” meant that for the gospel “a glorious door is opened, and is likely to be opened wider and wider.”31 As a Baptist, he saw history as a march of progress for religious liberty, and with the expansion of the British Empire in India in the 1780s, and Cook’s voyages in the South

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Pacific, the empire of Christ had been given a providential opportunity. The providential argument was not new, however. Wesley had surveyed the world in the early 1780s, and judged the time not ripe for missionary expansion. In some ways the 1790s were less fortuitous than the 1770s, when Britain had a larger empire in North America giving greater access to Native Americans. The wars of the 1790s disrupted shipping and made access to West Indian slaves and the coast of Africa more risky. The Wesleyan mission to the Caribs was ended entirely by military action against the French. By the 1790s, though, a critical mass of literature was being circulated that reinforced the argument that missions were not only desirable but possible. Lives of David Brainerd, first published by Jonathan Edwards, were circulated in many editions, including excerpts published first in the Church of Scotland minister John Gillies’s Historical Collections Relating to Remarkable Periods of the Success of the Gospel and Eminent Instruments Employed in Promoting It (1754), a widely read evangelical tract republished in 1796 with a supplement bringing the story of missionary success up to date.32 A few American Puritans had been proclaiming since the seventeenth century the beginning of a new age of history based on the spread of the gospel among Native Americans. Edwards added to that argument, claiming that the signs of God’s grace exhibited in the “Great Awakening” in New England in the 1730s and 1740s were signs that God was signaling a new age of history when the gospel would once again, as in apostolic days, spread to new peoples. The best evidence in support of that argument was documentation that the gospel was indeed spreading, and the Moravians played a key role in demonstrating the possibility as well as the desirability of Christian expansion. Beginning in 1790, the secretary of the Moravian Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel, Christian Ignatius Latrobe, popularized the success of Moravian missions in the quarterly Periodical Accounts of the mission. Although a failure as a missionary chaplain to Sierra Leone in 1792, the indefatigable Anglican clergyman and missionary advocate Melville Horne published in 1794 his influential Letters on Mission, Addressed to the Protestant Ministers of the British Churches which caught the attention of another Anglican advocate of interdenominational cooperation in missions, the wealthy, prolific, and controversial Thomas Haweis, who reviewed Horne’s pamphlet in the Evangelical Magazine.33 What was also new in the 1790s was not merely the increased circulation of missionary literature, but the advent of individuals willing to act upon exhortations to take some institutional initiative. Thomas Coke was willing to act, and the only thing that prevented the emergence of a Wesleyan Society in the 1790s was his insistence on running a one-man show and the justifiable caution of connexional leadership in the face of Coke’s possessive exuberance. Carey was willing to act, along with Andrew Fuller, and the result was the

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Baptist Missionary Society. In 1795 members of other denominations formed the Missionary Society (renamed the London Missionary Society in 1818), an interdenominational voluntary organization promoted by Haweis and the Congregationalist minister and educator David Bogue. Coke, Carey, Haweis, and Bogue were examples of what one mission historian has described as an atmosphere of “God intoxicated opportunism.”34 The London Missionary Society (LMS) drew primarily upon Congregationalists, responding to an appeal from Bogue who was greatly influenced by Carey’s early letters from India, but also upon members of the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion, a few evangelical Anglicans, and Scottish Presbyterians from both the established church and dissenting denominations. They were accustomed to the principle of private, voluntary action in mission matters, and along with the Baptists were well aware of the failings of nearly a century of confessional innovation in missions. A pacifist radical educated at the University of Edinburgh, Bogue took it for granted that the Scottish Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge in the Highlands and Islands was unfit for the task of organizing missions beyond the confines of Christendom, and he had preached an influential sermon to their annual meeting in 1793 calling for the formation of a new voluntary society dedicated to missions. In 1796 Scottish Presbyterians from both established and dissenting organizations founded small voluntary societies independent of the established church of Scotland and, unlike the LMS, confining their missionary fundraising operations to Scotland: the Glasgow Society for Foreign Missions and the Scottish Society (later known as the Edinburgh Missionary Society, and from 1818 as the Scottish Missionary Society). The following year an attempt to persuade the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to engage in missionary work failed, demonstrating once again the difficulties of persuading confessional institutions to act as voluntary societies. Some evangelical Anglicans such as Horne and Haweis were enthusiastic supporters of the interdenominational London Missionary Society, but most of the leaders of the growing evangelical party in the Church of England remained skeptical. Lay and clerical members of the evangelical party had been meeting together regularly since 1783 as The Eclectic Society, which every few years discussed foreign missions without coming to any conclusions about how to act. Evangelicals had concentrated their efforts on recruiting evangelical chaplains for India and Sierra Leone, but these efforts had been thwarted by the unsuitability of chaplains for mission work, and the unwillingness of the government or the East India Company to proceed with schemes of Christianizing the empire with government grants. Both the SPCK and SPG were semi-voluntary Anglican societies committed to confessional missions. The sermon to the annual meeting of the SPG, which included the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of the City of London attending in state as well as

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the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, had been the occasion in more than one case for advocacy of missions to both West Indian slaves and to India, but these genteel exhortations, and the missionary efforts of nearly a century by both confessional societies, had produced no serious results at all from an evangelical point of view. Most evangelical Anglicans were strongly committed to the church. The Baptist and London societies, and Coke’s efforts at Wesleyan missions, however desirable, would do nothing to spread evangelical Anglicanism. Looking ahead, they saw that the efforts of Haweis and Horne could only result in the spread of dissenting congregations among the heathen. It was no accident that Zachary Macaulay first objected to independent black Methodism in Sierra Leone, then expelled the white Methodist missionaries sent by Coke. Denominational competition finally spurred evangelical Anglicans to act. At a meeting of The Eclectic Society in 1799, a new voluntary society was formed by evangelical Anglicans, the “Society for Missions to Africa and the East instituted by Members of the Established Church”, later renamed the Church Missionary Society. The primary initiator was the Rev. John Venn, Rector of Clapham and spiritual leader of the evangelical network known informally as the Clapham Sect. The emergence of private voluntary missionary societies, although shaped by empire, was primarily the result of a century of innovation by religious men and women. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, each of the major English denominations, and evangelicals in Scotland, had some institutional mechanism to promote evangelical missions beyond the territories of Christendom. They each began to experiment with ways to raise money, recruit missionaries, and provide them with instructions on where to go and what to do when they arrived—all questions with no obvious answers. Among the general public, a debate began about whether missionaries and their wives were heroes or lunatics.

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Chapter 4

“ L I T T L E D E TA C H M E N T S OF MANIACS” Early failures

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Archdeacon Sydney Smith’s lament N 1 8 0 8 T H E C E L E B R A T E D W H I G A U T H O R , preacher, clergyman, and wit, Sydney Smith, delivered a devastating attack on voluntarist missionaries in India in the Edinburgh Review, dismissing them as “little detachments of maniacs.”1 Smith wrote as a distinguished clergyman of the Church of England, closely connected to the Whig opposition and to the imperial establishment. His father-in-law had been a member of the governing council of Madras, and his brother held a lucrative post in the government of Bengal. A strong critic of Methodism at home, Smith felt threatened by the spread of evangelical, Dissenting voluntarist missionaries into the territories of the East India Company, where the Baptists had worked since 1793 and the interdenominational London Missionary Society since 1799. Smith’s devastating attack on voluntarist missions incorporated not only wounding ridicule, but the strongest substantive arguments against the missionary movement, arguments that have been used over and over since the 1790s and which the new-style missionary advocates found difficult to counter. Smith’s most memorable, and in the long run least effective, rhetoric was an unashamed display of the privileges of social class. The men sent to India by the BMS and the LMS were simply not fit to represent the Christian religion. “If a tinker is a devout man,” he complained, “he infallibly sets off for the East.”2 Such men (he ignores women) were the “lowest of the people,” unfit to represent the Christian religion, unfit to be clergy, unfit to create a religious establishment, the only worthwhile form of religion that Smith could imagine. Furthermore, anticipating an argument that surfaces repeatedly in the following centuries, anyone who goes to India voluntarily and privately on such a hopeless

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mission is probably insane. His close reading of the excerpts of early missionaries to India was strong evidence on his part, for a number of early missionaries showed signs of mental instability. Carey himself suffered from depression, and both his wife and his first associate Dr. Thomas had to be incarcerated for mental illness. Far more effective was Smith’s handling of providentialist arguments. Carey surveyed the 1780s and 90s and saw a glorious door opened by God. Smith sided with John Wesley, and with the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, asserting that the time was not yet ripe for missions to the heathen. “The rapid or speedy conversion of the whole world to Christianity forms no part of the schemes of its Almighty Governor,” who had been content to partition the world into Christian and non-Christian spheres for centuries. There is plenty to do at home, and “our duties to our families, to our neighbors, and to our country, are set before us by God himself.”3 These were arguments that Carey had heard at meetings of Baptist ministers in Northamptonshire. For Smith, obligations to our country extended to a commitment to maintain the security of the British Empire. Like plantation owners in the West Indies, Smith saw in voluntarist missions the potential for destabilization of British imperial rule. Britain was at war with France in India, Smith observed, but even more important was the need to speak and act circumspectly so that 30,000 “white men” can govern their “70 million sable subjects” on the basis of opinion rather than force. Smith saw vast potential for insurrection in India if imperial subjects became convinced that the imperial government meant to interfere with religious opinions, and entertained no prospect that missionaries could be separated out in the minds of Indians from the actions of the East India Company. In 1806 some Indian troops at Vellore in the Madras Presidency had mutinied, and their disaffection was widely attributed to a belief among the troops that the British intended to Christianize India. An official inquiry exonerated missionaries, and attributed the trouble to the introduction of a new turban. The Commander in Chief at Vellore commented that Indian troops had no idea that British soldiers were Christians: “From the habits of life prevalent among military men, it is a melancholy truth, that so unfrequent are the religious observances of officers doing duty with battalions, that the Sepoys have not, until very lately, discovered the nature of the religion professed by the English.” 4 None of this mattered to Smith, who cited the mutiny as evidence of a broad missionary conspiracy to destabilize imperial rule. Finally, there was the hopelessness of the missionary task and the failure of the voluntarist missionaries to make any significant progress. This he attributed to the impregnable strength of the caste system, the incompetence of the missionaries, and the low moral character of the handful of Indians who had

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become Christians. The trope of the “Rice Christian,” converting to Christianity only for the hope of material gain of some kind, runs throughout missionary history, and Smith deployed the full armory of this defamatory argument against a typical Indian Christian, who he dismissed as “nothing more than a drunken reprobate, who conceives himself at liberty to eat and drink any thing he pleases—and annexes hardly any other meaning to the name of Christianity.” Caste Hindus, by way of contrast, are “a civilized and moral people.”5 The voluntarist missionaries of the BMS and LMS faced serious difficulties in countering Smith’s criticisms, but they were buoyed by their contrasting sense of providential opportunity. They were innovators, creating institutions as they went. They were also impetuous, determined to act quickly after decades of discussion and false starts, driven by a “God intoxicated opportunism” tinged in some cases with millenarian expectations. Carey might be a poor despised cobbler, one of the lowest of the people, but he had a high view of his own role in God’s providential working out of history. Seeing a glorious door opened by God, he walked through it, leaving the details of bureaucratic support for his mission to be worked out as he walked. It is not surprising that he was on the verge of failure numerous times, as BMS supporters in England scrambled around to respond to his begging letters while criticizing him for going into the indigo business. Carey had no clear theory of missions at first. He began by preaching in the bazaar, but once he settled in as a manager in the indigo trade, he began to suggest the creation of an economically self-sustaining community of missionaries on the Moravian model, holding all goods in common. He began where virtually every later mission would begin, with the laboriously slow work of acquiring the necessary languages for preaching and the translation of the scriptures into the local language, however defined. Although Carey kept his pacifist and republican views to himself, his radical Protestant egalitarianism shaped his decision making in two crucial ways. The first was the choice of language. While Orientalist scholars and East India Company officials in Britain and India were debating each other over the choice of an appropriate language of rule in Bengal—English, Persian, Sanskrit, or Arabic—Carey had a clear, alternative answer as to the appropriate language of the Baptist mission in Bengal. He shared with Martin Luther a passion for the vernacular, and the vernacular in Bengal was Bengali, the language of the people. The second decision was rhetorical: how to treat Hinduism. As he began public preaching in Bengali, Carey developed an anti-Hindu rhetoric that was primarily antiBrahmin rather than generically anti-Hindu. Hinduism was bad for the people of Bengal, he argued, because the priestly class kept the people in subjection, and kept the knowledge of their own religion from them—very much like Roman Catholic priests.

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Progress, however measured, was slow. One measure of the success of missions was the number of converts, and enemies of missionaries taunted them with their lack of evident success. Carey himself was so confident of his providential mission that he was content to leave the advent of converts to Christianity up to God, but other mission supporters, and some missionaries, were not so sanguine, and Carey himself looked forward to seeing the work of God’s grace in the hearts of Bengalis, or even a Bengali. It was several years before Carey baptized a single convert. In 1800 he moved to the Danish city of Serampore, whose pietist governor welcomed Carey along with two reinforcements received from the BMS, Joshua Marshman (1768–1837) and William Ward (1769–1823), who had been denied permission to live in East India Company territory. It was in Serampore that Carey began the initiatives that would characterize virtually every British mission in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the building of Christian institutions. Shortly after his removal to Serampore, Carey conducted his first baptism of a Bengali, Krishna Pal, in a scene that could only have confirmed Smith’s depiction of the BMS missionaries as maniacs. As Carey, Krishna Pal, and the Danish Governor walked the path down to the waters of the holy Ganges, Carey’s colleague John Thomas, who was suffering from one of his bouts of mental instability, was confined to a couch on one side shouting blasphemies. On the other side of the path was the room where Dorothy Carey was confined permanently due to her mental illness, shrieking loudly. After Carey explained that the water he was using was nothing special or holy, he baptized Krishna Pal, and the Danish Governor broke into tears. Afterwards the Lord’s Supper was celebrated for the first time in Bengali.6 The voyages of the Duff If the progress of Baptist missions appeared to be slow and Baptist missionaries suspect characters, things were hardly any better with the Congregationalists. The BMS had been driven by the impetuosity of its early mission volunteers. The LMS on the other hand had in Thomas Haweis and David Bogue leaders at home who were in a hurry. In 1791 Haweis had attempted to put missionaries on Captain Bligh’s ship to the South Pacific, only to withdraw after the Bishop of London refused to ordain the volunteers. Congregationalists had waited nearly half a century to act after Doddridge had proposed a mission society along the lines of the LMS, but the leaders of the LMS rushed in 1795 to raise money, purchase a ship, issue a call for missionaries, and ship them off to the South Pacific in a grand ecclesiastical version of Captain Cook’s voyages. How much of the rush can be attributed to the personalities of the LMS’s founders, and how much to their providentialist and millenarian beliefs, is

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difficult to tell. The result was a public relations disaster for the LMS, and personal disaster for many of the newly recruited missionaries. They were fortunate not to attract the attention of Sydney Smith, who did not care if maniacs sailed off into the South Pacific where they were, in the 1790s at least, unlikely to threaten the stability of the British Empire. The LMS from the first paid careful attention to domestic organization, fund raising, building ties to local congregations, especially Congregationalist congregations, and keeping careful accounts. When it came to the recruitment, training, and outfitting of missionaries, or providing them with a theory of missionary practice, they appear to have depended largely on God’s providence. Haweis in particular was an advocate of the “mechanic” missionary who would live among the heathen and teach them Christianity, a mission strategy often discussed in the early days of missionary improvisation.7 Haweis does not appear to have believed that Christianity would spread simply by the example of Christian artisans living godly and civilized lives in the midst of nonChristians. For the LMS, as for the BMS, Christian teaching had priority over a civilizing mission. Civilization would follow naturally from the adoption of Christianity. Bogue the republican dissenter disagreed with the monarchist Haweis on many things. An advocate of a more highly educated missionary, he had serious doubts about the wisdom of Haweis’ scheme to send their first missionaries so far afield. Bogue preferred a civilized mission field, India, and attempted to go himself in 1796 only to withdraw in the face of objections from the East India Company. Their disagreements were put aside in the enthusiasm of having money to spend, and the LMS purchased the threehundred ton Duff for £4,800. An appeal went out for ordained ministers and godly artisans, not to number more than fifty, with no more than eight and not less than six married women to be included. How they came to this figure, and what they thought would happen to the unmarried men once they arrived, is unclear, although it is likely that they assumed that the unmarried godly mechanics would eventually marry non-white Christian women. What was innovative about the LMS was their willingness to take recruits of a lower social standing than the Church of England. Archbishop Secker had complained that no missionaries could be found, but he found missionaries to minister to white slave holders. The LMS demonstrated that dozens of men and some of their wives could be persuaded to board a ship for a virtually unknown part of the globe in order to spread their Christian faith. Attacks on the low social status of the LMS missionaries began almost at once from both enemies and friends of the missionary movement, including Zachary Macaulay, who attributed every missionary failure to the low social standing of the first missionaries, whether Baptist, Congregationalist, or Wesleyan

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Methodist. The LMS directors would take who they could get, and what they got were twenty-five artisans including bricklayers, tailors, weavers, carpenters, and a blacksmith, one surgeon, four ordained ministers, and a handful of missionary wives. Their motives were attributed by critics to material gain, which given the hazards of this journey seems unlikely unless they were in fact desperate, and that does not seem to be the case. Macaulay implied they were imperial social climbers, ignorant, conceited and proud, and the wives in particular were ‘ “vulgar, low bred, and indelicate.”8 We have little evidence about the motives of missionary volunteers this early, but it seems likely that they were similar to the motives of missionaries later in the nineteenth century, that is mixed. Niel Gunson stresses the importance of a conversion experience among the neo-Calvinist missionaries of the LMS, but he also adds other motives including romanticism, a desire for financial independence, and misanthropy.9 On August 10th, 1796, the Duff sailed from Blackwall dock in London, flying a new flag designed for the missionary enterprise, three white doves with olive branches on a purple field.10 After dodging the French in the Bay of Biscay, the Duff reached Tahiti after 208 days. Seventeen of the thirty missionaries, including the married couples, were left at Tahiti, where they were welcomed by the ruler (Pomare) and given intermittent protection as they built western-style houses, tried to make their store of western food and clothing last as long as possible, and sank into destitution as no regular means of supply had been provided by the LMS. The Duff then proceeded to Tonga, where nine men were left to face one disaster after another. Three of them were killed, and one of them abandoned Christianity and joined the inhabitants in what was described in mission literature as a life of immorality. The remaining five became destitute and desperate until they were rescued by a passing vessel five years later. The Duff returned to England and was outfitted with another crew of missionaries, but the ship was seized by a French frigate at Rio de Janeiro. In the meantime eleven of the missionaries on Tahiti fled in fear of their lives, leaving behind seven men and one missionary wife, Mrs. Eyre. One of the remaining men left the mission to marry a Tahitian woman, and was found murdered in his house in 1799. Another man went native and abandoned the mission. Haweis had argued in 1795 that no mission field had fewer impediments to missionary work other than (quoting Bligh) “such as may arise from the fascination of beauty, and the seduction of appetite.”11 Those were larger obstacles than he foresaw. A remnant of missionaries was determined to keep the mission alive. A missionary couple who had fled Tahiti earlier returned to the mission, but by 1800 the entire South Seas mission consisted of five men, two women, not one single Tahitian Christian, and no regular means of support from the LMS. Carey could at least report

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one Bengali baptism. Bogue’s response to what can only be called disaster was to open a missionary training college at Gosport, beginning the process of formal training for the profession of missionary. Chaplains and gentlemen: the CMS failure to recruit Zachary Macaulay was not the only supporter of the evangelical Anglican Church Missionary Society (CMS) to look down his nose at the voluntarist recruits of the BMS and the LMS, not to mention Coke’s Wesleyan artisans in Sierra Leone. Having taken the momentous step of organizing a voluntary missionary society, Anglican evangelicals had opened themselves up to the stigma of association with the despised voluntarist dissenters. Unlike the SPG, the CMS had little in the way of patronage from the bishops of the Church of England. They supported both episcopacy and establishment, but regarded neither as essential characteristics of the church. Determined to maintain cordial relations with Dissenting and Presbyterian evangelical missions, they also attempted from the first to remain friendly both with the SPCK and the SPG. They gradually appended the word “Church” to their name as a token of their commitment to the establishment. They were in the awkward position of defending an ecclesiastical establishment that treated them at first with indifference or suspicion. The CMS had the advantage of support from the leaders of a large interlocking network of evangelical philanthropies and voluntary societies to draw upon. The wealthy, intelligent, well-connected, and politically astute members of the Clapham Sect not only supported the CMS among dozens of other evangelical philanthropies, but set out to remove by political means the major obstacles that they saw in the way of missionary action in the British Empire: the obstructive tactics of the East India Company, and the evil system of slavery in the West Indies. While those political dramas unfolded in parliament, with amazing success from an evangelical point of view, the leaders of the CMS set about to create a solid home base for foreign mission work long before they were able to recruit and send English recruits to foreign fields. The CMS set a model for subsequent voluntary missionary societies in its elaborate organizational structure. At the first meeting in 1799 it was decided that there would be an annual meeting of supporters, that financial contributions would be the basis of membership, and that the annual meeting would choose a governing committee with representation divided between clerical and lay members. This committee appointed a secretary to manage the society’s affairs. Their second act was to publish an account of their activities with the goal of promoting acceptance of missions among the general public, the churchgoing public, and political elites. John Venn wrote up An Account of a Society for

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Missions to Africa and the East. The committee also laid plans for a pro-mission periodical, and in 1802 the first edition of the Christian Observer was published, edited by the society’s second secretary Josiah Pratt. He promptly turned the editorship over to Zachary Macaulay. There was no outpouring of money for the CMS, for they had no specific project in mind like the purchase of the Duff. During the first two years they received £912, but the only expenditure was £95 for printing. Having made it clear that they preferred ordained missionaries if possible, the CMS was not besieged with applicants. Archbishop Secker’s lament—we cannot procure them—could have been repeated decades later by the secretary of the CMS. The CMS was up against a problem that would plague them throughout the nineteenth century. The LMS might send a ship full of artisans to Tahiti, but as a church missionary society the CMS was determined to send ordained men who would maintain the authority of the church by virtue of their ordination, and the social status that ordination conferred. It was clear from the experience of the LMS that many missionary recruits lacked the social status expected of a clergyman, and the CMS was reluctant to grant that social status by ordaining men who would not otherwise be eligible for ordination. In short, the professional missionary posed a danger to the status of the clergy in Anglicanism. The Dissenting denominations were accustomed to variable standards for their ministry, but the Church of England normally expected a man to have a university degree before ordination as a guarantee of the social standing of the graduate. Unable to recruit ordained English clergymen in its early years, the CMS continued to attempt to make use of chaplains when they could. The CMS had in place in India a handful of evangelical East India Company chaplains who were also engaged in missionary work. As chaplains, they had the social status required to comfort the anxieties of the CMS. There were severe limitations on their ability to act as missionaries, though, not the least of which was professional snobbery. As a director of the East India Company and one of the founders of the CMS, Charles Grant did everything possible to prevent the Company from expelling Dissenting missionaries, but privately he was overwhelmed with shame at the presence of Baptists in company territory.12 Grant provided financial support for David Brown, the Calcutta Presidency Chaplain who engaged in missionary work on his own time, but the difficulties evangelical Anglicans created for themselves were made clear when William Carey paid a visit to Brown in 1794, shortly after his arrival in Calcutta: From thence went to visit the Rev _______. He is an evangelical preacher of the church of England, and received me with cool politeness . . . He carried himself as greatly my superior, and I

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left him without his having so much as asked me to take any refreshment, though he knew I had walked five miles in the heat of the sun.13 Grant continued to recruit evangelical chaplains, using his influence with Charles Simeon, the evangelical incumbent of Holy Trinity, Cambridge, who had gathered around him a small class of evangelical students preparing for ordination. Another evangelical chaplain was Claudius Buchanan, a Scotsman influenced by the evangelical clergyman John Newton at St Mary’s, Woolnooth, in the city of London. Evangelical patrons provided the funds for him to receive a degree from Cambridge, where he became a friend of Simeon. In 1797 evangelical influence secured for him a chaplaincy in Bengal, where he lodged first with David Brown. Buchanan found that he was prohibited from engaging in direct missionary activity as a chaplain, but he later became Vice-Provost and in effect the director of the East India Company’s college of Fort William. Buchanan hoped to use the college as an instrument of Christianization, and hired William Carey away from Serampore to serve as a professor of oriental languages. Buchanan toured India collecting information about the ancient Christian and Jewish communities, but his publications about the evils of Hinduism alarmed East India Company officials, and his patronizing treatment of the Baptist mission in Serampore alienated potential missionary allies. Buchanan believed that the government should Christianize India in order to govern India, a view that was totally at odds with official policy. In 1808 he returned to England, assumed a position on the CMS committee, and continued his polemical writings against Hinduism and in favor of a Christian religious establishment in India. The most notable evangelical chaplain was Henry Martyn, one of Simeon’s curates, who first communicated his interest to the CMS in 1802, offered himself as a missionary in 1805, and is still claimed by CMS historians as the society’s first English volunteer. Martyn had been deeply influenced by reading the Life of David Brainerd; like Brainerd and Carey, he suffered from serious bouts of depression, exacerbated by the understandable unwillingness of the woman he loved, Lydia Grenfell, to accompany him to India. Although inspired by the example of David Brainerd’s single-minded devotion to evangelizing Native Americans, he was less inspired at the prospect of living on the salary that the CMS could offer, particularly given his financial responsibilities to an unmarried sister. Martyn took instead a post as East India Company chaplain, arriving in Calcutta in 1806 where he found European society frivolous and hostile to religion. He was then posted inland to Patna and Cawnpore, where his primary responsibility lay with the European community and his missionary

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activities were limited to language study and discussions with David Brown of schemes to evangelize India. Martyn would later serve as an exemplar of the missionary hero as CMS rhetoricians turned him into a role model for the professional missionary, but his experience as a chaplain demonstrated one of the dead-ends that the CMS faced in attempting to combine the roles of missionary and gentleman. The CMS made the best they could of Henry Martyn, but the lack of English volunteers was deeply disappointing. In 1802 their second annual report lamented that although they had indulged the hope that in consequence of the earnest applications to a very numerous body of clergymen in almost every part of the kingdom, several persons whose piety, zeal, and prudence the Committee might confide would ere this have offered themselves to labour among the heathen. Their hope has however been disappointed.14 They conceded, with obvious chagrin, that they were now following the path of the SPCK nearly a century earlier, and recruiting missionaries from Germany. Through their German contacts, the secretary of the Moravian missions in England, Christian Ignatius Latrobe, and the Lutheran court chaplain brought to the attention of the CMS a new seminary to train pietist missionaries in Berlin. With no empire at their disposal, German pietists once again resorted to the British Empire and a British missionary society. In 1802 two Berlin students arrived in London to be interviewed by the CMS committee. Upon discovering that they spoke no English, the CMS sent them to a tutor in Clapham to learn that language, and then sent them back to Germany to receive Lutheran orders, which were respected in the Church of England and solved the intertwined problems of social class and professional status. After great difficulty, the CMS secured passage of the two men to Sierra Leone in 1804. One of them became government chaplain, and the other disgraced the mission by becoming involved in the slave trade. Three more German missionaries reinforced them in 1806. One of them died within two years, but three of the original five served as CMS missionaries for nineteen, seventeen, and eleven years respectively. During its first fifteen years, the CMS sent out twenty-four missionaries, seventeen of them German. The first two English missionaries supported by the CMS were lay artisans, appointed despite deep misgivings and the cautionary examples of both the LMS in the South Pacific and The Wesleyans in Sierra Leone. The CMS committee was persuaded to send working men by Samuel Marsden, himself a man of humble origins who had been sent to Cambridge to be trained for

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the ministry by evangelical patrons. After ordination he received an appointment as chaplain to the convict colony founded in Australia at Botany Bay in 1786. After inviting his fiancée Elizabeth Fristan of Hull to take up her cross and join him in missionary labors, he was married and the couple sailed for New South Wales, arriving in 1793. As chaplain Marsden had a checkered career marked by periodic conflict with the colonial governors, an appointment as a magistrate where he showed a particular enthusiasm for flogging, and the establishment of a sheep farm which made him wealthy. Marsden held the theory, later abandoned by most missionary societies, that civilization should precede Christianization. Unable to flog convicts into the Christian faith, he turned his attention to the Maori inhabitants of New Zealand, approaching both the LMS and the CMS with requests for missionary volunteers. When Marsden returned to London to deliver a personal appeal for Christian artisans to pave the way for Christianity by creating a civilized western-style society in the South Pacific, the CMS committee overcame its suspicion, particularly in light of the fact that they had in Marsden a wealthy religious entrepreneur, and an ordained one at that, to take charge of the project. William Hall, a joiner, and John King, a shoemaker, were recruited, promised £20 a year, provided with livestock and seeds, and instructed to make themselves self-sufficient as a model to the Maoris. They then sailed with Marsden to New South Wales, to be joined later by a CMS schoolmaster. There they waited another five years before Marsden succeeded in assembling an even larger missionary company and purchased a ship in order to take them all to New Zealand. The disasters that followed did not put an end to missionary theories based upon the importance of civilizing non-Christians first, but it did reinforce the CMS’s strong preference for putting ordained missionaries with wives into their mission fields. At first it appeared that the New Zealand mission station would survive. After leaving them on the island in 1814, Marsden finally returned five years later to find a self-sustaining community, constantly in danger of attack from both European traders and factions among the Maoris. The schoolmaster, Thomas Kendall, had made a start in the Maori language, and he was sent to England along with a Maori leader named Hongi to meet with the orientalist scholar Samuel Lee at Cambridge. Lee subsequently produced the first Grammar and Vocabulary of the Maori language. Upon Kendall’s return, however, the mission became involved in internecine warfare among the Maoris, and Kendall himself turned to trading in firearms and ammunition which he supplied to Hongi’s faction. The CMS dismissed Kendall and his associates in the mission, and in 1822 sent an ordained clergyman, Henry Williams, to take direct charge of what was widely regarded as a failed experiment in spreading civilization through missionary trading. The New

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Zealand mission survived, and Marsden continued to have a hand in it, but it would proceed on different lines under the CMS’s direction. Their suspicion of Marsden, along with the return to England of Claudius Buchanan in 1808, and the deaths of David Brown and Henry Martyn in 1812, effectively put an end to attempts to use government chaplains for explicitly missionary ends. Two other evangelical chaplains and protégés of Simeon, Daniel Corrie and Thomas Thomason, remained in India as part of the Anglican ecclesiastical establishment, doing what they could to support the CMS, but they were never considered missionaries by the CMS. Dismantling the confessional state and the slave empire In 1787 a wealthy, independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire, William Wilberforce, wrote in his diary: “God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.”15 Wilberforce was only the most prominent of a group of men and women who experienced some form of evangelical conversion experience in the late eighteenth century, and drew from that experience both the motive and the self-confidence to engage in public campaigns to reform both Great Britain and the Empire. The evangelical men and women of the “Clapham Sect” which included John Venn, the rector of Clapham, Zachary Macaulay, and Charles Grant, created an extensive network of religious and moral philanthropies operating as voluntary societies committed to promoting the interests of evangelical religion in the Church of England, suppressing the vices of the English and Scottish working classes, combating Roman Catholicism in Ireland and around the world, and the eventual conversion of the heathen throughout the entire world. Wilberforce was the best known member of an interlocking directorate that served on countless committees. Fortified both by evangelical religion and daily doses of opium, Wilberforce combated both the slave trade and working class behavior throughout his life. There was a third object, though, equally important, and linked with the other two in his mind: the conversion of India to Christianity. Two of his three lifelong concerns were imperial concerns. The two evangelical Anglican voluntary societies charged with converting the heathen were the Church Missionary Society and the British and Foreign Bible Society. Evangelicals had a touching faith in the mere presence of a Bible, from which Christian influence was thought to emanate almost mechanically. They never regarded the Bible as adequate by itself, though, and it was through the Church Missionary Society that ordained clergymen and other agents were to be sent to promote Christian influence around the world. Wilberforce, though, was first and foremost a politician, very much aware of the influence

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of institutions on the course of world events. Unlike Carey, who saw the world as a level playing field for the gospel, and empire as a glorious open door for voluntary action, Wilberforce saw political obstacles in the path of voluntary action. Political obstacles required political remedies to clear the way for voluntary effort. His contribution to the Christianization of the world was to be in parliament, working to reduce the political and institutional barriers to the spread of the Christian religion in the British Empire. The two greatest barriers in his view were slavery, sustained by the imperial state, and the East India Company, which was determined to shield the Hindu religion from Christian influence. Thus were South Asian religion and West Indian slavery linked in a sustained domestic political campaign in the imperial metropolis. The East India Company charter was revised every twenty years. In 1793 Wilberforce, with the cooperation of Charles Grant, attempted to have the charter amended in ways that would commit the company to the Christianization of India. Faced with the virtually united opposition of the company directors, he got nowhere. He then turned his attention to the abolition of the slave trade, the one progressive reform of the wartime years that actually succeeded. In 1807 the slave trade was abolished, to the astonishment of virtually everyone, and the evangelical combatants looked forward naively to the withering away of slavery, having taken seriously their own rhetoric that the evil institution would never survive without fresh infusions of slaves from Africa. Wilberforce never ceased to pay attention to India, but his attempts to amend the East India Company Charter in 1813 were based on a different rhetorical strategy from the one deployed in 1793. Wilberforce continued to hope for a confessional solution in 1793; by 1813 he and other evangelicals, although willing to make use of government power, were firmly committed to a voluntarist program for promoting Christianity not only in India but in Great Britain. The spread of public evangelical preaching caused heartburn among the bishops of the established church. In 1809 the Bishops of Durham and Gloucester complained that under the Act of Toleration of 1689 there was no legal mechanism to suppress preaching by those who “assembled in barns, in rooms of private houses, or in other buildings of the most improper kind, to hear the wild effusions of a mechanic or a ploughboy, perhaps not more than 15 years of age.”16 Lord Sidmouth, then out of office, introduced a bill in 1811 requiring registration with the government for preachers, many of whom were “cobblers, tailors, pig-drovers and chimney sweepers.”17 To his astonishment, grass-roots opposition was widespread, and a government that had no heart for the regulation of religion, despite its commitment to establishment, forced the withdrawal of the legislation. Even more astonishing, Sidmouth’s bill produced even further reaction in 1812 when a new Toleration

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Act was passed repealing the repressive although rarely enforced Conventicle and Five Mile Acts designed to suppress Protestant Dissent. In 1813 Wilberforce carried the battle for what he regarded as religious liberty into the struggle over the East India Company Charter, which was successfully amended, not to command the Christianization of India, but to permit voluntarist missionary societies to operate freely there. The imperial confessional state was only partially dismantled, and was in some ways extended. In 1813 the government, while freeing voluntarist missionaries to work, created what must be one of the greatest anomalies in history, an established Protestant Church for India, the Indian Ecclesiastical Establishment with a Bishop at Calcutta. This was followed by the Colonial Service Act of 1819 empowering the Bishop of London and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to ordain men for service in British colonies and foreign possessions. From the point of view of Anglican missions activists, this was all too little and too late. The decision had been made to proceed with the voluntary society as the basis for missionary effort even as the Church of England began to expand around the globe with both government and private support. Confessional attitudes remained strong in the imperial branches of the established church, though, and the parallel expansion of diocesan bishops and voluntary Anglican missionary societies set the stage for two centuries of negotiation and conflict over the allocation of their respective ecclesiastical obligations and privileges beyond the shores of Britain.

Chapter 5

THE HOME BASE Networks and societies

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Fundraising and social class N T H E F A C E O F D I S A S T E R S A N D a general perception of failure in the South Pacific, India, and Sierra Leone, the missions of the LMS, BMS, Methodists, and CMS survived. In 1799 LMS sent a pioneer missionary to South Africa, Dr. Van der Kemp. In spite of drawing down upon the LMS mission a storm of criticism, particularly after purchasing and then marrying a thirteen-year-old Muslim slave girl, Van der Kemp (like Carey) built the institutional basis for future mission efforts in the midst of almost inconceivable adversity. The LMS also sent missionaries to Sierra Leone in cooperation with the Glasgow and Edinburgh societies, and Thomas Coke sent some Wesleyans there in 1811, initiating permanent Methodist work in West Africa. Wesley’s successor Jabez Bunting authorized Wesleyans in Leeds to form a local missionary society in 1813, and then authorized Coke to create a national Wesleyan missionary society in 1818. Wesley had opposed foreign missions as a drain on resources. Bunting supported them in order to prevent resources being drained away by other mission societies, especially the LMS.1 The other major Baptist denomination, the General Baptists, formed their own society in 1817, as did the Methodist New Connection, and an Anglican clergyman named John Bull founded an interdenominational society to support Moravian missions from the outside, The London Association in Aid of Moravian Missions. Even more important were the decisions by the two major established churches to either create or reconstitute their mission efforts as voluntary societies in the 1820s. The Church of Scotland finally created a missions committee, under the watchful eye of the General Assembly, in 1824. In the 1820s the SPG began to assume the India mission work of

I

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the SPCK, under the watchful eye of the bishops on their committee. Stirred by competition from the evangelicals in the CMS, the SPG began to mimic their methods and recruit their own high church missionary couples. The semi-confessional SPG was moving in a voluntarist direction. While the political drama of abolition was being played out in parliament and on the plantations of the West Indies, with heavy involvement by Anglican evangelicals, Baptists, and Quakers, the missionary societies at home concentrated on organization. Once the voluntarist principle had been established in practice if not in theory, they faced three interlocking tasks: fundraising, recruitment, and propaganda. It was the sheer presence of British imperial expansion that nurtured the missionary impulse in the eighteenth century. It was the growth of Britain’s churches and chapels in the first half of the nineteenth century that provided the institutional base for the growth of the missionary enterprise. The English Nonconformists (as they were known in the nineteenth century)—mainly Baptists, Congregationalists, and Methodists—were growing at a faster rate than the general population. Missions became integrated into their voluntary scheme of institution building. As Bunting wrote: “The Methodist missionary ship is one, among others of the grand fleet, by which it is intended to carry to the ends of the earth the blessings of the Gospel; that this ship, like the rest, must be manned, freighted, and provisioned for the voyage.”2 As one minister wrote to Bunting, “Was there ever such a begging system in existence before? Almost every other day we have our hands in the pockets of our people.”3 Anglican evangelicalism was spreading rapidly within the Church of England. Spurred by church party competition within, denominational competition from without, schism or the threat of schism, and the need to raise funds in the face of uncertain support from the state, both the Church of England and the Church of Scotland were growing in overall social influence as they began to face up to the threat of Dissent and Methodism. In Wales the expansion of religious Nonconformity created a sense of unity between Welsh identity and Nonconformist identity. Distinct denominational and theological subcultures were being created within the highly visible bricks and mortar of church and chapel expansion, which now had an organized overseas dimension. There has been a tendency in some recent scholarship to identify the Protestant–Catholic division as the fundamental religious distinction in Victorian England, ignoring the broad social division between church and chapel. It is true that Protestantism remained a fundamental category of British as well as English national identity throughout the nineteenth century, leading to outbursts of serious public debate over a variety of issues including the Maynooth grant, the restoration of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and papal infallibility. Roman Catholicism, however, was highly concentrated geographically in some of the

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major cities of England and in some rural areas of Lancashire and Cheshire. In the mid nineteenth century, in many parts of England, it was possible to go through your entire life without seeing a Roman Catholic. Catholics constituted, as near as we can tell, something like 2–3 percent of the churchgoing population at the time of the 1851 census of church attendance. Nonconformity was unlike Roman Catholicism in the geographical breadth of its presence. There were few communities in Victorian England without the presence of a chapel or meeting house—if not Baptist, Congregationalist, or Methodist, then Unitarian, Quaker, Bible Christian, Plymouth Brethren, Peculiar People, and many other small denominations or independent congregations—and those buildings provided an explicit and visible challenge to the claims of the established church to be the church of the nation. Of those places without a chapel, few were without families of Nonconformists. Alan Gilbert and Robert Currie have documented the rapid growth in Nonconformist membership in the first half of the nineteenth century. Even at its peak at mid century, Nonconformist church membership never exceeded 10 percent of the total population, but the influence of mid-Victorian Nonconformity extended well beyond the number of enrolled members in the Nonconformist denominations.4 In 1851 the government, worried about a lack of church attendance among the working classes, conducted a census of church attendance. The census takers, who counted the actual number of people in every church and chapel in England (an extraordinary undertaking, never repeated), were thwarted by the “twicers,” that is those people who attended more than once on the same day. The census officials put out some garbled figures that were treated as reliable in public debate. The results of the census were taken to mean that over half the population attended church on census Sunday, and that was treated, absurdly, as evidence of massive secularization and a premonition of the collapse of civilization as we know it. It was not until 1967 that a historian, W. S. F. Pickering, published an article in the British Journal of Sociology that came to the persuasive conclusion that about 40 percent of the population was at a place of worship on one rainy Sunday in 1851. This figure is extremely high, probably higher even than the high current levels of church attendance in the early twenty-first century United States. It is difficult to think of any voluntary Victorian social institution, with the exception of those devoted to the consumption of alcohol, that drew a bigger crowd. Pickering concludes that about 20 percent of the total population in 1851—half the churchgoing population—was present in a chapel rather than a church. In other words, roughly half the churchgoing population, which was large, was outside the established Church of England. A comparison of 20 percent of the population attending Nonconformist Sunday worship with

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under 10 percent of the population enrolled as members of a Nonconformist chapel provides some sense of the Nonconformist penumbra. Over the course of the year, many more than 20 percent would have been present for some purpose in a local chapel, and those chapels, scattered widely over the country, were increasingly caught up in nationwide networks of communication and bureaucratic cooperation in the course of the nineteenth century, especially around foreign missions. To be a Nonconformist in mid-nineteenth century England was to live in a distinctive English subculture with its own set of values and outlook on the world. Many Nonconformists, however, shared with evangelical Anglicans and Presbyterians a commitment to the distinctive principles of evangelical Protestantism, with its focus on the person of Christ and the importance of an inward-looking religion of the heart. Nonconformists and evangelical Anglicans shared with high church Anglicans and mainstream Scottish Presbyterians a commitment to building up religious institutions in order to make the next generation more Christian than the present generation. The foreign missionary movement was parasitic on the growth of Christian institutions in early nineteenth-century Britain. Regardless of theological distinctives, it became a mark of a progressive, forward-looking, growing church or chapel to have a concern for Christianizing the world with a missionary society branch as well as their own neighborhood with a Sunday School. Even the insular Quakers, and the ultra-Calvinist Strict and Particular Baptists, got on board eventually with their own missionary societies. The voluntary missionary societies held varying relationships with their denomination, but they concentrated their organizing efforts on the local parishes and congregations of their respective religious worlds, organizing local missionary societies with the goal of promoting foreign missions. The missionary societies raised funds through designated collections in congregations and parishes, through sales of work done by local female missionary supporters, and through individual yearly subscriptions directly to the missionary society by those prosperous enough to pay. By mid century, they stumbled on to an enormously effective rhetorical tool, the missionary box placed in individual households. Children were then taught to make regular contributions for the children of foreign countries right in their own homes.5 There was a certain amount of conservative resistance to the practice of using church facilities to promote what was regarded as an innovation, but meetings to promote missions turned out to be popular. The Wesleyan Methodists were driven to organize a dedicated missionary society in 1813 when Jabez Bunting and other leaders discovered that the largely Congregationalist LMS was using Wesleyan churches to hold missionary meetings in

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Leeds. There were ongoing disputes about where on the premises such meetings should be held, as the characteristic “parish hall” or “church hall” attached to almost all British churches of any size now dates from the mid to late nineteenth century. This was a particular problem among Anglicans. Eugene Stock (1836–1928) the official historian of the CMS, complained of the difficulties he faced when he began his work as late as the 1850s. At that time many of the strongest evangelical centers were not regular parishes, but proprietary chapels with “no schools attached to them, still less the modern ‘parish room’ or ‘mission hall’ for mission meetings.” By the end of the century he could cite many contrasting examples such as a village near Tunbridge Wells with “Its wonderful mission meeting of 500 villagers, and its missionary boxes producing £300 a year.”6 The CMS linked together parochial supporters of missions in geographical associations, networks of parishes that facilitated fundraising and missionary education. The importance of those associations shows up clearly in the steady upward growth of CMS receipts after 1814. The CMS official historian identified the years 1813–1815 as ones of a surge of support for foreign missions generally, but the most significant thing about those years was the activation of the CMS network of associations. Their fundraising importance is clear in Figure 1 in the Appendix, Church Missionary Society income, 1812–1872.7 The triumph of the voluntarist principle is clear in the transformation of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, which was founded by royal charter and had acted as a conduit for parliamentary grants to support clergy in colonial North America. The SPG depended on intermittent Royal Letters commanding a collection in every parish on Trinity Sunday in aid of SPG work, although these letters depended upon a yearly application and were done intermittently—roughly every decade beginning in 1741, and then triennially from 1831. The gradual unraveling of the confessional state in the early nineteenth century, along with competition from the CMS and other voluntarist missionary societies, forced the SPG to adopt comparable methods. In 1819 they began organizing parochial committees and district committees, and appointing a clergyman to act as organizing secretary for each diocese, archdeaconry, and rural deanery, following the structure of the church. This grassroots structure allowed the SPG to weather the withdrawal of parliamentary and royal patronage. In 1832 the government announced the end of parliamentary grants to the SPG for the maintenance of clergy in Nova Scotia and Canada. After wails of protest from the affected clergy, a compromise was reached phasing out the support, but the message was clear. In 1856 the SPG submitted to the secretary of state a request for a Royal Letter requesting a collection for “the promotion of the moral and religious welfare of Her

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Majesty’s subjects in all parts of the world.”8 It was rejected, and the request never renewed. By that time, however, the SPG could count on its network of parochial associations. Of the 14,077 churches, chapels and other buildings of worship counted as belonging to the Church of England in the religious census of 1851, the SPG had a parochial organization in 3,783 of them, a number that grew to 7,175 in 1869 and 9,623 in 1899.9 The SPG also received support from the episcopal Church of Ireland, which had created an SPG committee to receive collections as early as 1714, and from the episcopal church in Scotland, whose bishops resolved unanimously to support the SPG in 1845. In some parishes there were committees supporting both the CMS and the SPG, whose moderate high churchmanship contributed to a certain breadth of outlook among its supporters. For the most part, though, England’s Anglican parishes were choosing sides between the moderately high church SPG and the evangelical CMS, contributing to the institutionalization of church party divisions. Social class played an important role in the early missionary movement, but not in any straightforward, predictable way. The Congregationalists, and the CMS as well, had many prosperous upper middle-class patrons in their early years who played prominent leadership roles in the respective denominations. All of the societies, however, had a very strong clerical or ministerial leadership element, and it is important to remember that each missionary society was either founded or reorganized by a very small group of activists who tended to be either clergymen of the established churches or ordained ministers of the Nonconformist denominations. The BMS in particular was founded by and in its early years largely controlled by Baptist ministers in Northamptonshire. As early as the late 1820s the Church Missionary Society auxiliary association at Oxford became the site of clerical intrigue. John Henry Newman, of all people, was elected secretary in 1829, and immediately objected to the irregularities of a voluntary society having a territorial organization that did not conform to the Anglican diocese. As a result of his complaints, he was deposed as secretary in 1830, although he continued to attend CMS meetings afterwards.10 In various denominations, the influence of social class was mediated through a complex set of institutional and professional considerations that are difficult to categorize according to class analysis. Unlike the Anglican societies, both the LMS and the BMS had very strong anti-aristocratic and anti-establishment tendencies, although the radical political implications of those strains were for the most part suppressed in the interests of promoting their mission agenda. Among the Baptists in particular, though, the anti-aristocratic temper took the form of a ferocious assault on the slave owners of the West Indies and their Anglican clerical supporters. In India, on the other hand, Baptist radicalism was redirected by Carey into egalitarian

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anti-Brahmin preaching. He appealed, with little success, to the non-Brahmin majority in Bengal to throw off the shackles of priestcraft and superstition. Carey’s political radicalism and pacifism were sublimated into a vision of global equality and peace in the Kingdom of God, a time that he expected to see in his lifetime, as he explained to his sisters in 1831: I expect the fulfillment of all the prophecies and promises respecting the universal establishment of the Redeemer’s kingdom in the world, including the total abolition of idolatry, mohammedanism, infidelity, socinianism, and all the political establishments in the world; the abolition also of war, slavery, and oppression, in all their ramifications. It is on this ground that I pray for, and expect, the peace of Jerusalem; not merely the cessation of hostilities between Christians of different sects and connections, but that genuine love which the gospel requires, and which the gospel is so well calculated to produce.11 There were a variety of visions of the ideal society coexisting in the early missionary movement, just as there was considerable political diversity within Britain’s different denominations. Bogue’s pacifism and radicalism coexisted uneasily with the Tory paternalism of Haweis in the LMS. Carey’s vision of the kingdom of God was very different from the vision of the SPG, with its fantasies of deferential Christian slaves overseen by Christian proprietors who generously funded a clergyman to provide the sacraments. The Sierra Leone experiment was driven by reforming evangelical professional men with a middle-class commercial vision of free blacks prospering as small business people, under the watchful eye of ordained evangelical Anglican clergymen and their lay patrons. The leaders of the missionary societies encompassed socially conservative high church clergymen of the SPG, a coalition of bourgeois evangelical activists and a minority of activist evangelical clergymen in the CMS, middle-class notables who recruited working-class missionaries in the LMS, and the activist ministers in the BMS and the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (WMMS). What mission activists had in common, regardless of their class roots or their social vision of the ideal society, was a compulsion to spread Christianity, strong links to churches and other Christian institutions in Britain, and a kind of promiscuous opportunism when it came to opportunities for planting their institutions in the British Empire and, in the case of the South Seas, beyond the empire. In every denomination small groups of mission activists created institutions that spread their influence through the growing body of churches and chapels of early nineteenth-century Britain.

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Just as Britain’s churches sprawled across class barriers, so did the missionary movement. The most important pan-class link came from the Sunday Schools, which were spreading throughout Britain contemporaneously with the missionary movement, and which the missionary societies used to develop links with working-class children. In some ways the Sunday School movement was the domestic equivalent to the missionary movement. The aspiration of Sunday School activists, many of whom were working class, was to produce a generation of British children that was more Christian than the last generation. The missionary societies wanted to produce a world that was more Christian than the world of the last generation. The Sunday Schools became primary sites for missionary propaganda, and an important source of missionary fundraising. By one estimate the LMS was receiving a quarter of its financial support from Sunday School collections in the mid and late nineteenth century.12 The growth of Britain’s churches and chapels in the first half of the nineteenth century provided the institutional bedrock for the building of missionary institutions. This was true regardless of the formal relationship between the missionary society and a particular denomination. The CMS and the SPG were voluntary societies operating exclusively within the Church of England. The BMS and the LMS were independent voluntary societies associated with but not governed by the Baptist and Congregationalist denomination. The Wesleyan Missionary Society, and Methodist New Connexion Missionary Society, and the Foreign Missions Committee of the Church of Scotland, were under the direct control of the central bodies of their respective denominations, as were all subsequent Presbyterian missionary bodies, but they functioned within those denominations as voluntary missionary societies dedicated to one highly visible goal, the spread of Christianity among the non-Christian peoples of the world. In parish after parish, and chapel after chapel, an individual or a group of missionary enthusiasts were responsible for seeing that regular collections were held at worship services, that collection boxes were distributed to Sunday Schools and homes, and that individual subscribers were enrolled with the national missionary society, and that missionary literature was distributed in appropriate ways at meetings and in the Sunday Schools. They were also responsible, in collaboration with the national society, for organizing special missionary meetings, often on week nights. As the numbers of foreign missionaries grew, real live missionaries on “deputation” at home on furlough were assigned the task of touring the country, spreading the word about their work, and appealing for support, often with the aid of “magic lantern” shows. Parishes and chapels were the field from which the missionary societies harvested their funds, but not every part of the field was equally fruitful. Some congregations proved resistant, either because there was no local leadership interested in missions, or because they regarded themselves as too

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poor to even support their own minister, much less foreign missionaries, or because they continued to regard foreign missions as unwise or untimely, or a drain on the prior claims at home. Each missionary society experienced some form of financial crisis in the nineteenth century, although the timing of this crisis varies. It was inevitably attributed to external economic conditions—the Lancashire cotton famine of the 1860s for instance—but it is more likely that the internal dynamics of mission growth led to overextension. Enthusiasm for the progress of the gospel made missionary societies reluctant to refrain from sending candidates when they were available, as they increasingly were, and the costs on the foreign field grew as missionaries engaged in their favorite activity: institution building. The BMS, for instance, began running regular deficits in the 1840s, and blamed it on a lack of support from many Baptist chapels. Fewer than half contributed to the BMS by mid century, and many chapels contributed irregularly, making calculations of income difficult.13 Many Baptists chapels had working-class congregations that could not afford to support a minister, and it is not surprising that they were reluctant to contribute to the BMS. The BMS fiscal crisis was a consequence of their success at raising money and missionary candidates, but it illustrated their dependence on their base, the network of Baptist chapels scattered through England and Wales. The Sunday Schools were particularly important for providing access to sections of the population that did not necessarily attend church or chapel. After 1851 church attendance at all forms of Protestant Sunday worship — Nonconformist and Anglican—began to decline gradually, and the Nonconformist denominations reached their membership peak at this time in terms of percentage of the total population of England. At the same time other forms of participation in religious institutions increased, including participation in some forms of Anglican sacramental observances. Sunday Schools continued to grow in importance. Supported by everyone from the employers of children to working-class mothers, Sunday Schools became omnipresent social institutions. By the late nineteenth century it was very difficult for working-class children to escape Sunday School attendance altogether. Attending Sunday School was the characteristic form of religious participation in working-class neighborhoods, a point that has been missed in study after study of working-class life. The Sunday Schools were inefficient in training succeeding generations of English and Scottish children to become regular Sunday churchgoers, but they provided a captive audience for teaching that included a very large share of missionary propaganda. It is likely that for most British children in the nineteenth century, the single largest source of information about what foreign people were like came from the foreign missionary societies of their respective denominations.

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Smaller interdenominational mission societies such as the London Association in Aid of Moravian Missions had to compete with the major societies that were oriented to one particular denomination; even the initially interdenominational LMS served increasingly as a mechanism for promoting the interests of Congregationalism. Given the decentralized nature of Congregationalists and Baptists, their respective missionary societies served in the early decades of the nineteenth century as surrogate denominational organizations until the Baptist Union and Congregational Union became better organized and staffed. The major Nonconformist societies had a head start on the Anglican SPG and CMS, and with the rapid growth of the Nonconformist denominations in the first half of the nineteenth century, the Nonconformist mission societies drew roughly half the income devoted to missions in England by 1870 (See Appendix, Figure 2, British missionary income by denominational category, 1872).14 Even more significant is the lead that British missionary societies had over those in other countries, notably Germany and the United States (Appendix, Figure 3, Global mission income, 1872).15 The statistics should be taken with a grain of salt, but they were calculated with great care from the best available figures of the day, and are consistent with other evidence. The estimate was based on a figure of roughly a million pounds a year in contributions in 1872 but that is hardly exhaustive, since missionary societies drew their income from diverse sources and depended both at home and abroad on a great deal of unquantifiable voluntary effort. The continental Protestant figures are mainly from Germany, while virtually the entire Roman Catholic income was collected in France, the British and Irish contribution being negligible at this time. When orders of magnitude show Britain as the most missionary minded country in the world in 1872, it is important to keep in mind that it was also the wealthiest country in the world, and in possession of the world’s largest overseas empire. The professional missionary Having developed effective mechanisms for raising funds through churches and chapels, and founding centralized bureaucratic organizations to disburse those funds, the missionary societies confronted major problems with recruitment. The voyages of the Duff were widely regarded as disasters based on the too rapid recruitment of men not suited for the missionary task. In response, David Bogue opened in 1800 the first missionary training academy in Gosport alongside his academy for training Dissenting ministers. The CMS, defensive about the low social status of potential British recruits, in its early days sent ordained Lutherans when possible. Unlike the SPG, though, the CMS was sufficiently egalitarian to accept men as candidates who would not otherwise

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qualify for ordination, and developed educational institutions, and relationships with bishops, in order to allow those men to be ordained.16 The emerging rhetoric of missionary professionalism was plagued with contradictions. Archbishop Secker had noted in the 1760s that one can hardly blame clergymen for their unwillingness to go to the wilds of North America. William Carey’s intimidating description of what awaited a minister abroad gives a hint of the difficulties the mission societies faced in recruitment: “It is inconsistent for ministers to please themselves with thoughts of a numerous auditory, cordial friends, a civilized country, legal protection, affluence, splendor, or even a competency.” Instead, the object of their expectation should be “gloomy prisons, and tortures, the society of barbarians of uncouth speech, miserable accommodations in wretched wildernesses, hunger, and thirst, nakedness, weariness, and painfulness, hard work, and but little worldly encouragement.”17 The missionary societies had to tone down talk of deprivation and misery and replace it with the promise of admiration and heroism. In the early nineteenth century they created a new kind of professional, the missionary, who received his compensation in the form of special honor, admiration, and respect from his Christian peers. Despite the concern of the missionary societies to produce an educated, respectable body of missionaries, no distinct pattern of missionary education emerged in the nineteenth century. The pattern was for missionaries to be educated in the same way as clergymen or ministers when possible, and to be given irregular private training or tutoring when that was not possible. At Bogue’s Gosport Academy, missionary trainees needed remedial training in comparison to the ministerial students, and Bogue attempted to get rid of embarrassing accents and patterns of speech as a means of impressing them with the professional status of the missionary. After he died in 1825, having trained over 100 missionary candidates, the academy was first moved to Hoxton, and then closed in 1830 because of the expense of serving such a small number of students at any one time. LMS missionary recruits subsequently received their training alongside ministerial students at diverse academies including Homerton, Highbury, Newport Pagnell, Bedford Academy, Hackney College, Airedale College, Blackburn Independent Academy, and Western College. With Nonconformists largely excluded from England’s ancient universities, the Nonconformist societies recruited few graduates in the early nineteenth century, although occasionally an LMS candidate could boast of attending classes or even earning a degree at a Scottish University. The Nonconformist missionary societies hoped to raise the standard of their recruits, but the problem was not fundamentally different from the one they faced with their recruits to the ministry, who on the whole came from the same lower-middle-class and

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artisanal working-class background as their missionary recruits. Growing in wealth and social distinction, many Nonconformist urban congregations expected an educated minister, and even poor chapels hoped for a literate one. Missionary recruits were given the same education, and the missionary society hoped for similar results. The CMS also drew recruits from lower-middle-class and artisan backgrounds, a fact which posed the greatest difficulty faced by any missionary society. In its first public statement, the Church Missionary Society (CMS) pointed out that a man “dwelling among savages rude and illiterate does not require the same kind of talents, manners, and learning, as are necessary in an officiating minister in England.” Nonetheless, He who is once episcopally ordained, though with a sole view of acting as a missionary to the heathen, would possess the power of officiating, and holding any benefice to which he might be presented, in the English church . . . What security can be offered, that a person of inferior status, offering himself . . . for orders, is not influenced by the desire of a more elevated rank in society?18 The Society was sufficiently worried about diluting the social standing of the clergy to propose a separate status for missionaries, that of “catechist,” which would prevent their exercising clerical duties at home. In the end however the CMS was forced to recognize that ordination was the proper standard for most if not all missionaries, and that the authority granted through ordination could not be limited to the non-western world. It is testimony to their devotion to evangelical principles that they were prepared to run the risk of diluting the social status of the clergy at home by seeking the ordination of candidates without university degrees; it is testimony to their continued commitment to the confessional principles of the Church of England that they struggled throughout the century to send as many ordained men as possible. It is testimony to the racially stratified character of the missionary movement that the category of “catechist,” which could not be applied to white ordinands at home, became used broadly for subordinate non-western clergy abroad. After 1819 the Bishop of London routinely ordained men for service in the colonies not only to minister to settlers, but to work under a missionary society. As the influence of the evangelical party spread within the Church of England, bishops appeared who supported the CMS either openly or through financial contributions. Eight English bishops were Vice-Patrons by 1840. However, the recruitment of university graduates proceeded very slowly. Of 200 men sent by the CMS between 1824 and 1840, only sixteen held degrees.19

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The moderately high church SPG by way of contrast had little interest in recruiting non-graduates. As professional expectations rose for the Anglican clergy, training colleges were established to provide professional training for candidates for ordination, although it was still assumed that they would come to the college with a university degree. Like the Nonconformist denominations, the SPG drew their candidates from denominational training colleges, although in the case of the SPG the colleges were for university graduates. St Augustine’s College, Canterbury, founded in 1846, specialized in training clergymen for service in the colonies and provided some missionary recruits for the SPG, as did the Missionary College of St Boniface at Warminster, founded in 1860. In order to deal with the Anglican dilemma of social class and clerical status, the CMS became the only major missionary society in the nineteenth century to establish a college dedicated exclusively to the training of men for mission work in a particular society (training for women was a different matter.) The Church Missionary College in Islington was opened in 1825; a new building for fifty students with library, lecture hall, and classrooms was completed the next year. The curriculum of Latin, Greek, Divinity, Logic, and Mathematics was designed to produce gentlemen out of a body of men who were not quite gentleman, but the particular needs of the mission fields were not totally neglected. Examinations were instituted in what were regarded as the crucial languages for a missionary: Hebrew, Arabic, Sanskrit, and Bengali. It would be difficult to devise a curriculum less suited to the practical tasks missionaries faced upon their arrival in a strange land. In the other missionary societies missionaries were trained alongside other candidates for ordination, but recruited from social strata that left them socially inferior to the domestic clergy. Their training as clergymen or ministers in Britain provided little practical help for the tasks they faced in a foreign land. The practical training for missionary activities, including language training, continued throughout the nineteenth century to be a matter of improvisation and apprenticeship in the mission field. The image of the missionary, crucial to recruitment, remained beset with contradictions. If the missionary was socially inferior to the clergyman or minister, he was superior in self-sacrifice and heroism, leading in extreme cases to martyrdom, a fate rarely met in an English parish. An entirely new field of Protestant missionary martyrology emerged. By 1891 an American enthusiast identified no fewer than 130 martyrs, with the LMS and the SPG leading the way in the African and South Pacific mortality race. The most lethal field for British missionaries was Patagonia, the target of missionary activities of the small Patagonian Missionary Society founded in 1844 by a naval officer, Allan Gardiner, who perished on Tierra del Fuego in 1850 with a team of six volunteers. In 1859 another attempt,

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launched from the Falklands, to establish a permanent mission station on Patagonia ended with the massacre of all eight missionaries. Most of these memorialized missionaries were not martyrs in the ordinary sense of the word. Many of them died of disease, or were killed by mistake, or were caught up in some kind of military action including the Indian revolt of 1857. The martyrdom narrative continued to be a staple of missionary Sunday School rhetoric, however, especially if the deceased were bishops or alleged to be victims of cannibalism. Serving as a missionary was often dangerous, and required the sacrifice of home and family. Non-western Christians often suffered for their faith as well, and Indian Christians appeared in the martyrologies of 1857. The rhetorical purpose of missionary martyrologies, however, was the attribution of a superior piety to the missionary, a special kind of sacrifice for the benefit of humanity, which served to counteract the image of the missionary volunteer as either socially inferior, or mentally unstable, or both. By the 1840s the missionary as a superior person was sufficiently familiar for Charlotte Brontë to depict St John Rivers as a possible romantic match for Jane Eyre. Brontë has Mr Oliver present the conventional wisdom on the lack of wisdom in choosing a missionary career: “He accounted it a pity that so fine and talented a young man should have formed the design of going out as a missionary; it was quite throwing a valuable life away.”20 Jane Eyre saw another side of his character: I saw he was of the material from which nature hews her heroes— Christian and Pagan—her lawgivers, her statesmen, her conquerors; a steadfast bulwark for great interests to rest upon; but, at the fireside, too often a cold cumbrous column, gloomy and out of place.21 Jane Eyre rejected St John Rivers, not because of any lack of admiration for his heroism, but because of his dedication to a cause that would foreclose the possibility of romantic marriage. Even more important than the image of St John Rivers as a hero, however, was Jane Eyre’s consideration of the possibility of becoming a missionary herself. She dutifully studied Hindustani with St John Rivers, who at one point encouraged her to come out, unmarried, as a partner in the missionary task. The missionary as sacrificial, unmarried hero was unsatisfactory to Jane Eyre. The possibility of being a missionary wife, if only it could be a loving, companionate marriage, was very much on her mind. Alongside the image of the missionary hero went the practice of the missionary couple, and along with it, a new if largely unrecognized career, the missionary wife.

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“Not counting the wives”: the missionary couple The status of the missionary wife appears to be have been almost an afterthought to the pioneer Protestant missionary entrepreneurs, who conceived of the missionary enterprise as one of male heroism. This is all the more surprising given the prominence of the Christian family, and the stigmatization of celibacy, in almost all forms of Protestantism. The pioneer English Baptist missionary to India, William Carey in his foundational pamphlet in which he outlined his plans for a new missionary movement lumped women together with children and animals: “The women, and even the children, would be necessary for domestic purposes; and a few articles of stock, as a cow or two, and a bull.”22 Gaining the consent of Carey’s own wife proved to be an afterthought as well after Carey decided to volunteer for India. Unwilling to go at first, she became an extremely unhappy missionary wife after their arrival in India. When the first boatload of English missionaries from the evangelical London Missionary Society headed for the South Pacific in 1796, the final passenger list contained thirty men, only six of them married.23 As soon as it was founded, the LMS received applications from unmarried women who wished to be missionaries, and rejected them. Missionaries were to be men, but what about their marital status? Celibacy was not unknown among Protestants, but it had no religious status until the mid nineteenth century with the revival of Protestant religious orders for women and men. Christian marriage was the norm among Protestants, and virtually a requirement for a respectable Christian minister. Who did the LMS directors think their unmarried male missionaries would marry? Elizabeth Elbourne, who has worked extensively with LMS records, has argued that the LMS governing board probably assumed that these men were to marry non-white women in the South Pacific, as soon as suitable Christian nonwhite women could be found.24 If the voluntarist missionary societies neglected to think carefully about marriage in the non-western world, they also appear to have thought very little about race. As male LMS missionaries to the South Pacific began marrying non-white women, racial difference caused a crisis in the mission. On the one hand there was no specifically Christian basis to bar interracial marriages. Christian universalism and Christian teaching on the sanctity of marriage converged to uphold the legality if not the wisdom of interracial marriage. The issue was more one of propriety from the point of view of the missionary societies. Interracial marriages caused comment in the settler communities and among home supporters of missions, and led to conflict among missionaries themselves. What was undoubtedly lawful might not be wise. In the South Pacific, a number of missionaries married non-Christian women and defected

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from the mission, in effect going native. Some gave up their Christian principles upon their marriage, becoming according to their critics either deists or admirers of native culture. One missionary took several wives, but others claimed to maintain their evangelical values, including the sanctity of monogamous marriage, and condemned the hypocrisy of the mission on this subject.25 The practice of sending unmarried men caused even greater difficulties in South Africa, where the LMS’s pioneer missionary, Johannes Theodorus Van der Kemp, arrived in 1799. In 1802 he established a mission settlement called Bethelsdorp (near present-day Port Elizabeth) which attracted disaffected and dispossessed Xhoi-Xhoi who had been pushed off of their land by white settlers. Van der Kemp became a severe critic of white settler society as well as of slavery, and his mission settlement was violently attacked by white settlers. In 1806 Van der Kemp, then in his sixties, purchased from slavery a teenage girl named Zara, apparently of Malagasy descent, and then married her. One of the four children they had before Van den Kemp’s death in 1811 later became a missionary of the LMS. Van der Kemp put up on a broad screen a number of dilemmas faced by the early missionary movement, including but not limited to interracial marriage. They were all imperial questions. What would be the relationship between missionaries and white settlers in the British Empire? The SPG had confronted and answered that question definitively in the eighteenth century: SPG missionaries would be deferential servants of the ruling, slave-owning class (although not all of them were). Van der Kemp, like later LMS and BMS missionaries in the West Indies, answered that question a very different way by identifying with the Khoi people of South Africa, condemning white settler society explicitly for their evil and un-Christian behavior. This set off alarm bells in missionary headquarters in the metropolis. It also illuminated yet another question: how were missionaries to be kept under control from London? The relationship between center and periphery would be a perennial problem in missionary circles, but it was all the more difficult to answer in the days before steamships and the telegraph. The answer that the LMS was groping toward in the very early years of the nineteenth century would turn out to be a common answer in missionary history. Missionary discipline, if it were to be effective, would have to come from the mission itself, rather than from the missionary society back home in London or Edinburgh. Van der Kemp died in 1811, and was later roundly criticized even by friends and relatives for allowing his religious enthusiasm to undermine common sense and propriety and lead him to identify too closely with the Khoi-Khoi or, more generically, with the “natives.” He was also a founding father of the Mission, though, and could not be disowned altogether. However paternalistic, his enthusiastic identification with “native”

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society initiated a humanitarian, anti-imperial strain in the missionary movement that never went away. The LMS mission remained divided throughout the early nineteenth century between followers of Van der Kemp such as James Read and John Philip, who believed in Christian political intervention on behalf of the rights of indigenous peoples, and more conservative missionaries such as Robert Moffat, David Livingstone’s father-in-law. Other LMS missionaries in South Africa followed Van der Kemp’s example and married African women. What set missionaries apart from other white settlers in South Africa was not interracial sex, but the missionary insistence upon confining sex to marriage. This was made crystal clear when one LMS missionary married an African woman because he was required (for reasons not made clear) to travel a long distance with her alone in a wagon. Sleeping with her in the wagon would cause scandal, he explained, so he married her. Other white missionaries justified their marriages to African women on the grounds of their usefulness in spreading Christianity among their own people. Zara Schmelen, for instance, worked hard with her husband on translation projects. Van der Kemp’s disciple James Read married a Khoi-Khoi Christian woman, Elizabeth Valentyn, who was a standing symbol of his identification with the black people of South Africa. Conservative LMS missionaries, many of them married to white women, found this deeply unsettling, and succeeded in 1817 in calling a synod to consider the question of interracial marriage. The “Mission” had no ecclesiastical status, but in the Calvinist tradition the missionaries had the precedent of presbytery and synod to draw upon, and the ordained agents of the LMS assembled as a mission, but called themselves a synod. They had discovered a number of scandals involving white missionaries or mission agents under their charge which they used in an attempt to discourage interracial marriage altogether. James Read, for instance, was discovered to have committed adultery; another white missionary was married to a black woman without having gone through all the formalities required by Congregationalists for Christian marriage. This synod, which must be one of the most irregular synods ever convened, is significant for our story for three reasons. The first is that they were unable or unwilling to rule out racial intermarriage in principle. White Protestant missionaries who disapproved of interracial marriages had difficulty finding a theological rationale for objecting to them, the standard for marriage being ultimately God’s will for the couple, regardless of race. The second important point is the success of the conservatives in stigmatizing interracial marriage without outlawing it. What ultimately led the LMS to move covertly against interracial marriage was not racist essentialism, the belief in inherent physical differences between the races, but the scandal such marriages caused in perceptions of the missionary community

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in South Africa and the broader missionary enterprise at home. These alleged scandals revolved around accusations of sexual impropriety within and outside of interracial marriage. Finally, the missionary synod of 1817 was important as a symbol of the growing importance of a new ecclesiastical institution, the mission, assembling itself in various ecclesiastical forms depending on the denomination, but used as a mechanism for establishing ecclesiastical discipline on the spot. Even among Anglican missions, the local mission often became the practical seat of authority in the field even when rightly constituted episcopal authority was finally established. The LMS synod of 1817 was simply the mission assembled in its ecclesiastical capacity. Missionaries were to be accountable, at least in part, to their colleagues first of all, and only secondarily to the remote offices of the LMS. The synod of course had no authority over anyone not connected with the LMS, and was unable to establish a complete hegemony of the conservatives even within the LMS. It represented, however, trends present in all the missionary societies, which followed along the lines of racial stratification laid out as prudent by the LMS in 1817. By the time of the 1817 synod, the LMS in London had already realized that sending out unmarried men was imprudent, and had begun strongly to encourage missionaries to marry before leaving for the mission field. The founders of the LMS had not anticipated creating an organization that would act as a marriage broker, but that is what happened. Attempting to create white gender balance in the mission field, the LMS appeared to champion a highly instrumentalist view of marriage. Four godly women sent to New South Wales to become missionary wives were divided up among the men by lot. Many women however regarded the role of missionary wife as a calling. This led to intense private negotiations between candidates for the mission field and potential spouses. In one well-documented case, the LMS missionary Robert Moffat left for South Africa in 1817 unmarried, despite pressure from the LMS board to marry before leaving. He engaged in extensive correspondence with Mary Smith of Dukinfield, who was torn between her obligations to care for her aging mother and her desire to marry Moffat. What appears to have tipped the balance is Mary’s perception that Robert was considering marrying locally, whether to an African or a white settler is unclear. She wrote to him accepting his offer of marriage, and joined him on the mission field. Another relatively well documented case is that of Ann Hamilton, who appears to have married an LMS missionary out of a desire to be a missionary herself, rather than a missionary wife. Much of this is speculation, but she appears to have refused to sleep with her husband on the grounds that children were interfering with her missionary work. The mission head tried to compel Ann to sleep with her husband, and the result eventually was her return to

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England with two children, a crisis of faith, and the publication of a work critical of Christian missions. The issue for her was the relative importance of missionary work and motherhood to the missionary wife. Ann Hamilton got the balance wrong from the point of view of her husband’s male colleagues. When St John Rivers invited Jane Eyre to accompany him to India as an unmarried and presumably celibate partner in missionary work, he got it wrong from Jane Eyre’s point of view. The missionary wife emerged from these contradictory struggles, which affected all the missionary societies to a greater or lesser extent, as a pillar of the missionary movement. She was treated as a domestic pillar though, with her extensive missionary work going largely unacknowledged in missionary literature. The white, European missionary wife was justified on the same grounds as the African missionary wife was justified, that is her utility to the missionary enterprise. As the case of Ann Hamilton demonstrates, this utility had to be subordinated to the primary breeding function of the wife. The tension between domestic duties and the duties of a missionary wife were negotiated in ways that often appear heroic. Mary Moffat abandoned her domestic duties to her mother, and gave birth to ten children between 1821 and 1840. The children were in turn sent off to school elsewhere, setting a pattern for the education of missionary children. None of this prevented Mary Moffat from becoming an icon of the Victorian missionary wife, teaching domestic arts to African women and keeping the mission itself going during her husband’s absences. Everywhere in the mission field missionary wives found time from bearing and educating their own children to engage in both educational and medical work, usually targeting non-white women or girls. In 1824, for instance, Mrs. Crook opened a female dispensary in Bogue Town in the South Pacific, assisted by her daughter. This was later expanded into a Sick Visiting Society that attempted to cover the entire island of Huahini with Christian medical visitors. When reading almost all nineteenth-century accounts of mission work, however, and many twentieth-century accounts, one must remember that there is an unspoken and unwritten clause attached to almost all generalizations about the missionary enterprise: “not counting the wives.” Male heroes and missionary wives Early missionary recruitment concentrated on men, married or unmarried. Within two decades after the emergence of new evangelical missionary societies in the 1790s, the gendered character of the missionary enterprise had shifted decisively to the married, missionary couple. It was assumed in practice and often in theory that the missionary couple would act as a couple, but there were contradictions in missionary rhetoric and practice that produced not

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only conflicts but peculiar lapses in missionary literature. Missionary literature emerged as a distinct genre in the nineteenth century, although it appeared in many forms. The first were the annual reports and periodicals produced by the missionary societies, based on reports sent back by missionaries who were under constant pressure to meet deadlines, and whose writings were heavily censored and reshaped by the officers of the missionary societies and their periodicals. Then came the analyses of the South Pacific, the Hindus, the West Indies, early ethnographies written for polemical purposes that were incorporated into almost all other forms of missionary literature, and powerfully shaped British perceptions of the rest of the world. Then there were autobiographical and biographical tales of missionary heroism published in expanded book form rather than as pamphlets or periodicals. The male missionary hero was a central figure in all of this literature. Missionary wives were largely but not entirely absent from the genre until mid century, when they began to develop a niche for themselves in the literature on the Indian household. In terms of gender analysis, missionary literature is misleading in two fundamental ways. Most male missionaries were not heroes. They went to their respective fields, and began building Christian institutions. The forms of those institutions varied enormously, depending on the location, but they always depended upon the cooperation of non-western peoples in one form or another. All missionaries improvised in their attempts to gather a small or, in some places such as Jamaica or Tahiti, a substantial body of non-western Christian believers who became not merely the objects of Christian institution building, but participants. Occasionally missionaries became advocates of indigenous peoples in one way or another, but usually their major everyday task was the building of Christian institutions—churches, schools, and the missionary household. These tasks were not merely dependent upon the cooperation of nonwestern peoples, Christian and non-Christian, but also entirely dependent upon the cooperation of the missionary wife. The “Christian family” appears in missionary literature, but the efforts of the missionary wife as a missionary often do not. Anyone who has read missionary archives rather than missionary literature knows the facts of everyday missionary work, that is missionary wives played absolutely crucial roles in building up Christian institutions, which everywhere involved attempts of one kind or another to establish schools for girls or young women. It is almost impossible to find a missionary wife who did not at least attempt to open a school for girls, even if it were only informal classes on the verandah of the missionary bungalow. They also involved creating the missionary home, which was itself an institution for the carrying out of the missionary task including the round of study and composition that many missionaries found essential to their work.

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In short, a missionary wife was a missionary. All of her tasks—education, support, participation, institution building, piety, and the rearing of Christian children—were meant to come together in the missionary wife and missionary husband as they created Christian institutions beyond the boundaries of Great Britain. At the heart of this institutional initiative was the physical presence of a Christian home, serving as a kind of base from which all other mission activities emanated.

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Chapter 6

M I S S I O N A RY L I T E R AT UR E The defamation of the “other”

New genres H E I M P O R T A N C E O F M I S S I O N A R I E S abroad in any particular foreign field depended very much on the nature of the interaction of missionary couples with the circumstances in which they found themselves, and the character of their relationship with the Christian and non-Christian people with whom they worked. Everywhere, though, missionaries were themselves changed in their encounter with people of other cultures. That encounter was modified and transformed and often distorted through the medium of a new literary genre in Britain, missionary literature. Many scholars have noted the importance of missionary literature, but it is only now beginning to receive the attention it deserves as a distinct and important nineteenth-century genre.1 The networks of support for missions created by the missionary societies, with their close links to parishes, chapels, local associations, and especially the largely working-class Sunday Schools, supported a flow of money in one direction, and a flow of literature in the other direction into the hands of a considerable portion of the people of Britain. It is highly likely that the majority of people in nineteenth-century Britain who had any knowledge at all of one or more foreign cultures received their basic information about foreign peoples, and what is more important their basic images of foreign peoples, from missionary literature. In the eighteenth century the SPG published its annual reports and sermons, which were circulated to its supporters and read by others who were interested in missions. The annual report continued throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as a fundamental form of communication for every

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missionary society. Biographies established an early foothold with the many reprintings of the Life of David Brainerd, beginning with Jonathan Edwards’ edition and continuing through the many reprints of John Wesley’s edition. Sermons and pamphlets received an even wider circulation, the best known of the two genres being respectively John Wesley’s 1783 sermon The General Spread of the Gospel, and Carey’s 1792 pamphlet An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians, to use means for the conversion of the Heathens. From 1790 the Moravians in England published a new quarterly, Periodical Accounts, which provided an ongoing history of Moravian missionary success, and from 1792 the Evangelical Magazine gave positive publicity to appeals for missionary innovation. The missionary societies founded in the 1790s each began publishing annual reports, but felt the demand for publication in a more popular form. The result was the nineteenth-century missionary magazine. Josiah Pratt, the secretary of the CMS, founded the Missionary Register in 1813. The Wesleyan Missionary Notices (later the Foreign Field) began publication in 1816, and each chapel was encouraged to hold a monthly missionary prayer meeting at which the Notices would be read.2 The LMS was closely associated with the Evangelical Magazine, but created a more specialized denominational magazine in 1818, Missionary Sketches, which specialized in the innovative publication of woodcuts. In 1819 the BMS launched the Missionary Herald. Missionary societies added more specialized titles of greater or lesser sophistication, and also began to publish specialized magazines and Sunday School pamphlets directed to children. The missionary societies became major publishing operations, adding publications staff to the small number of employees and volunteers already acting as candidate recruiters, marriage brokers, travel, shipping, and lodging agents, and fund-raisers. By the late nineteenth century a flood of missionary periodicals was pouring over Britain. The recently compiled Missionary Periodicals Database list 547 missionary periodicals published in Britain from the eighteenth century through the 1960s.3 I have no way of quantifying the circulation of this form of missionary literature, but can say with confidence that missionary magazines found their way into hundreds of thousands of homes across the different social classes of Britain. The missionary societies appear to have regarded their periodicals as instruments of propaganda rather than sources of income, despite the fact that publication had been a major independent source of income for the early Wesleyans not to mention the pietists at Halle. The Wesleyans sent a copy of Missionary Notices to every subscriber; by the late nineteenth century they were printing up 85,000 copies a month of its successor, The Foreign Field, to send to each of 1700 voluntary local distributors, and 44,000 copies of At Home and Abroad, directed to children.4 A price was usually attached, but many copies were simply given away. The CMS purchased thousands of copies of the Missionary Register each month to distribute directly to subscribers

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and collectors in the local associations. The Missionary Register attempted to be a general missionary publication, covering all of the societies, but by the 1840s it was wound up because of the intense competition from specialized denominational magazines. Attentive to its readers, the Missionary Register claimed the first picture published in a missionary magazine, a woodcut representing a scene in West Africa in which a masked man frightens what appears to be a family of terrified Africans. Exoticism put to the service of denigrating non-Christian religions would be a staple of missionary literature generally, but readers would also find accounts of missionary shipwrecks, political struggles with obstructionist East India Company officials or slave owners, inspiring histories of the inexorable spread of the light of the gospel (often accompanied with charts and tables comparing the major world religions), proceedings of other missionary societies including evangelical Nonconformists and the high church SPG, accounts of the activities of the vast range of evangelical philanthropies and reforming societies such as the Anti-Slavery Society and the several competing Sunday School societies, statistics of the spread of missionaries and mission stations, and accounts of missionary activities in the field. Like all missionary periodicals, the Missionary Register depended upon missionaries to provide copy, and missionaries found themselves required as a condition of their employment to send regular and ideally publishable accounts of their inspiring deeds. If the reports were not inspiring or upbeat, they were edited and rewritten by the staff to make them so. Accounts of failure, depression, disillusionment, failed marriages, addiction to spirits, doctrinal squabbles, and the general bureaucratic competition for resources that led to hard feelings in every missionary society are not to be found. Neither is very much about the missionary wife, whose presence is assumed but whose point of view remains either unsolicited or ignored. It is testimony to the strength of patriarchal attitudes in missionary circles that the extremely publishable and interesting work of missionary women was suppressed (until the mid nineteenth century, when women developed their own periodicals and organizations) in order to leave the misleading impression that they were exclusively wives and mothers. Anyone with direct knowledge about the work of missionaries knew that was untrue. The manuscript accounts sent by missionary males were often prosaic accounts of institution building, although in an exotic setting. The editors of missionary magazines wanted heroic tales of encounters with heathen chiefs, savage lions, cannibals, or idol worshipers, and gruesome tales of sati or Hindu devotees throwing themselves under the giant wooden wheel of “Juggernaut.” Many missionaries learned to provide what their editors wanted, although others continued to send in the usual boring accounts that were filed away for

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future historians. Some missionaries wrote more than regular manuscript reports, adding a new sub-genre to missionary literature in the form of religious ethnography. Missionaries were far from being the only people writing about foreign lands in the early nineteenth century, but they had more access to a popular readership than other authors. Their religious ethnographies, sometimes cast in the form of histories, provided a fundamental source of basic information about other parts of the world. Key texts included Thomas Coke’s A History of the West Indies, Containing the Natural, Civil, and Ecclesiastical History of Each Island (1808–11); William Ward’s Account of the Writings, Religion, and Manners, of the Hindoos (1811); William Ellis’s Polynesian Researches, During a Residence of Nearly Six Years in the South Sea Islands (1829); John Williams’s A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Seas Islands; with Remarks Upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Languages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants (1837); Walter Henry Medhurst’s China: Its State and Prospects with Especial Reference to the Spread of the Gospel (1838); Alexander Duff’s India and India Missions: Including Sketches of the Gigantic System of Hinduism (1840); and Robert Moffat’s Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa (1842). These are far from being the only books published by or about missionaries in the nineteenth century. A competent bibliography of books on missions before 1874 lists 477 books on missions published in London or Edinburgh, excluding missionary society reports or periodicals and translations, grammars, and dictionaries in foreign languages.5 Their classification by area reflects the relative interest in mission fields after the mid-Victorian surge of interest in Africa in the wake of David Livingstone’s explorations: 101 Africa, 92 India, 80 “general”, 49 South Pacific/New Zealand, 45 West Indies, 34 Americas, 32 Middle East, 24 China, and 20 Burma/Indonesia. In the early nineteenth century there was more interest in India and the West Indies, reflecting the imperial concerns with slavery and colonization, but also the fact that it took missionaries a bit of time to settle in and write books about the newly occupied fields of the South Pacific and South Africa. Cannibals and Christians: the Caribbean and South Pacific The evil systems of slavery and Hinduism were often juxtaposed in missionary polemic, but Thomas Coke took some time in his history of the West Indies, based on lengthy personal involvement with Wesleyan missions there, to contrast the native American Caribs of the West Indies with the inhabitants of the South Pacific. Both groups had a body of admirers in Great Britain who were in rhetorical terms a serious problem for missionaries. The normal suspicion of missionary work as meddling with foreigners when we have vice

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and immorality to suppress at home was exacerbated if the foreigners in question were Noble Savages. As Coke wrote: The natives of Otaheite, celebrated for their benevolent virtues, were represented to Europe on their first discovery in such glowing colours, that they were thought to be farther removed from the vices than from the dominions of the Old World. A nearer inspection of their character has however detected the fallacy, and placed them in a light which rather excites our abhorrence than commands our respect.6 The fallacy he had in mind was cannibalism, which was the great conversationender in missionary rhetoric. It was a universal and definitive emblem of moral depravity among a people, regardless of their other undoubted virtues. This technique of defamatory synecdoche, of taking one or a small number of characteristics of a foreign culture and using it as representative of the whole, is a recurring theme in missionary rhetoric. Missionaries are often portrayed as pouring out a flood of literature designed to elevate the western world at the expense of the non-western world, and therefore promote the imperialist agenda. Although their rhetoric certainly served the ends of colonizers in many cases and was in some cases openly pro-imperialist, the missionary search for the defamatory synecdoche is more complicated than that. Missionaries were up against what they regarded as a majority of the public who were skeptical of or hostile to the missionary enterprise. Government officials and supporters of British imperial expansion were often ambivalent, hostile, or obstructive, as were members of their own churches and chapels. The literary assault on missionaries begun by Sydney Smith grew in strength throughout the nineteenth century, and in the late nineteenth century missionaries suffered repeated attacks from racist anthropologists such as the famous ethnographer and traveler Richard Burton. A task as audacious and expensive as sending entire families to live in foreign cultures in order to convert them to Christianity had to be justified, and missionaries were on the lookout for the most shocking or offensive facets of foreign cultures in order to make their points. This is not to say that missionary rhetoric was filled with lies, or that everything said about foreign cultures was untrue. Often what they asserted was true. Nonetheless, the rhetorical use of unflattering images, in an early nineteenth-century context, was almost always unfair, which is why missionaries gained a reputation in the early twentieth century for being ethnocentric cultural absolutists dedicated to the destruction of the cultures they were trying to convert. That portrayal is also unfair, but it does not mean that missionaries

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were early social scientists attempting to give a balanced portrayal of foreign cultures. Even as they in some ways invented the modern genre of ethnography, they were also attempting to find ways to defame foreign cultures for their own specific ends. Because they had such a broad audience, the symbols chosen by missionaries to represent a foreign culture often became the most commonly summoned images in the popular mind generally. Some of these images have never disappeared from the public mind in the west. In his famous sermon of 1783 Wesley had already dismissed the South Pacific islanders as heathens of the basest sort, proving the universality of human depravity to the discomfort of those who believed that evil was introduced by human institutions. He claimed to have too little evidence (yet is the implication) to indict them for eating men, but he claimed that they were mercilessly violent, killing all people who fell into their hands. By 1808 Wesley’s missionary lieutenant Coke took it for granted that cannibalism as well as gratuitous violence characterized the South Sea islanders, but he was less certain about the Caribs. Coke conceded that the Caribs have many virtues, the most notable being generosity and hospitality to strangers. Furthermore the virtue of the Caribs was a necessary prop of another theme of Protestant missionary literature, the Black Legend of evil Spanish imperialism: They were robbed of their native lands by strangers; they were plundered of their property . . . the period is not remote when both Cortez and Ovando shall meet the millions whom they have murdered, and receive that reward which shall be distributed by the justice of God.7 The Caribs are generous, and they are victims, having been nearly wiped off the face of the earth. Coke cannot even find sufficient evidence to indict them for cannibalism, which was often attributed to the Caribs. Coke anticipates modern critics of anthropological studies of cannibalism more generally by concluding (rather sadly) that the reported cases of cannibalism among the Caribs were atypical, even aberrational, instances, perhaps cases of momentary passion in time of war, and no evidence for the general practice of cannibalism. If a Christian theology of the Caribs was to be sustained, however, and missionary work with all peoples of the world justified, the Caribs must have been in some way worse for not being Christians. Coke finds the appropriate defamatory synecdoche in their sexual practices, which have a capacious usefulness in stigmatizing people who are very different: If then sensuality, and that too of the grossest nature, is a vice, must we not conclude, notwithstanding their compassion and

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hospitality, that the inhabitants of the Leeward Islands afford us an awful comment on those scriptures which speak of the total and universal depravity of mankind? And if neither the native of South America, of Otaheite, of the Pellew Islands, nor of Hispaniola, the only portions of the globe which stand as candidates for an exemption, can claim any immunity, must we not conclude that the whole world stands guilty before God?8 Whether the “grossest nature” referred to homosexual practices, or tolerance of fornication and adultery, is left to the reader’s mind. Notice carefully the different uses of Coke’s comparison of South Sea islanders and Caribs. On the one hand he is attempting to show the universality of human depravity, a necessary theological doctrine which was undermined by the Noble Savage. He is also attempting to justify universal, voluntarist missionary work to all peoples of the world, a plan of action that continued to meet with formidable resistance not only in the general public of Great Britain, but also in the churches and chapels. Coke is not attempting to justify a general spread of western civilization throughout the world; he is attempting to justify the spread of the Christian religion to people inside or outside the British Empire. Coke’s argument was not that western civilization was good and non-western civilizations bad, or even that civilized nations were good and uncivilized nations were bad. It was an argument about the beneficial and universal moral effects of Christianity. In Coke we can see the characteristic uneasy coexistence of Christian universalism with a historical view of a hierarchy of civilizations which are distinguished by the length of time that they have been Christian, and by the willingness of those who live in Christian nations to take their religion seriously. Missionaries are often portrayed as straightforward promoters of the civilization of the uncivilized in the name of Christianity, but both missionary rhetoric and missionary practice have been far more confused and variable on the relationship between religion and culture. Coke accepted a hierarchy of civilizations, but he also believed in the universal unity of mankind: The same observations which are thus made on the Charaibees, will undoubtedly apply, in a general sense, to most if not all the uncivilized parts of the human race. They may differ from one another by minute shades and imperceptible gradations, till, from the highest to the lowest, the contrast may be marked with strong and pointed colours. But the intellectual powers of man are without all doubt radically the same in every portion of the globe; and those differences which occasionally appear to be striking, may be

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attributed to the influence of custom, or some other extraneous cause, with which the essential properties of the human mind have little or no connexion.9 In almost all early voluntarist missionaries, the doctrine of the universal depravity of humanity was linked to the doctrine of the essential unity of humanity. The defamation of the other, of cultures very different from “us” in the west, was an argument driven by the need to prove the universal sameness of men and women separated from Christian moral teaching. It was matched from the earliest days with a determination, already evident in the rhetoric of the bishops associated with the eighteenth-century SPG, to indict western culture for its moral failings, which are inevitably linked to the failure of the west to have a genuine and serious rather than a superficial attachment to religion. Writing in 1808, Coke engaged in no nationalist flag-waving at a time when the Britons were gripped by war fever, dismissing “the wars and devastations which at this moment disgrace Europe” as “generated in those angry passions which Christianity came to extract from the human soul.” These evils he lays at the door of “the nominal professors of her holy doctrines.”10 Voluntarist missionaries saw themselves as engaged in a race to reach to the non-western and uncivilized peoples of the world before the evil representatives of western culture got there first, and made their moral state even lower. One of the most widely quoted statements from the early missionary movement is the Rev. Thomas Haweis’ assertion in the Evangelical Magazine in reference to the South Sea islanders: “We have discovered them, and in a sort have brought them into existence.” As an example of bald-faced ethnocentrism it can hardly be surpassed, but the remainder of the quotation is usually ignored: We have discovered them, and in a sort have brought them into existence; but I read with pity, that we have hitherto only excited their curiousity to admire our ships, and the colour of our skin; with grief, that we have contaminated them with our vices, and with indignation behold them perishing with diseases communicated by those who bear the Christian name, without an effort to inform them of the truths which lead to salvation, or to impress them with a sense of moral obligation.11 Elevating the West Indian slave The evangelical assault on western civilization reached a fever pitch in the early nineteenth-century assault on the slave trade, which combined a mea

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culpa with a certain smugness that we have at last mounted a campaign to rid the west of this evil. The subsequent assault on the institution of slavery itself was greeted with ambivalence in missionary circles (a fact later suppressed in missionary historiography), especially in the SPG and among the bishops of the Church of England, some of whom owned slaves (e.g. Bishop Philpotts of Exeter) right up to the point of abolition. Coke’s book on the West Indies marked a transition point in missionary attitudes to slavery. The Wesleyans, like the Moravians, had been compelled from their own point of view to cooperate with slave owning in order to gain access to slaves. Wesley himself had been an adamant opponent not merely of the slave trade but of slavery, but Coke—generally more conservative on almost all matters and obliged to sustain missionary operations in a slave society—remained open to the possibility of humane slave ownership. Coke rejoices in the abolition of the slave trade, and declares slavery to be “directly contrary to the spirit of Christianity”, then turns around and asserts that God has been using the evil instrument of slavery to spread the Christian faith.12 On the racial nature of the slave Coke is also ambivalent. On the one hand slaves are emblematic victims of a massive system of evil, one that is transparently obvious to the slaves themselves. On the other hand their willingness to turn to the Christian faith amidst their unimaginable sufferings is evidence of the extraordinary power of God’s grace, and also of the moral capacities of black people, and has produced “one of the most astonishing scenes, that the annals of Christianity have recorded in modern days.”13 Because the building of mission institutions meant in the West Indies, as everywhere else, the building of multiracial institutions, Coke was required to defend the capacities of black people—slave or free—to become in effect citizens of Christendom. As a result Coke, like the overwhelming majority of missionaries, was highly resistant to any form of racial essentialism, including the Hamitic theories popular in the eighteenth century. Coke recites instance after instance of planter persecution of Methodists—missionary and black— and hails the interracial worship services with high praise of the character of black Methodist, especially in Antigua, with its 6,570 Methodists in 1811. There could be found large congregations where decency, solemnity, and attention, were not only visible, but predominant features in their general character . . . In times of sickness the members of our society visit each other in their respective neighborhoods, with the most affectionate soliticitude . . . they love like brethren . . . they are pitiful and tender-hearted, and melt in sympathy at each other’s woe.14

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Of Coke’s genuine opposition to racism as he understood it there can be little doubt. He quotes a letter from a missionary in Bermuda in 1809 complaining that the white settlers will not allow black people to come into the private houses in which I usually preach. That the pride of the human heart should swell to such a pitch, as to despise a fellow-creature for the colour of his skin, may seem strange; yet such is the case. The poor Blacks are not always treated as immortal intelligences, but in too many instances, as the tools of labour or the instruments of lust.15 At another point Coke falls into a reverie imagining the harmony of the saints in heaven as a multiracial Christian commonwealth: To meet, in a world of spirits, thousands of our Negro brethren, who shall have happily escaped from the corruptions of their own hearts, and the miseries which result from guilt, through the merits of that Saviour, whose infinite love we have been made instrumental in communicating, must be a source of joy which we have not language sufficiently energetic to express, and which will submit to no description. The arduous task imposes silence on me; and my powers are absorbed in the pleasing contemplation. I anticipate the scene with an ecstasy that overwhelms me.16 There is also early evidence in Coke of the arguments that would be used to justify racial stratification in mission institutions that were based on Christian universalism. White people enslaved and degraded black people through the slave trade and slavery, but white people also brought them the gospel, acting as the instruments of God’s providence. Coke notes cautiously that there is as of yet little sign of any black leadership emerging in West Indian Wesleyanism. John Baxter on Antigua writes that we have many free women. Some of these colored women have good gifts in prayer, and hold prayer-meetings; but the free men, in general, have no relish for religion. We have a few men who are slaves, that exhort and meet classes, but their gifts are very small; neither will the laws of the country permit them to be more extensively useful.17 Here is a premonition of the justification of white privilege in mission institutions that will undermine missionary anti-racism throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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Coke represents a transitional period in missionary attitudes to West Indian slavery. Most eighteenth-century missionaries regarded it as a fact of history, and like everything else in history probably providential if one could only discern the hand of providence. The bishops associated with the SPG regularly condemned the harsh treatment of slaves by slave masters, but not slavery itself. Unfree labor was a fact of life in eighteenth-century Europe, ranging from serfdom in Russia to apprenticeship, household labor, indentured servitude, yearly contracts, and tied cottages in Great Britain. The bishops condemned none of these, while upholding an ideal of the humane treatment of subordinates in all unfree labor. John Wesley on the other hand, while keeping his distance from the practical realities of missionary work in the West Indies, condemned both slavery and the slave trade outright. Coke condemned both in principle, but had little choice but to concede the necessity of working with slave owners in order to enroll their slaves in Methodist societies, and justifying that work with a reference to the providential hand of God bringing black Africans under Christian influence. The growth of abolitionism threatened all of the voluntarist missionary societies in the West Indies, and Coke complained bitterly in 1808 of the attacks on Methodist missionary institutions by slave owners and the legislation enacted to keep them from doing their work. Some Baptist and Congregationalist missionaries of the BMS and LMS took a far more outspoken stance against slavery, especially in the person of William Knibb, “Knibb the Notorious,” the heroic and courageous Baptist opponent of slavery and advocate of political rights for free slaves in Jamaica. It is important, nonetheless, to remember that the missionary stance on slavery was by no means identical to the abolitionist position in Great Britain, and was tempered by the practical needs of keeping missionary operations going in the face of slave master and legislative pressure, not to mention the need to keep missionaries from being assaulted or even murdered, and chapels from being burned to the ground. The gigantic system of Hinduism When the Baptist missionary and abolitionist lecturer William Knibb toured Britain, he was often accompanied by Eustace Carey, the nephew of William Carey, who opened the anti-slavery oration with a few words about Hinduism. The comparison was a common one in evangelical circles, the opening of India to missionaries in 1813 often being compared with the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, and both being attributed to the influence of William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect. The missionary case against Hinduism, however, was not set in stone when the first voluntarist missionaries arrived

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in India. Carey in his Inquiry has little to say about the depravity of the nonChristian world, although he assumes of course that heathens are immoral because of their lack of Christianity. By mid century, however, one could purchase two engravings in mezzotint from the Baptist missionary society: one of Carey the great adversary of Hinduism with his Christian pundit, and another of William Knibb the heroic adversary of slavery. The evolution of anti-Hindu rhetoric among the Baptists is an early example of the divergence of missionary rhetoric designed for home consumption on the one hand from missionary homiletics directed to indigenous peoples on the other. There is considerable overlap of course, but different audiences produced different rhetorical strategies in different parts of the world. Before departing from England, Carey wrote to his father that the Hindus “are the most mild and inoffensive people in all the world, but are enveloped in the greatest superstition, and in the grossest ignorance.”18 After his arrival in India, Carey developed a populist preaching style that emphasized the subjugation of the Bengalis to the priestly tyranny of the Brahmin minority. His strategy of translation and publication was intended to undermine what he regarded as the Brahmin monopoly on the Shastras, written like the Roman Catholic Latin Bible in a tongue that the ordinary person could never understand. The parallel between his work in Bengal and that of the reformers in sixteenth-century Europe was central to his mission. He wrote to the BMS in 1800 that the latest piece written against Brahminism by his assistant Ram Boshu is “pointed against Brahmunism, something like those thundering addresses against the idle, corrupt, and ignorant clergy of the church of Rome, at the commencement of the reformation.”19 In Carey’s view Hinduism was flawed for the same reason Roman Catholicism was flawed: they both lacked the vital teaching of the true way to God, faith in Christ, which alone could guarantee a righteous life in this world and salvation in the world to come. Both were human systems of error, designed to prevent the direct access of the individual to God through scripture and maintain instead a privileged, priestly caste dedicated to keeping people from a knowledge of the truth. Carey conceded that what he called the Hindu scriptures, like the Holy Koran, contained many good observations and rules, which ought to be attended to; but that one thing they could not inform us of, viz., how God can forgive sin consistently with his justice, and save sinners in a way in which justice and mercy could harmonize . . . I observed that their writings contained much good instruction mixed with deadly poison.20

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Missionary rhetoric directed to a home audience featured the deadly poison rather than the victimization of the people at the hands of Brahmins, and the deadly poison would be attributed to Hindu society as a whole rather than concentrated on the oppressive priestly caste of Brahmins. Where Carey made distinctions within Hinduism, other missionaries launched a campaign of wholesale defamation of Hindu society in order to promote the interests of Christianity. The rhetorical uses of defamation had already come to the attention of Anglican evangelicals and chaplains battling the East India Company for greater access to India. The pioneering defamatory evangelical tract about Hinduism was written for private circulation in 1792 by Charles Grant while fighting a boardroom battle to influence Henry Dundas and the directors of the East India Company to admit missionaries in the charter revision of 1793. Grant failed, and remained circumspect in his public rhetoric. His pamphlet was not circulated generally until 1813, at which time it became famous in Britain and notorious in India.21 Others rushed in where Grant feared to tread, notably the East India Company Chaplain Claudius Buchanan. His views on how to spread Christianity could hardly provide a greater contrast with those of Carey. Among his other achievements, Carey was a pioneering botanist and naturalist in Bengal, and he believed that the natural light of scriptural Christianity combined with the spread of western science would naturally undermine the falsehoods of Hinduism, as long as the truth were not obstructed by the state. Buchanan believed in outright coercion in matters of religion, on the grounds that no government could ever govern a people from whom they were alienated on fundamental questions of Christian morals. He also confused Christianity and civilization, believing that the forced civilization of the people of India would lead directly to their Christianization. He made these points openly in a series of memoirs and books beginning in 1805 with his Memoir of the Expediency of an Ecclesiastical Establishment for British India. Buchanan’s case for Christianity was fundamentally imperial: No Christianity, no British rule. Carey believed that the role of the government of India was to maintain neutrality in matters of religion so that Christian truth would flourish. Buchanan believed that it would never flourish without the heavy hand of government, for the Christian example of a few Europeans in India could never penetrate a mass of ignorance and superstition. Despite these fundamental differences, in this historical setting there was a growing convergence of interests between an Anglican confessional extremist such as Buchanan, who wanted the government to promote religion because Hinduism was an impenetrable barrier to empire, and voluntarist Baptists who needed urgently to persuade supporters at home that Hinduism could only be conquered through a vast outpouring of money and voluntary support in Great Britain.

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Those who see missionary literature as a straightforward defense of triumphant British imperialism should remember how embattled missionaries were in the early years of the nineteenth century, and how unpopular was their intervention in India. Buchanan’s 1805 memoir supporting an ecclesiastical establishment in India set off a ferocious pamphlet war in Britain, lasting several years, and the friends and enemies of the promotion of Christianity set forth their views. Buchanan in particular and evangelical Christians in general were assailed first by Thomas Twining, a former official of the East India Company, by Major Scott Waring, who had been on the staff of the former Governor General Warren Hastings, and by Colonel Charles Stuart, known by his detractors as “Hindoo Stuart” because of his enthusiasm for the Hindu religion.22 In defense of promoting Christianity (although not necessarily of Buchanan) came, among others, Andrew Fuller, the secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society, John Shore (Lord Teignmouth), former Governor General of India, and the Rev. John Cunningham, a curate of John Venn of Clapham Sect fame.23 Bringing the controversy to a climax was Sydney Smith with his devastating assaults on missionaries in the Edinburgh Review.24 Two related strands of the anti-missionary argument were the imperial security issue, which set off a debate about the nature of religious coercion in an imperial setting, and the moral character of Hinduism. Twining, for instance, believed that allowing missionaries into India as a matter of systematic policy would be “measures, involving the extinction, not only of the East India Company, but of the British Empire in India.”25 Furthermore, the very presence of any agents of Christianization in India constituted, by its nature in an imperial setting, interference in the religious opinions of the people of India. It was on this point that the voluntarist Baptist Andrew Fuller weighed in, attempting to rescue the missionary movement from the stigma of being associated with the coercive views of Buchanan. All we want, he argued, echoing Carey and anticipating an argument used by Wilberforce in the East India Company charter revision of 1813, is a level playing field. Fuller renounced any resort to “violence, unfair influence, or any measures subversive of free choice; or any addresses, either in speech or writing, which have endangered the peace of society.”26 Mission critics rejected the notion that the promotion of Christianity in India could be conducted on anything like a level playing field, and asserted that the missionary enterprise would be associated with the British government regardless of any efforts made by extreme voluntarists such as Fuller and Carey to separate government and religion. Although the issue of coercion was settled in Fuller’s voluntarist rhetoric, it was far from settled on the mission field, especially India. Fuller’s arguments anticipate many strands of missionary rhetoric that would become staples in the course of the nineteenth century. He accuses his enemies

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of racism for wishing to deny the benefits of Christianity to Indians, derisively quoting one East India Company official as saying “what can a black fellow know about Christianity?”27 He attacks what he regards as a common misapprehension (one that his fellow evangelical Buchanan believed, for instance) that missionaries are there to civilize the people of India: “Civilized society is not the chief end of man . . . the cause of God and truth requires that such an atheistical principle should be repelled.”28 Christianity comes first, then civilization. Unable to provide direct evidence of the salvation of the souls of their converts, he bases his argument on visible evidence, that is the moral results of Christian conversion. If Hinduism produces moral results as good as Christianity, then missionary advocates must in conscience concede the field. It is at this point that the defamatory character of missionary rhetoric simply takes over. It was their strongest argument against those who argued that they were destabilizing Indian society and endangering the empire. Buchanan had offered what would become a familiar litany of examples of Hindu depravity that were treated as synecdoches, that is parts that stand for the whole: offering of children to Gunga, voluntary death as at juggernaut, exposing of children, destroying female infants by the Rajpoots, Sati (documenting 116 cases in six months in 1804), hook swinging, self-mutilation, menace of religious mendicancy, fakirs, “excessive” polygamy (moderate polygamy remaining undefined), and a peculiar (and as far as I know unique) attack on Hindus for being too litigious.29 Fuller simply repeats these charges. What are the religious opinions of Hindus that we should not disturb, he asks, self-torment, juggernaut, faith in luck, burning of widows, or infanticide? Neither Buchanan nor Fuller could find evidence of cannibalism in India, but in their arguments as in most indictments of other cultures they find evidence of sexual deviancy, in Fuller’s case the lingam (a stone shaped like a penis that is sometimes an object of veneration in India). Fuller asserts that young Brahmin women lose their virginity on the lingam (chastely making this point by quoting a French orientalist in French), and for the convenience of his readers identifies a room in the British Museum where a lingam may be viewed. It is unlikely that this indiscreet advice led to a steady stream of visitors undecided about the relative merits of Hinduism and Christianity, but one visitor who viewed the lingam was Charles Stuart, author the Vindication of the Hindoos. He declared that there was nothing indecent about the object, but the most interesting feature of his pamphlet is his ability to identify the rhetorical strategies adopted by Buchanan and Fuller. He does not accuse them of lies, but of misrepresentations. Most temple celebrations are not indecent, he asserts. Sanskrit is widely known and the Sanskrit scriptures are available to anyone who can read them. Sati is very rare. Child marriage is a means of protecting female children who remain with their families, not

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their husbands, until they have reached puberty. Hindus have high moral standards, love their children, respect their parents, and tell the truth. What undermined Stuart’s argument, in an age when Christian parishes and chapels were spreading throughout Great Britain, was his assertion that one religion is as good as another. In an age when a growing percentage of the population was involved in Christian institutions of one kind or another, a Christian indictment of Hinduism would be better received, especially with the advantages of exoticism, sexuality, and sadism that it could employ, than the argument of a non-Christian. What Buchanan and Fuller and their allies did in outline, the Baptist missionary William Ward did in minute ethnographic detail with his Account of the Writings, Religion, and Manners, of the Hindoos: Including Translations from Their Principal Works, in Four Volumes, the first volume published by the Baptist Mission Press in Serampore in 1806, with all four volumes appearing in 1811 and then reprinted in various editions in London in 1817, 1820, at Serampore in 1822, and in various abridgements later. Ward was a political radical who had worked on the provincial press at Derby, Stafford, and Hull, where he experienced an evangelical conversion in a Baptist chapel. While a student at a theological academy he offered himself as a missionary to India, where he sailed in 1799 to join the Baptist Mission in Bengal. Ward put his experience as a printer and journalist to use in building up the Mission Press at Serampore, and in public advocacy of the missionary cause. Ward’s lengthy ethnography of Hinduism takes initially the form of a disinterested scientific balance sheet, simply presenting the facts and allowing the reader to decide. He conceded many virtues in Hinduism, especially in legislation, astronomy, science and medicine. In Ward we can see the “double vision” that Anna Johnston identifies as characteristic of missionary ethnography in general. On the one hand, missionaries needed to sustain Christian universalism, and demonstrate that the other culture was possessed of a common humanity and therefore not irredeemable.30 Sometimes this would go even further into an advocacy of the rights of indigenous or non-western peoples. On the other hand, they had to demonstrate, as Coke demonstrated in his treatment of the Caribs, that non-Christian peoples were morally corrupted by the absence of Christianity. In Ward’s successive editions we can see the balance tipping toward the defamatory treatment of Hinduism in response to pamphlet warfare in Britain, and later to the needs for fundraising and advocacy in both Great Britain and the United States. In the first edition Ward lists the “ceremonies and duties” of the Hindus, and begins with a predictable list of practices chosen for their repulsiveness to western audiences: the burning of widows alive, voluntary suicide, juggernaut, exposing children and other forms of infanticide, hook

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swinging, etc, and “impure orgies”.31 He balances this list, however, by assuring the readers that the “six most common ceremonies” are bathing, repeating names of Gods, worshipping before an image, honoring Brahmins, visiting sacred places, and ceremonies for the dead. One could easily conclude that the most offensive are the least practiced. Ward claims to have abstained from controversial attacks on the errors of other writers on Hinduism, referring presumably to allegedly pro-Hindu orientalists, but he complains that “there is one point in which misrepresentation must not pass unnoticed. It has been said that the Hindoos are a moral and comparatively honest people.” This is clearly a reference to Charles Stuart’s Vindication of the Hindoos, and that point is so infuriating to Ward that it leads to an undisciplined assault on the moral character of all Hindus: If the vices of lying, deceit, dishonesty, and impurity, can degrade a people, the Hindoos have sunk to the lowest depths of human depravity . . . Lying is universally practiced. The author has never known a Hindoo, who has not resorted to lying without hesitation, whenever he thought he could draw the least advantage from it.32 As proof he refers to the testimony of “other Europeans.” This is defamatory Eurocentric ethnocentrism of a kind that was offensive to many people, Indians and Europeans, at the time it was written, particularly since Ward was in a good position to know better not only from his acquaintance with Indians but also from his acquaintance with other Europeans, many of whom disagreed with him entirely. When the Baptist Missionary Society published an abridged version of Ward’s book in two volumes in 1817, the order of chapters was changed in order to put the most inflammatory comments about Hinduism first. Nonetheless, the same double vision is evident, especially in an extended account of his conversations with “learned Hindus” on idolatry. Many of the most tolerant European Christians throughout the nineteenth century appear to have been repelled by Hindu idols rather than fascinated by them. Ward puts forward a summary of the views of “the Brahmins” to the effect that idols are only the outward symbol of the universal God, necessary while people live in a “rude state,” and “this is the best apology I have obtained for the ownership of idols.” The best, of course, falls far short of any cause for admiration: “But what shall we say, when many of these idols are monstrous personifications of vice; and when it is a fact, that not a single virtuous idea is ever communicated by any of them?”33 He also modifies his earlier comments on bathing in the first edition to make it clear that there is a complete lack of modesty in Hindu bathing customs.

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In 1820 and 1821 Ward returned to England and launched upon a fundraising tour of the main Protestant nations that supported the missionary enterprise: England, Scotland, the Netherlands, north Germany, and the United States, raising several thousand pounds for Serampore College. He also published a preface to a new edition in 1820 written “in the hope of calling the attention of his countrymen to the deplorable intellectual and moral condition of British India.”34 His appeals to the imperial interest of Britain are almost shameless here, linking the assertion that female chastity is almost unknown in India with God’s providential role in arranging for British rule in India. Yet another preface is added to an 1822 edition with an even more appalling introduction: Two Hindoo widows are roasted or buried alive every day in the Presidency of Bengal, in only one division of British India? Is there any thing parallel to this in the whole calendar of human offence and human woe? Two innocent beings—and those females—widows— roasted or buried alive every day! . . . Who shall count the groans and screams of all these widows in the scorching flames, and the tears of all these orphans? And this is Hindooism! And this is British India!35 This kind of language has given great offense to Indians over the last two centuries, and continues to be used to fan the flames of Hindu nationalism today.36 It is certainly no defense of Ward to say that he was a “man of his day,” since there were a variety of views about Hinduism available to Ward in his day. It is likely that he went as far as someone in his position could go in making appreciative comments about Hinduism, which are found scattered throughout his work. Nonetheless he was putting the cause of Christianity at the service of British imperial interests in a very straightforward appeal for public support—voluntary support. In examining missionary literature, it is always necessary to examine the context in which it was produced, the audience for which it was intended, and the balance between the double vision that illuminated Christian universalism on the one hand and non-Christian depravity on the other. Because much mission literature was written for home consumption, it often had surprisingly little effect on missionary practice in different mission fields around the world. On the other hand, it found its way into the vast body of missionary literature pouring through England’s chapels and parishes and Sunday Schools, creating distorted and ethnocentric views of foreign cultures that remain alive and well in Great Britain today. In his later editions, Ward could use reinforcements from influential circles, especially after the publication of Charles Grant’s pamphlet, Observations on the State of Society Among the Asiatic Subjects of Great Britain of 1813. Unlike

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Ward, Grant had not undertaken a thorough investigation of Hinduism, but he was an influential political figure in the East India Company. His Observations was an insider’s memo originally drafted in 1792, and published in 1813 during the successful campaign by William Wilberforce and Anglican evangelicals to amend the East India Company charter in order to admit missionaries as a matter of right. Ward refers to Grant, although he does not refer to another major defamatory treatment of India that appeared in 1818, James Mill’s History of British India. Mill had never been to India at all, and wrote from the entirely secular perspective of a utilitarian. Nonetheless, his picture of India converged with those of Ward and Grant in its hostility to Hinduism. One of the most durable of historical generalizations, taught for generations to undergraduates, is the assertion that evangelicalism and utilitarianism played central roles in shaping British perceptions of India. We can see the truth of this assertion in these three publications, which converge in their defamatory treatment of Hinduism. Christianity and civilization in paradise Two Nonconformist missionaries, both of humble social origins, produced the first two major missionary ethnographies of the South Pacific: William Ellis’s Polynesian Researches (1829) and John Williams’s A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Seas Islands (1837).37 With these two remarkable and highly readable publications we enter a very different world from the embattled struggle with Hinduism and slavery that characterized Ward on India and Coke on the West Indies, but we also find the characteristic “double vision” of missionary ethnography. Both Ellis and Williams vigorously defend the intellectual capacities of the South Sea islanders, and their ability to make extremely rapid progress toward both Christianity and civilization. They also stress the depravity and degradation associated with idol worship, often unspecified forms of lasciviousness and sexual immorality, cruelty especially in war, and cannibalism. One literary scholar who has studied Ellis’s influential book commented that the contradictions at the heart of his project should “have paralyzed him altogether,” but the contradiction makes sense in light of the goals and historical setting of the missionary enterprise.38 By the time of the publication of these books, there had been considerable progress toward conversion to Christianity in the South Pacific, and in many places the missionaries were the dominant European community. Instead of confronting an often hostile governing European community as in India, or a growing settler community hostile to the indigenous peoples as in Australia and South Africa, the LMS, Wesleyan, and CMS missionaries in the South Pacific had vigorous missionary institutions in place, and an indigenous Christian

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church to defend to home readers. Other Europeans were routinely dismissed as exploitative traders and sailors given over to levels of vice and immorality as great as those of the non-Christian islanders. The depopulation of the South Pacific was attributed in equal parts to the habits of war, infanticide, and human sacrifice existing before European contact, and the disastrous effects of contact with European sailors and traders, who spread disease and alcohol before the arrival of missionaries. The very fact that many South Sea islanders had adopted Christianity alleviated the need to defame the non-Christian culture from which they came, although it did require a defense of their Christian lifestyle, which Ellis claimed was restoring a natural balance of births and deaths on the Christian islands. Critics in the Quarterly Review were already attacking the deleterious effects of Christianity in the South Pacific, and Ellis was concerned to rebut those charges. Polynesian Researches was written while Ellis was touring England and the United States to stir up support for missions. Ellis succeeds in adapting the lyrical romanticism common to accounts of the South Pacific to the service of the missionary cause, contributing to the striking popularity of his work. Missionaries such as Ellis and Williams were obviously like other westerners in their awe at the physical beauty of the South Pacific, and the physical attraction of the indigenous peoples, and Ellis in particular felt free to indulge in these attractions now that the power of the older religions appeared to be waning. Ellis also used a common appeal of western studies of non-western cultures, the urgent need to catalog the folkways and artifacts of a disappearing culture before they are lost forever to humanity. The defects of Polynesian culture were moral, not physical, and there was nothing wrong from a Christian point of view with an elaborate description of their canoes (as he called them), complete with attractive woodcuts. Accounts of infanticide, human sacrifice, sexual immorality, cannibalism, the inferior status of women in the family, and the murder of captives can then be thrown into a kind of ethnographic catalog alongside lengthy descriptions of native clothing and food, and their colorful bathing and cooking habits. “The habits of the South Sea Islanders were in many respects interesting and commendable,” he wrote, “yet in these, as in their moral character and dispositions, they often presented the most strange contradictions.”39 The same could be said of missionaries, and the contradictions of missionary literature were on full display in an even more popular work of missionary ethnography, John Williams’s Narrative of Missionary Enterprises. Williams was described by the Dictionary of National Biography as “the most successful missionary of modern times,” and his book was the most widely read account of the South Seas since the journals of Cook’s voyages. Like Ellis, Williams was a man of artisanal background with a defective education. Unlike Ellis,

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who portrayed himself as a careful scholar, Williams was a man of action with a great interest in engineering. He could build things, including ships, and ships made him famous. If his Narrative of Missionary Enterprises looked back to Cook in one respect, portraying a heroic navigator, albeit a Christian one, opening up new territories for the Kingdom of Christ rather than the Kingdom of Britain, it also looked forward to David Livingstone, the heroic Christian explorer with imperial theories about how to improve the territories he “discovered.” Williams’s self-portrayal held together despite the many contradictions of his life. As a missionary entrepreneur in the South Pacific, he was in chronic conflict with the London Missionary Society, and repeatedly attempted to provide diverse sources of support for his enterprises so that he would be independent of a society that wanted settled, married missionaries to provide regular Christian teaching to the Christians of the South Pacific. One of the attractions of the South Pacific for the LMS was their early conviction that sources of food were so abundant there that missionaries, once settled, could live off the land. This proved to be true in one sense, in that missionaries could live as the “natives” did, but missionaries were not interested for the most part in adopting the lifestyle of the islanders when it came to food and clothing. Early missionary accounts are full of complaints that the LMS failed to supply them with the necessities of civilized life, including clothing, flour, tea, and sugar. Williams ultimately provided a solution to this problem by purchasing the first “missionary ship” in 1821, the Endeavour, which was meant to provide a regular lifeline of pay and supplies to missionaries from the metropolis. Williams intended to fund the operation by trading operations, however, which led to conflict with the LMS who eventually forced him to sell the boat in 1827. Williams then sailed in search of new territories to conquer for Christ, claiming (falsely) to have discovered the island of Raratonga, 800 miles from Tahiti. Williams was a highly skilled craftsman and mechanic, and while on Raratonga built a ship entirely out of local materials which he named the Messenger of Peace, flying a flag with a white dove on a blue background. The Messenger of Peace constituted a huge propaganda coup for Williams, who returned in triumph to Britain where he promoted plans and raised funds intended to construct improving and Christian institutions in the South Pacific, wrote and published his Narrative of Missionary Enterprises, and raised funds for his own missionary ship, the Camden, which would allow him to return to the Pacific. One contradiction of missionary rhetoric was the “double vision” of missionary ethnographers, who were simultaneously required to defend the societies they were studying on the basis of Christian universalism and to

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defame them in order to persuade readers that non-Christian societies were sunk in immorality because they were non-Christian. Another equally sharp contradiction lay in the contrast between civilization on the one hand and Christianity on the other. Many opponents of missions thought it was absurd to even attempt to Christianize people before they were first civilized. One minister argued before the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland that “to spread abroad the knowledge of the gospel among barbarous and heathen nations seemed to him highly preposterous, inasmuch as it anticipates, nay, reverses the order of nature.”40 Missionaries had to overcome this barrier and persuade supporters that the unpolished and the unrefined might become Christians, but that left unanswered the question of the relationship between Christianity and civilization among uncivilized peoples, for early nineteenth-century missionaries almost all accepted the notion of a hierarchy of nations and peoples moving upwards from savagery to civilization, however unstable the definitions of both states might be. It is possible to find missionaries at the margins of the enterprise, and the LMS pioneer Van der Kemp appears to have been one of them, who believed that Christianity would actually do better among simple people in Africa uncorrupted by western civilization. At the other extreme, missionaries such as the entrepreneurial Samuel Marsden, a friend and supporter of Williams, appear to have believed in the Christianizing power among the Maori of civilized modes of living, defined according to early nineteenth-century standards of settled living in modern houses engaging in commercial agriculture and using western technology. Both Ellis and Williams made a different argument, which constituted a kind of missionary orthodoxy in the nineteenth century, that is Christianity comes before civilization, but civilization follows naturally in its train, and the adoption of civilized modes of living constitutes an outward and visible sign of the inward transformations wrought by Christianity. This formula left many questions unanswered, not the least of which was the definition of which signs of civilization were to be treated as evidence of Christianity. Was adopting western clothing a sign of Christianity? In the late nineteenth century many missionaries struggled to prevent non-western Christians from adopting western clothing on the grounds that the formation of a truly indigenous Christianity must be clothed in non-western forms. In the South Pacific, on the other hand, missionary ethnocentrism led to the promulgation of western-style housing and clothing as signs of Christianity. Williams regarded it as part of his mission to live in a western style so that Christians would wish to adopt the western style after conversion. His narrative contains a handsome woodcut of the house that he built for the edification of the natives:

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It was my determination, when I originally left England, to have as respectable a dwelling as I could erect; for the Missionary does not go to barbarise himself, but to civilise the heathen. He ought not, therefore, to sink down to their standard, but to elevate them to his.41 Ellis, with his greater knowledge of and respect for Polynesian culture, shows a bit more hesitancy on this point, and even Williams is capable of a certain amount of irony about cross-cultural discrepancies. Upon receiving an inquiry about the propriety of eating rats, “I informed them that we were in the habit of looking upon rats as exceedingly disgusting; but not perceiving any thing morally evil in the practice, I could do no more than recommend them to take great care of the pigs and goats I had brought.”42 With gentle self-mockery, he reports the arrival of an ox on his island where missionaries had not eaten beef for more than ten years. After slaughtering it, “none of us could bear either the taste or smell of it. One of the Missionaries’ wives burst into tears, and lamented bitterly that she should become so barbarous as to have lost her relish for English beef.”43 Despite some hesitancy and irony about western culture, both Ellis and Williams conflated the export of Christianity to the South Pacific with the export of early Victorian middleclass material culture. Ellis and Williams were at their most defensive on two distinct but related issues: their relationship to government in the South Pacific, and their role in introducing western lifestyles, especially clothing, housing, and small-scale commercial agriculture. Their defensiveness is not rooted, as readers might imagine, in any inchoate or anticipatory cultural relativism on their part. Powerful figures in the Christian communities of the South Pacific, missionaries introduced what they thought were western styles of governance including equality before the law, trial by jury, and respect for private property rights. They also introduced western styles of clothing and housing. Probably no image of missionary activity in the South Pacific has reached the public imagination with greater force then the image of bare-breasted women with flowers in their hair covering themselves with white “Mother Hubbard” dresses and bonnets, an image enshrined in the most widely known western art and literature on the South Pacific from Herman Melville to James Michener, with Robert Louis Stevenson and Paul Gaugin in between. What Ellis and Williams cared about was voluntary consent in matters of religion, and religion extended from the voluntary nature of religious faith to the voluntary nature of the outward and visible symbols of Christian faith that they identified with bonnets, hats, and wooden houses. The most damaging accusation they faced was the assertion that they were using indigenous political

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authorities to forcibly convert their subjects, and on this point the missionaries were on very weak ground. The breakthrough in conversion was achieved through the conversion of Pomare II of Tahiti, who regained power through war (for which the missionaries fastidiously denied any responsibility) in 1815 and in effect established Christianity as the only legal religion in those areas under his control. Not all conversions were the result of war and conquest, but throughout the South Pacific the conversion of powerful figures to Christianity did result in either war or sustained political conflict. Missionaries exploited these situations as best they could, while trying to maintain their own deeply held convictions that true religious faith could never be the result of the power of the sword. Their relationship with Pomare II compromised them severely, but in the interest of the spreading of the Kingdom of Christ they were prepared to look the other way, even in the face of Pomare’s toleration of homosexuality. Williams in particular appears to have been able to make contradictory assertions without blinking, pointing out casually at one point that “It is a very remarkable fact, that in no island of importance has Christianity been introduced without a war; but it is right to observe that, in every instance, the heathens have been the aggressors,” then hotly denying any entanglement with coercion by the civil powers: In no single instance has the civil power been employed in its propagation. It is true, that the moral influence of the chiefs has, in many instances, been most beneficially exerted in behalf of Christianity; but never, to my knowledge, have they employed coercion, to induce their subjects to embrace it.44 Missionaries also had to fend off accusations that they were exercising undue influence in their own right by assuming positions as magistrates or even rulers. Williams’s own account of his role in introducing western institutions is both defensive and unpersuasive. Conceding that he had used his position to introduce a code of laws relating to theft, trespass, stolen property, security of land tenure, and trial by jury, he justifies it on the grounds of expediency. Under normal circumstances, missionaries should not be magistrates, and they should never be rulers, but there are circumstances, however, especially in newly-formed Missions, where he must step out of the ordinary course, and appear more prominent than he would wish; for, frequently, a word from the Missionary, rightly timed, will do more towards settling a dispute, healing a breach, burying an animosity, or carrying a useful plan into execution, than a whole year’s cavilling of the natives themselves would have effected.45

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Williams here was embroiled in a controversy that would bedevil the missionary movement throughout its history, that is how do you maintain the principles of voluntary consent in matters of religion, when you are in a position of greater power (formal or informal) than those who give their consent? Williams’s response was that his power only came from his moral influence, but it was obvious to his critics at the time that moral influence entangled with power and prestige does not produce a level playing field in matters of religions, morals, or styles of living. Williams was in chronic conflict not only with anti-mission critics at home, but with missionary authorities in the LMS over issues of missionary authority. Shortly after his death, missionary authorities in London would launch a variety of measures designed to rein in the power of the missionary over indigenous Christians, and even to displace them altogether with indigenous Christian leaders. Conversion to Christianity was nowhere instantaneous, and met with dogged resistance in many parts of the South Pacific throughout the nineteenth century. The rapid growth of the Christian churches, though, proved to be an enormous confidence builder for voluntarist missionaries, particularly when contrasted with the evident lack of success of early nineteenth-century missions in India. If Christianity were growing in the South Pacific, then Christian growth could not be consigned to the Apostolic Age. Those who argued that we should wait upon the Lord to convert others to Christianity were given missionary tracts pointing out that the Lord was moving now. However compromised missionaries might have been by their entanglements with indigenous authorities, and their own assumption of positions of power and influence, it is clear that many South Sea islanders found aspects of Christianity attractive. The spread of Christianity depended here as everywhere else on the zeal and example of early converts who played leadership roles, and who often were even more orthodox and zealous than the missionaries in matters of faith and morals, particularly when dealing with a second generation of Christians who often failed to maintain the high standards that adults expect from their children. The image of missionaries as destroyers of Polynesian culture was indelibly placed in the public mind by Ellis and Williams and their critics, but by mid century there was something of a reversal of roles between missionaries and indigenous Christian leaders. By the 1850s some veteran missionaries had changed their minds about the importance of adopting western dress and housing. One even regarded western styles of living as hazardous to the health of the people: “The philanthropist who seeks to change the lodgings and dress of the people without regarding these things, may furnish them with shrouds instead of clothing, and with tombs instead of substantial dwellings.”46 Williams’s status as a missionary entrepreneur allowed him to raise funds that were in theory under the control of the LMS, but in fact at his disposal.

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During his tour of Britain in the 1830s he raised £4,000 to purchase and outfit a ship, the Camden, which was nominally owned by the LMS. On his return voyage to the South Pacific, the Camden was filled not only with supplies for missionaries but with trade goods owned by members of Williams’ family. The struggle between cannibals and Christians in the South Pacific reached a new symbolic level in 1839 when Williams was clubbed to death and, allegedly, eaten on an island in the New Hebrides. The circumstances of his death have never been made entirely clear, but Williams became not only a missionary hero but a missionary martyr. Woodcuts illustrating his death decorated homes and Sunday Schools throughout Britain. The commemoration of Williams’s death paved the way for an even greater celebration of another missionary martyr, David Livingstone, as public attention began to turn from the South Pacific to Africa in the 1840s. These two heroes fixed in the public mind an image of the typical missionary, one that was entirely misleading from the point of view of the overwhelming majority of missionaries at work in their mission stations. After his death, one LMS missionary wrote to William Ellis complaining that the romantic depiction of the South Seas led many missionary volunteers to severe disillusionment upon their arrival. “Alas poor Williams!” he wrote. “It appears he was the archdeceiver.” 47 Africa: the blank slate Although Britons knew a good deal about slavery, the slave trade, and the West Indies, they knew very little about Africa in the early nineteenth century. Africans were assumed to be savages, below white Europeans (not to mention Muslims and Hindus) in the hierarchy of civilization. Peoples without civilization were also people without a history; as late as 1911 the Encyclopedia Britannica informed its readers that Africa is, “so far as its native inhabitants are concerned a continent practically without a history, and possessing no records from which such a history might be reconstructed.”48 Missionary societies nonetheless took a keen interest in Africa. The SPG sent Philip Quaque to the Cape Coast as a chaplain to a slave trading fort in the eighteenth century, and tried again in 1851 with a small mission of black clergy associated with Codrington College in Barbados. One of the first and most ambitious of the evangelical philanthropies was the settlement at Sierra Leone, but it was populated by freed slaves, and served more as an extension of the anti-slavery movement than as a serious attempt to spread Christianity to the interior of Africa. It was in South Africa that missionaries began to move beyond the coast, and their narratives proved indispensable in shaping public perceptions of Africa. Robert Moffat’s Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa (1842) was written in the shadow of Williams’s A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the

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South Seas Islands (1837), but it met an increasing public demand for information about the interior of Africa. Written to demonstrate “a radical identity in the operations of human depravity, in Asia, in Polynesia, and in Africa,” it had gone through eleven editions by 1852.49 A poor, and poorly educated, Scotsman, Moffat had migrated to England in order to pursue his livelihood as a gardener. Attracted to missions through lectures at a Wesleyan chapel, he applied to the interdenominational LMS and was accepted. In recruiting poorly educated men from the artisanal classes, the missionary societies were tapping a pool of talent that was shut out of the ancient universities of both England and Scotland, and for the most part shut out of their established churches. With the publication of Missionary Labours, Moffat took his place beside other talented missionary ethnographers: William Carey and W. R. Ward of the BMS, and William Ellis and John Williams of the LMS. After his arrival in Cape Town in 1817, Moffat became embroiled in complicated conflicts involving missionaries and the colonial government. Like other pioneer LMS missionaries, Theodor Van der Kemp, John Campbell, James Read, and John Philip, Moffat became a figure of political and even military significance in South Africa, but as we shall see the LMS missionaries disagreed with each other as often as they disagreed with the government. John Philip became an outspoken advocate of the rights of indigenous peoples in South Africa, and published Researches in South Africa in 1828 as a kind of political tract in the campaign spearheaded by Thomas Fowell Buxton to legislate protections for non-white peoples in the newly conquered regions of the British Empire. Philip believed that Christian converts in South Africa were being prevented from living Christian lives by the uncivilized behavior of the government of South Africa, a position that made him thoroughly hated by white South African settlers. Philip’s point of view was a theory of missions as well as a theory of social and political reform, believing as he did that government had to act in order to create conditions of civilized life before Christianity could flourish. Moffat’s theory of Christianization was much less political than Philip’s. Although Moffat became a controversial figure as well, and a critic of the abuse of African rights, the basis for Missionary Labours was his success in gaining permission to move far into the interior to assume responsibility for a mission begun first as an extension of the original LMS community at Bethelsdorp (although it was hundreds of miles away). In setting up a mission that was beyond colonial borders, Moffat became involved in war and the slave trade, leading one faction at one point in a pitched battle to defend his mission station, and distributing women and children from the defeated faction as household laborers in Cape Town. His adventures, and the sharp criticism that they drew, necessarily involved close relationships with Africans,

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especially Africans with political or military influence, and Missionary Labours demonstrates the same double vision as other missionary ethnographies. On the one hand there is the abstract demonstration of human depravity. On the other there is a defense of the rights of indigenous peoples, at least some of them, combined with a defense of their capacity to become Christians, spiritual equals of European Christians. Scattered throughout this contradictory narrative are many exciting narrow escapes from lions. Moffat illustrates his narrative not only with lions, but with periodic reference to savage or disgusting customs among the Africans. As to African religion, however, he draws a sharp contrast with India. Obviously familiar with the defamatory missionary ethnography of India, Moffat depicts the religious state of Africans, all of them, as in some ways more fortunate than that of the Hindus, for while Satan is obviously the author of the polytheism of other nations, he has employed his agency, with fatal success, in erasing every vestige of religious impression from the minds of the Bechuanas, Hottentots, and Bushmen; leaving them without a single ray to guide them from the dark and dread futurity, or a single link to unite them with the skies.50 Africans, it appears, not only had no history, but no religion. Like most pioneer missionaries, Moffat labored for years with few conversions to report to an expectant home audience. Missionaries often justified their lack of immediate success by reference to God’s providential plans for the world, which were out of the control of the human agenda. In other cases they put the blame on the character of the non-Christian religions they were up against, and Moffat blamed the blank slate for his lack of success. Unlike missionaries in India, he could not use analogies between non-Christian religions and Christianity to make his arguments, because the Africans had no religion: During years of apparently fruitless labour, I have often wished to find something, by which I could lay hold on the minds of the natives,—an altar to an unknown God, the faith of their ancestors, the immortality of the soul, or any religious association; but nothing of this kind ever floated in their minds.51 Moffat failed to note that missionaries in India attributed their own lack of success to the very sophistication of Hinduism and Islam, both of which provided ready-made answers to the rhetorical assaults of Christianity and proved impermeable both to reason and Christian apologetics. Furthermore,

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Moffat’s depiction of Africans as simple people with no religion is contradicted again and again by his own accounts of the sophistication of Africans in combating the advance of Christianity. Moffat developed a close relationship with an African leader (they were always called chiefs) named Africaner— Christian Africaner after his conversion. Known as a man of violence, which Moffat blamed almost entirely on the persecution he had received at the hands of European settlers, Africaner became a Christian for reasons that are entirely unintelligible in Moffat’s own account. With no mass conversions at his rhetorical disposal, Moffat had a distinguished convert in Africaner, who was presented as testimony to the power of the gospel. Unable to explain the mechanisms by which the gospel worked on a blank slate, Moffat explained it as a consequence, at least in part, of Africaner’s dreams. He was living evidence of the power of Christianity to promote peace in South Africa, living proof of the wickedness of European settlers who were not motivated by Christianity, and living proof of the redeemability of Africans: “It sometimes afforded no little entertainment to Africaner . . . to hear a farmer denounce this supposed irreclaimable savage.”52 The sheer complexity of Africaner’s relationship to Christianity is entirely effaced in Moffat’s account, and his other accounts of sophisticated opposition to Christianity by Africans, by “wily rain makers” and influential women, suffer from the same defect. Moffat used Africaner as a case study in the effects of Christianity, which are as contradictory as his treatments of Africans as savages with many admirable characteristics. Moffat agreed with John Williams that certain aspects of westernization such as the adoption of western dress, along with the renunciation of war and violence, were the outward and visible signs of Christian progress; he also agreed that Christianity must come first, before civilization, which is merely a sign of the progress of the Christian faith, not a prerequisite. Here Moffat ran into a difficulty: the persistent strain of dissident behavior among missionaries who insisted on “going native” as part of the process of Christianization. This was an urgent rhetorical problem for Moffat because the founding father of the LMS mission, Dr. Van der Kemp, provided the counter example that had to be explained away. Even in Moffat’s garbled account of Van der Kemp’s unfortunate delinquency, the motives for behavior in “going native” are made clear. His adoption of “uncivilized” ways was an evangelistic tool adopted in the face of political difficulties that Van der Kemp faced as early as 1799 when he encountered Africans who accused him of being an agent of the government. One of the most durable clichés about the European invasion of the interior of Africa is the observation that Europeans brought them the Bible while stealing their land, and Van der Kemp encountered precisely that suggestion:

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It was impossible that the Kafirs could view Dr. V’s sojourn among them in any other light than as a precursor of deeply laid stratagems to get possession of their country and cattle, by the people from whom he had come, and to whom he belonged . . . Many questions were put to him respecting his object, and political connexions, and they were especially anxious to know if he were sent by the English.53 Africans might be savages in the hierarchy of civilization with a blank slate where religion belongs, but they are portrayed in Moffat’s account as having considerable political sophistication. Moffat’s disagreement with the founding father of the LMS mission could hardly have been more profound. Dr Van der Kemp was praised, but Moffat conceded that he had bad judgment, especially in taking an African wife, but even more so in cases where “frequently at home and abroad, he would dispense with hat, shirt, and shoes, while the patron and advocate of civilization. These were anomalies and shades of character, which of course added nothing to his usefulness.”54 Van der Kemp impeded the gospel, which decreed that Africans must first become Christians, but then be taught to adorn the Gospel they profess, in their attire as well as in their spirit and actions. It would appear a strange anomaly, to see a Christian professor lying at full length on the ground covered with filth and dirt, and in a state of comparative nudity, talking about Christian diligence, circumspection, purification, and white robes! The Gospel teaches that all things should be done decently and in order; and the Gospel alone can lead the savage to appreciate the arts of civilized life as well as the blessings of redemption.55 There was a spectrum of missionary views about the relationship between Christianity, Civilization, and the British Empire. Van der Kemp represented one extreme in missionary practice with his determination to abandon some of the trappings of civilization in order to identify with non-western peoples, and disassociate himself from imperial rule. Moffat represented the mainstream theory of the first decades of the voluntarist missionary, placing Christianization firmly before civilization but treating certain aspects of western civilization as outward and visible signs of inward Christianization. Unlike John Philip, Moffat had a relatively benign view of the effects of the spread of the British Empire. For Philip, imperial misrule impeded the spread of Christianity. Moffat on the other hand saw the British Empire as spreading both liberty and order in ways that would allow the voluntary adoption of both Christianity and

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civilization by Africans. Moffat’s son-in-law David Livingstone took missionary theory (and practice) to another extreme, identifying the spread of Christianity inextricably with the spread of civilization, including the spread of capitalist agriculture, which would in his scheme of things destroy the slave trade and pave the way for the conversion of Africa to Christianity.

Chapter 7

T H E M I S S I O N A RY H E R O A N D M I S S I O N A RY I N ST I T U T I O N S

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The apotheosis of David Livingstone T I S I M P O S S I B L E T O D I S C U S S T H E nineteenth-century missionary enterprise without coming to terms with the towering figure of the most famous of all missionary heroes, David Livingstone. His celebrity had already transcended the missionary world by the time he published in 1857 his first book on Africa, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, an account of his journey across the continent from the west coast via the Zambesi river to the east coast.1 The visual effect of the book’s frontispiece, a color engraving of Victoria Falls, is stunning even today, when we are bombarded with visual images from every direction. Equally effective is the drawing of a tsetse fly on the title page. The story of a previously unknown land of sublime beauty, containing dangers to be transcended as only a hero could transcend them, did more to create an image of Africa than any other missionary publication, surpassing the impact of Moffat’s Missionary Labours and Scenes as well as the work of other African explorers. The 70,000 copies sold made Livingstone fortune as well as fame, earning him £12,000 and demonstrating once again the importance of publication as an independent source of funds for missionary enterprises.2 In some ways Livingstone’s story parallels that of other ambitious, intelligent Nonconformist men of humble background who found in the Nonconformist missionary societies a way to combine their religious passion and their considerable talent. Livingstone’s father was a tea salesman in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, but sufficiently impoverished to put his children to work in a cotton-spinning factory. Like many LMS missionaries of modest social origins, Livingstone

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had a conversion experience, but it was an unusual one: a conversion from the strict Calvinism he had imbibed from his father to the Arminian view that salvation is freely available to everyone. His father was also converted at the same time, in 1832, when Livingstone was 19, and the family began attending a Congregational church, which being Congregational was naturally connected with the LMS. In 1834 Livingstone’s father brought home an LMS pamphlet with an appeal, penned by a Dutch Calvinist missionary in China, calling for Britain to send medical missionaries. In response to this appeal, Livingstone went to work as a cotton piecer in order to save enough to pay for medical school in Glasgow. That such a thing could happen at all is an extraordinary comment on the accessibility of higher education in Scotland to an ambitious, intelligent, but thoroughly impoverished young Scotsman. In 1838, equipped with a medical degree and accepted as a missionary by the LMS, Livingstone was placed with a tutor who trained him in Greek, Latin, Hebrew and theology, just the things needed for a missionary. Imperial aggression intervened in the form of the first Opium War, which prevented Livingstone from going to China. In 1839, however, the missionary hero Robert Moffat arrived in London on a fundraising tour designed to publicize his forthcoming book. Livingstone went to meet him, and Moffat persuaded the young doctor to join him in the mission station at Kuruman, far beyond the borders of formal colonial rule. After further medical training at London hospitals, and ordination to the Congregational ministry, Livingstone sailed for Cape Town in 1840. In his life to date the major elements of missionary institutionalization may be found: a young, idealistic Nonconformist of modest social origins; a conversion experience; recruitment into the missionary profession by the medium of a pamphlet distributed through a network of congregations; professional training sponsored by a missionary bureaucracy (although the fact that he was trained as a doctor as well as a minister was new); an encounter with the missionary hero, Robert Moffat; both the willingness and the means, thanks to the LMS, to set sail for exotic lands where people are in need of the good news that salvation through Christ is available to all peoples everywhere. Although in some ways a typical early nineteenth-century missionary, upon his arrival in Kuruman Livingstone began to take his own unique path, that of a missionary explorer. As soon as he began setting out from Kuruman for even more remote parts of Africa, he encountered criticism that he had ceased to be a missionary and become an explorer instead, a distinction that was more important to the LMS and Livingstone’s missionary supporters than it was to the general public, which was happy to read stories of African exploration and honor its explorers. The link between missionary and explorer was already well established, however. In Missionary Scenes and Labours, Moffat

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had stressed his exploration and itineration far more than his prosaic work building up relatively small mission stations, and Mofatt had predecessors among LMS missionaries in South Africa. The LMS missionary administrator John Campbell (1766–1840) paved the way for both Moffat and Livingstone with his Travels in South Africa (1815), reprinted several times, then republished in two volumes with extraordinary maps and color prints in 1822.3 Campbell was essentially a traveler, perhaps the first of the missionary administrators routinely sent out from the metropolis in the nineteenth century to see how things were going in the field. John Philip’s Researches in South Africa Illustrating the Civil, Moral, and Religious Condition of the Native Tribes: Including Journals of the Author’s Travels in the Interior (1828) was written not only to champion the rights of indigenous peoples of South Africa faced with settler invasions, but also as a travel narrative. For Campbell, Philip, and Moffat in South Africa, and for John Williams in the South Pacific, the primary purpose of discovery was the spread of the gospel. If we think of British imperialism as consisting of political, commercial, and religious dimensions, the emphasis was entirely on the third, and the relationship between the spread of Christianity and the spread of commerce and British imperial rule was a highly unstable and unsettled one. Like the voluntarist pioneers of the 1790s, missionary explorers believed in the autonomous power of the gospel, and its relationship to other events was essentially a contingent and providential one. William Carey used the spread of commerce to shame Christians, for the example of commercial expansion demonstrated for him the possibility of spreading the Christian gospel. As to political developments, Carey felt confident enough to argue in 1792 that “the spread of civil and religious liberty” meant that for the gospel “a glorious door is opened, and is likely to be opened wider and wider.”4 Empire for Carey, and for Haweis and Bogue and some of the early CMS pioneers, was divinely ordained but in human terms an accident, providing an open door for Christians to enter, if they could only be persuaded that the door was open. In voluntarist rhetoric, British commercial expansion occupied a similar historical significance as the expansion of the Roman Empire. No one claimed the Roman Empire was Christian in the first and second centuries, but missionary advocates did claim for it a providential role in the expansion of Christianity, one that was being repeated in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Unlike the armchair theorists Haweis and Bogue, Carey had to come to terms with the practical realities of operating a mission enterprise in an imperial context, as did Philip, Moffat, and Williams, and as we have seen they developed a consistent theory of the relationship between Christianity and civilization, that is the better aspects of western civilization were the outward evidence of the inner transformation wrought by Christianity. Exactly which aspects of

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civilization were associated with Christianity was highly contested, but the argument about the relationship is a consistent one. Missionaries in the field also encountered practical questions of the relationship of the missionary enterprise to commerce, largely because regular financial support for missionaries in India, the South Pacific, and South Africa was highly problematic. Missionaries resorted to commerce in order to sustain their missions, and the mission societies, chronically short of money, were highly ambivalent in their attitudes towards trading. Depending on the circumstances, they saw it as a means to fund mission operations, as a means for non-western Christian communities to establish their independence, including their independence from white settlers and slave owners, and as a danger to missionary operations because it allowed missionaries in the field to operate independently of the home missionary societies. The practical realities of missionary trading should be distinguished from the appeal delivered by David Livingstone in a celebrated speech at the Senate House in Cambridge in 1857: I beg to direct your attention to Africa: I know that in a few years I shall be cut off in that country, which is now open; do not let it be shut again! I go back to Africa to try to make an open path for commerce and Christianity; do you carry out the work which I have begun. I leave it with you!5 This is a theory of missionary expansion in which the work of preparing the way for the gospel is left up to the promotion of wage labor and trading. Before Livingstone missionaries had argued that honest trading would be a consequence of Christian expansion, or that trading was a helpful means of funding missionary activities. Livingstone’s view represented a distinct current of missionary theory that emerged from the movement to abolish slavery, and was publicly argued with great skill by the abolitionist and social reformer Thomas Fowell Buxton. In the wake of the abolition of West Indian slavery in the 1830s, Buxton had taken up the cause of indigenous inhabitants of Britain’s settler colonies, chairing the Parliamentary Select Committee on Aborigines in 1835–1837 and founding the Aborigines Protection Society in 1837. The promotion of capitalist commerce is often seen as merely another mechanism of imperial expansion, but for Buxton and later for Livingstone, commerce was seen as a means of independence for non-white subjects of the Empire. In their day, Buxton and Livingstone were anti-racists who saw commerce among black people in the West Indies and South Africa as a means to their independence from subordination to white planters, employers, and

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government officials. For them, honest trade could only be carried out among equals, without regard to their race. Having played a key role in the elimination of slavery in the West Indies, Buxton turned his attention to Africa, founding in 1839 the Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and the Civilisation of Africa. Buxton then persuaded the government to fund the ill-fated Niger expedition of 1841, when three steamers sailed into the Niger Delta with the goal of simultaneously spreading Christianity, Commerce, and Civilization as a substitute for the slave trade, which in Buxton’s view kept Africa in darkness and ignorance. Missionaries from the CMS, accompanied by African CMS agents, were persuaded to accompany this expedition, which was not strictly speaking a missionary enterprise at all except in the minds of Buxton and his associates. The failure of this mission, largely due to disease, led to the dissolution of the Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and the Civilisation of Africa and a barrage of criticism directed at Buxton. Livingstone had attended the inaugural meeting of the Niger expedition, and had been deeply impressed with Buxton’s argument that the slave trade could be eliminated through honest commerce based on free exchange. By the time the expedition failed, Livingstone was in South Africa, persuaded that the slave trade was the greatest barrier to the expansion of Christianity in Africa, and that the spread of honest commerce based on free exchange among equals was a necessary precondition for the spread of Christianity. Livingstone’s enthusiasm for a link between commerce and Christianity must be seen in the context of his response to the mission station at Kuruman. Inspired with a characteristic LMS faith in the rapid spread of Christianity, he was shocked to discover how few converts there were at Kuruman. He was not the first person to feel duped by reading missionary literature. Livingstone also developed a low opinion of his missionary colleagues, whom he saw as stodgy, unimaginative, and narrow-minded. Disgusted with the mission station at Kuruman, he set out for a new mission station under his control 250 miles to the north-east, and began a pattern of bitter squabbles with missionary colleagues along with a determination to itinerate throughout Africa. The mission station was developing into the fundamental institution of missionary advance throughout the world, although mission stations served very different purposes depending on local circumstances. Like the missionary society at home, the mission station abroad developed through a process of improvisation. As soon as it was established, there was a reaction against the conservative realities of building missionary families and missionary institutions, including schools, churches, and publishing operations, around the mission station. Livingstone was not the first to see the basic institution of the missionary enterprise as inadequate, or even as a barrier to the spread of Christianity.

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Upon his departure from England, he still believed in the original LMS dream of a rapid Christianization of the world, linking it to Buxton’s theory of commerce as a battering ram that would lead to a wholesale transformation of Africa, opening the way to mass conversions to Christianity. This dream remained the ultimate justification for Livingstone’s lifelong commitment to exploration and itineration, and an iron-clad justification for the fact that he could count no converts to Christianity as a result of his missionary itinerations. If Livingstone was dissatisfied with the mission station, he also showed a lifelong ambivalence about the missionary family, which was developing a pattern of male–female cooperation in operating a mission station. He recognized that as a missionary he needed a wife, and he met at Kuruman Mary Moffat, the daughter of Robert and Mary Moffat, a couple who so exemplified the life of a missionary couple that they merited a joint biography by their son.6 Livingstone married Mary largely it appears as a matter of convenience, and subsequently alternated between dragging her around pregnant on his expeditions, and sending her and their children to shabby lodgings in Britain. His children barely knew him, his wife resorted to alcohol, and his mother-in-law became bitterly critical of his treatment of her daughter and grandchildren. In his inability to work with the mission station, and his obvious contempt for the missionary family, Livingstone was atypical of the Victorian missionary. He did more perhaps than anyone else to create the misleading image of a missionary as a wandering, itinerant preacher. The missionary movement could not do without Livingstone, though, for by the 1850s he was the most famous missionary of all. He returned to England as a hero, and with the publication of Missionary Travels and Researches embodied the final transition from the image of the missionary as maniac to the image of the missionary as hero, and as such was important for missionary recruitment. The LMS in particular was experiencing one of the crises of overextension and deficit that periodically afflicted all missionary societies, and needed Livingstone to raise money for them. Other powerful institutions were fighting with each other over Livingstone, hoping to use him for their own purposes. The Royal Geographical Society wanted him to explore Africa, the publisher John Murray wanted him to write more books, and the government in 1858 appointed him government consul with an imprecise commission in south-east Africa. Livingstone did raise money for the LMS, with disastrous results. He persuaded the LMS to send two missionary couples to expand the boundaries of mission work in central Africa. Apparently he misled the LMS about his lack of any intention to accompany this party, his appointment as a government consul in violation of LMS policy, and the unsuitability of the region for sustained missionary work, a point upon which Livingstone was as systematically

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over-optimistic as he was about the alleged navigability of unnavigable rivers. Within a year, only three members of the LMS’s eight-person party remained alive, and the mission was withdrawn. These deaths did nothing to deter either Livingstone or others under his influence. In response to his famous call for linking commerce and Christianity, delivered at the Senate House in Cambridge in 1857, some moderately high church Anglicans organized the Universities Mission to Central Africa (UMCA). Livingstone’s theology was sufficiently interdenominational to be tolerated by non-evangelical Anglicans, and the UMCA raised funds in his name and recruited to lead the mission an Anglican clergyman who had served as a parish priest and military chaplain in South Africa. Consecrated as Bishop of Central Africa, Charles Frederick Mackenzie led a missionary party under Livingstone’s guidance to a site on the shores of Lake Malawi. There they became embroiled in wars over the slave trade after Livingstone presented them with a party of eighty-four liberated slaves who were to provide a congregation for this bishop without a church. Slave traders used force to attempt to retrieve them. In order to defend his flock, Mackenzie became a warrior in the slave wars of central Africa, burning the villages of those he regarded as the aggressors. He died in 1862, bringing an end to the mission. In 1863 Livingstone found Mackenzie’s lonely grave, and erected a cross on it. The failure of the LMS and UMCA missions, and the muted reaction in England to his Zambezi expedition of 1858–1864 (which resulted in the death of his wife Mary), never shook Livingstone’s faith in his own divinely appointed role in the transformation of Africa. Most of the money for his last expedition (1868–1873) in search of the headwaters of the Nile came from the Royal Geographical Society, the government, and friends. The fact that this mission was a failure due to Livingstone’s erroneous theories on the origins of the Nile mattered very little, for as everyone knows it was the “discovery” of a lost Livingstone by the brilliant American journalist Stanley that re-established Livingstone’s status as a celebrity. His death and subsequent commemoration re-established his status as a missionary hero, and a national hero, buried in Westminster Abbey in 1874. The missionary movement played Livingstone’s image for everything it was worth, and more, in the late Victorian period. One of the participants in the failed UMCA mission to the Highlands, Horace Waller, devoted much of the rest of his life to the further publication of Livingstone’s literary remains, editing his Last Journals to remove any evidence of Livingstone’s chronic inability to get along with those around him, building a model of Livingstone’s hut in the yard of his vicarage, beating the drums for British imperial expansion in East Africa, and helping to revitalize the UMCA.7 The LMS claimed him as their own, reinforcing his links with the Moffat mission at Kuruman, and

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producing a popular magic lantern series which included the image of Livingstone being attacked by a ferocious, outsized lion. Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa continued to be a best-seller, and it is notable that even though Livingstone soon became the very image of the imperialist, his contribution to the corpus of missionary ethnography was noted for never passing up an opportunity to say something complimentary about Africans, or to contrast them favorably with Europeans, especially the Boers and the Portuguese. Livingstone of course believed in a hierarchy of civilizations in which Europeans were above Africans, but he had great faith in the innate ability of Africans. Late Victorian scientific racists could no doubt find arguments in Livingstone, but they would be reading against the grain. Livingstone himself despised anti-black racists such as Richard Burton, who he described as a “moral idiot.” Livingstone’s missionary ethnography also stands in stark contrast to the ongoing defamation of Hinduism in missionary literature, based on the works of W. R. Ward and Alexander Duff. Livingstone was in other ways a sideshow for the missionary enterprise. His technique of combining itinerant preaching with exploration was simply incompatible with the most fundamental mission institution: the mission station. His indifference to his own family would have undermined another central mission institution, the missionary family. His theory of promoting Christianity by opening up Africa to commerce was never a theory that the mission societies were capable of acting upon, and the governmental and commercial invasions that opened up Africa in the late nineteenth century were not motivated by any concern for expanding Christianity.8 By the time of Livingstone’s death, the path forward for the missionary enterprise had been set, although accidentally as much as purposefully. The missionary societies at home raised funds to support ecclesiastical institutions abroad. Just as they had created a new institution at home, they created new institutions abroad, and it is the history of those institutions that constitute the heart of missionary history. Henry Venn and Bishop Crowther: the paradoxes of mid-Victorian missions David Livingstone and his publicists created a durable image of the missionary as an itinerant in a pith helmet, preaching the gospel to non-Christian peoples under the shade of a palm tree, and dying a heroic death in the attempt to open up the non-western world to the benefits of Christianity and civilization. As Livingstone itinerated, missionaries around the world were pursuing a very different strategy. It is one of the ironies of mission history that voluntarist missionaries, committed to assembling bodies of non-western Christians into indigenous Christian churches, pursued a strategy of institution building.

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As they constructed the missionary home, the mission station, and the mission school, which was the only way they knew how to spread Christianity, voluntarist missionaries recreated a new form of confessional Christianity, one that first of all provided religion for the people rather than creating a religion of the people. Thoughtful missionaries, and mission theorists in Britain, were very much aware of the contradictions of the mission strategy of institution building, even while incapable of defining an alternative strategy. What they did instead was ponder ways to transform mission institutions into indigenous, non-western Christian churches. One of the most eminent mid nineteenth-century missionary theorists who addressed this contradiction was Henry Venn (1796–1873). Born three years after William Carey sailed for India, Venn died the same year as David Livingstone. From 1841 until one year before his death he was the secretary (i.e. primary administrator) of the evangelical Church Missionary Society, the largest and most influential of the missionary societies of the Church of England at this period. Venn thought systematically through the contradictions of the nineteenth-century missionary enterprise, and it is possible to see in his writing an overview of the relationship between missionaries and issues of imperialism, race, power, and prestige. Venn’s arguments are not always easy to identify as arguments about imperialism, in part because they are theological arguments. Venn was a clergyman, but more important than that, he was an administrator, and his thoughts on religion and imperial power grew out of attempts to solve problems that were simultaneously imperial, theological, and administrative. One problem concerned the relationship between western missionaries and nonwestern Christians, a relationship that appeared in an ecclesiastical setting as one of dependence. Yet Venn, a voluntarist Protestant at heart even though a loyal member of an established church, believed that the relationship should be transformed into one of equality, of independent non-western Christians dealing with independent western Christians, all equally subject of course to the sovereignty of Christ. This transformation was his administrative responsibility, since he was in charge of religious institutions encompassing, as he put it, “a few scattered converts . . . in an artificial state of dependence upon Christian Europeans.”9 His administrative problem was also an imperial problem, as Venn acknowledged, because at the heart of imperialism is unequal power between westerners and non-westerners.10 When referring to “a few scattered converts,” Venn was writing to a missionary in India, and describing a situation characteristic of India, where missionaries pursued a Christianizing strategy based on the building up and administering of expensive and prestigious Christian institutions that served a largely non-Christian constituency, and were in many cases staffed

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by non-Christians. The Christian institutional presence in India was of necessity multiracial and multireligious, and in many cases largely irrelevant to the small Indian Christian communities there, but there was enormous demand for Indian Christians to serve in Christian institutions, and many of them found themselves in effect employees of white European missionaries and therefore, as Venn noted, dependent. In other parts of the world there were enough non-western Christian converts to ensure that missionary institution building was concentrated on building up institutions for non-western Christians. In those circumstances too, as Venn recognized, the relationship between missionaries and nonwestern Christians was an unequal one. In the South Pacific, for instance, where substantial numbers of indigenous people (although far from all) had become Christians, missionaries occupied positions of minister, teacher, and employer in Christian institutions serving the Christian communities. It is almost impossible to count accurately the number of missionaries in the nineteenth century, because of the under-counting of wives and local volunteers. For similar reasons, it is almost impossible to count the number of “native agents” who were acting under the direction of missionaries and in some cases living in proximity to the mission stations. Niel Gunson’s count of London Missionary Society and Wesleyan Missionary Society agents working in the South Pacific, 1797–1860, produced a list of 182 missionaries, counting unmarried women but not counting wives. His list of native agents of the LMS and “Native Assistant Missionaries” of the Wesleyan society comes to 296, but that does not include pastors who worked exclusively with their own people in the LMS, while the WMMS group only includes those who were ordained as “native pastors,” excluding an unknown number of local preachers and teachers, not to mention their wives.11 Missionaries were totally dependent on non-western Christians to do their work, but they were also in positions of both influence and authority over them. If India provided one model of the relationship between missionaries and non-western Christians, and the South Seas another, yet another could be found among the freed slaves settled in Sierra Leone and the much larger number of freed slaves in the West Indies. There non-western Christians lived in free communities where missionaries lacked the often magisterial role of missionaries in the South Pacific. Missionary accounts of their efforts in Sierra Leone are a record of disappointments with the quality of their converts and church members, combined with a determination not only to make their missions work, but to raise up an indigenous African clergy to use as missionary agents elsewhere in West Africa, especially Yorubaland and the Niger Delta. Missionaries ran schools for all classes of African children, male and female, and recruited a large body of African agents to teach in those schools. By

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1853 the CMS, WMMS, BMS, and Church of Scotland reported forty-six male missionaries in all of West Africa, along with ten European male assistant missionaries and eight unmarried women. Alongside those Europeans worked at least 234 “native assistants” in 154 schools.12 In Sierra Leone, church discipline had been of great importance to the CMS and WMMS missionaries, and despite the small numbers in their congregations, missionaries were influential and revered figures among those who adhered to their congregations. Catherine Hall has noted the importance of Baptist missionaries in the West Indies in setting standards of public and family behaviour modeled on the middle class, patriarchal respectability of early Victorian evangelicalism, and the same standards were set for African Christians, leading to the tone of disapproval in missionary accounts mixed in with the hopefulness required in order to raise funds and sustain their work. In the West Indies, missionaries were even more thoroughly outnumbered as former slaves flocked to Wesleyan and Baptist churches after the end of slavery in the 1830s. The attraction of the black churches obviously lay in the fact that they were black, places of autonomy and even liberation for former slaves. During the 1831 slave rebellion, white settlers in Jamaica burned down almost all the Baptist and Methodist mission chapels. After emancipation, as in Sierra Leone, missionaries expressed disappointment with the slack behavior of members of black congregations, as the sheer numbers of black church members placed them beyond the reach of direct missionary control. The 163 West Indian missionaries of the Wesleyan, Baptist, and Anglican societies were lost by mid century amidst a church membership reported at nearly 100,000, and Christian communities in the several hundreds of thousands.13 Catherine Hall treats Jamaican converts as uncritically embracing modern western forms of patriarchy insofar as they adopted missionary forms of Christianity.14 It is important to recognize, though, that white missionaries remained respected figures in most black churches, and in the case of most Jamaican Baptists, heroic figures for their role in opposing slavery and supporting black voting rights after emancipation. In 1845, some 8,000 Jamaicans turned out for the funeral of the outspoken Baptist missionary William Knibb, who had not only risked his life in opposition to slavery but acted as an advocate for black voting rights in post-emancipation Jamaica. Even during his lifetime, though, Knibb drew criticism from some Jamaican Baptists for profiting from white privilege. Missionaries controlled the resources that were available from Great Britain to support missionary institutions, especially schools and theological training colleges. Knibb bought land for former slaves to establish small plots where they could live independently, but he also held up as an ideal of the Christian family a model of Victorian patriarchy, the only form of stable family most people could imagine in Jamaica at that time. The

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dependency in matters of faith and morals, documented by Hall and analyzed much earlier by Henry Venn, remained a prominent issue even where the mission churches had formally broken with the mission society, as was the case with the Baptists in Jamaica, and where former mission churches were approaching a situation where they were genuinely self-governing if not entirely self-supporting. Yet another model of dependency emerged in African missions in South Africa, the Bethelsdorp model, based on the LMS’s first permanent mission station in South Africa in 1803. In South Africa, and later in other parts of Africa, the mission stations became places of refuge for Africans displaced by war, or fleeing from slavery or forced labor. These Christian melting pots became extremely unpopular with white settlers and often with colonial officials, who regarded them as refuges for the lazy and the discontented. Mission stations often became the targets of violence or even military action by slave traders in central Africa who not unnaturally regarded missionaries as simply another species of slave trader, assembling their own communities of dependent labor without the formal ties of slavery. Conversion among settled communities of Africans would come later, and involve a different and far more complicated process of conversion, but the Bethelsdorp style of missions produced communities of Christians who were often dependent on missionaries not only for employment and guidance in the rudiments of the Christian faith, but for their personal safety. Dependency then was not limited to the Indian model, but was built into a situation in which the missionary presided over a mission station with disproportionate wealth, resources, and power in relationship to non-western Christians, who were after all the ultimate point of the missionary enterprise. In a way, Venn anticipated later critiques of imperialism which point out that imperialism is not merely a political relationship based on military force, but a question of culture in which westerners have disproportionate access to resources. Venn was less concerned with the relationship of the missionary enterprise to state power as he was with the implications of other forms of imperial power: the power of western wealth and prestige; the power of the employer, the educator, and the clergyman. The difficulty that Venn slowly grasped appeared to be an insoluble problem for voluntarist missions: the mission station, the fundamental institution of the broader missionary enterprise with its array of Christian institutions, was essential to the spread of Christianity, but it also put a permanent obstacle in the way of the ultimate goal of the missionary movement, the establishment of independent communities of non-western Christians who were no longer dependent upon foreigners. Non-western Christians recognized this dilemma as well, and found themselves in a kind of imperial/ecclesiastical trap. Jean and John Comaroff,

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in their influential volumes on South African Missions, treat South African Christians as subject to indoctrination into western forms of possessive individualism insofar as they adopt missionary forms of Christianity.15 The situation of African Christians, though, was complex. On the one hand missionaries were genuinely revered in non-western Christian communities, not the least for their role in bringing the gospel. Missionaries provided education for both sexes and all ages; provided employment in an array of institutions; provided role models on how to live a stable Christian family life; held up moral standards that were often respected far beyond the Christian communities; and in some cases provided political support for indigenous peoples in the face of hostile, oppressive, and in some cases murderous settler communities. On the other hand, non-western Christians often resented the power and control exerted by missionaries, resented their access to sources of prestige and culture denied to them, and were much better able than missionaries themselves to perceive the hypocrisy that was built into the structure of the missions, especially when it came to the goal of building up independent, indigenous Christian churches. Every Protestant mission was committed in principle to the creation of a non-western church that would eventually become independent and selfsustaining, although that goal was often entirely lost sight of in the rush to create a missionary profession and to plant mission institutions around the globe. One token of missionary sincerity about their intentions was early ordination of non-western Christians. Almost as soon as there were nonwestern Christians available for ordination, missionary societies ordained them. The first missionary to Africa, Philip Quaque, was ordained before he was sent back to Africa. When in a particularly pensive mood, missionaries even recognized the contingent, temporary, and ephemeral character of the western imperial presence. The British Empire, like the Roman Empire, was doomed to disappear, while God’s work on earth would continue much longer. But how should the churches proceed? How do you create a permanent church in an ephemeral empire? By the mid nineteenth century, the way forward was clear. Supporters of global Christian expansion created voluntary societies, recruited and trained missionaries, built mission stations, opened schools, and ordained at least some non-western Christians. Ordination however turned out to be problematic, because non-western Christians failed to meet the standards that missionaries expected of a satisfactory clergy for the non-western church, and a new layer of racial hierarchy was created in mission institutions. A new category of subordinate clergyman was devised to meet this problem, and a term largely unknown in evangelical Protestantism was appropriated from the early history of the church, the catechist. Called Assistant Missionary

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by the Wesleyans, and other names by other societies, the characteristic of this form of “native clergy” was subordination to the ordained missionaries. Missionaries could not avoid full ordination for some non-western Christians, however, especially among Baptists where it was conferred by the congregation. Non-western ordained clergy and catechists alike, not to mention the nonwestern Christian schoolteachers and staff of mission institutions, began to have their say on certain matters, especially where they held a favorable position in the labor market for mission labor. It was at the interface between the power of missionaries in their mission stations, and the interests of non-western Christians who although subordinate were also essential and in some ways influential, that a pattern of conflict emerged in virtually every mission field. Even in India where the Christian community remained very small, educated Christian men and women began to speak out against missionary imperialism. It was this gulf that the Rev. Golak Nath addressed at the 1862–63 Missionary Conference in Punjab (see Chapter 1, pp. 18–19), where he argued that “the social position of a missionary, his intellectual and spiritual attainments, his highly civilized ideas, and his cultivated, refined feelings, must place him so far above his converts, generally, that there can scarcely be any fellow-feeling between them.”16 There was a gulf lying between the aspiration to create a church that would survive the revolutions of empire, and the missionary commitment to building strong, attractive, durable, decently funded Christian institutions—churches, schools of every imaginable sort, publishing houses, conference centers, hospitals, clinics, leper asylums, reading rooms. Golak Nath implied that missionaries had not fallen into some kind of imperial trap, but were active agents in creating the gulf between Europeans and Indians. Despite Golak Nath’s stark analysis, he and European missionaries alike were together creating a new form of hybrid Christianity, neither eastern nor western, through which ran a fault line marking out inequality of power and influence between Europeans and Indians. Venn thought of himself as an advocate for indigenous rights within the Christian church, just as humanitarian missionaries such as James Read and John Philip in South Africa, William Knibb and John Smith in the West Indies, and Lancelot Threlkeld in Australia saw themselves as missionary advocates of the political rights of indigenous peoples. Like them, he was not merely an advocate for the disenfranchised, but a bureaucratic and even political performer bringing interests to play in a complicated struggle involving the missionary societies, mission stations, indigenous Christian communities, colonial governments, and traders. In negotiating these different interests, Venn contradicted himself repeatedly and took positions that seem in hindsight to be hypocritical, but also illustrate the contradictions of the entire missionary enterprise.

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Venn’s most fundamental commitment was to the integrity of Christian faith among those brought to that faith directly or indirectly by missionary enterprise. As an evangelical Protestant, Venn believed that religious faith that was the result of hypocrisy or coercion of any kind, formal or informal, was not religious faith at all, but an example of the formal, hypocritical, unserious religion that evangelicals saw themselves as battling daily in Great Britain. His most sustained exposition of these principles is found in his biography of Francis Xavier, which is difficult to read today as anything but a bigoted, anti-Catholic tract.17 Venn was much less interested in rebutting the errors of Roman Catholicism than in using anti-Catholicism as a means of rebutting errors about missions found among Protestants, notably “a craving for the romance of Missions; the notion that an autocratic power is wanted in a Mission, such as a Missionary Bishop might exercise; a demand for a degree of self-denial in a Missionary bordering upon asceticism.”18 Xavier’s greatest failure of all came with his entanglement with state power in India, and later in Japan. There Xavier erected a Mission upon the treacherous foundations of secular support. With the honest intention of promoting Christianity, he introduced into the work the elements of political intrigue and complications . . . Thus the Mission planted by Xavier was extinguished in blood, after existing for nearly ninety years; and this through the political power on which Xavier had leaned in all his Missionary enterprises.19 At a time when many missionaries believed in the providential opportunities afforded by British imperial expansion, Venn was warning Protestants that in the history of missions, “Apparent success for a time has been the result of favourable worldly circumstances; and when those circumstances have changed, the Mission has come to nothing.”20 While denouncing Xavier for relying on the secular arm in Goa and Japan, and trusting too much in favorable worldly circumstances, Venn was making a clear distinction—even drawing a line in the sand—between the missionary enterprise on the one hand and the British Empire on the other. He was following in the path of William Carey, who saw commercial expansion and British imperial expansion as opportunities provided by God, but opportunities that could be used for good or evil ends. Venn’s providentialism led him into entanglements with the very “favourable worldly circumstances” that were the object of his moralism, first of all under the mid-Victorian banner of Commerce and Christianity, which was in turn related to the missionary role as “humanitarian” defenders of black rights in Africa and the West Indies. This point of

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view led Venn in more than one instance to direct advocacy of military presence, as when the CMS intervened to urge the government against any retrenchment in the anti-slave trade naval squadron off the West Coast of Africa. In 1849 Venn met for an hour with Lord Palmerston to encourage him to put an armed boat in the Niger Delta in order to guarantee “legitimate commerce.”21 Venn’s policies led into contradictions even more profound than the advocacy of a naval squadron. The CMS was at least not directly involved in outfitting military vessels, nor were CMS missionaries taking up arms against slave traders as Bishop Mackenzie did in central Africa. Under Venn’s leadership, however, the CMS became involved in schemes for promoting “healthy” commerce in West Africa, under the direction of African Christians. Venn was a major promoter of the link between commerce and Christianity, a commitment that led directly to major compromises with his own conception of the spiritual purity of the missionary bureaucracy that he headed. It is easy to misunderstand his position, because it was a compromising and compromised one. He regarded the missionary movement as being involved in a major struggle, not in this case with African savagery or Indian idolatry, but with western traders. Healthy, legitimate commerce for Venn was commerce controlled by Africans, preferably African Christians. Venn became involved in the 1850s in attempts to set up agricultural and commercial institutions in Sierra Leone and Nigeria, including cotton wholesaling under the care of an African clergyman, the Rev. Samuel Crowther, Jr. Venn’s West African policy of involving the CMS directly in the promotion of healthy commerce led into so many contradictions and unpersuasive protestations of innocence that it had to be abandoned. Venn spent much time and energy attempting to disentangle the CMS from various schemes to promote commercial enterprises in Africa.22 If missionary entanglement with commerce and Christianity in Africa was largely abandoned by late in the century, the entanglement of missions with the imperial government of India over issues of education was to prove ineradicable. The religious settlement forged in the fight over the renewal of the East India Company Charter in 1813 was to prove a durable one, despite its contradictions and ability to generate fierce controversy. An established Protestant church was created in India, and missionaries were allowed entry to the country in order to propagate their religion as voluntary societies. The established church reflected the Christian character of British rule, but was not meant to be an instrument of propagating Christianity among Indians. The first Bishop of Calcutta (1814), Thomas Middleton, limited his ministry to the nominally Christian European and Eurasian population. Even the evangelical administrators of the Punjab School later in the nineteenth century renounced any direct government role in the propagation of Christianity, despite their reputation as supporters of missions.

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The fiercest controversies involved the religious orientation of government schools. It was almost impossible for most Victorian British men and women, apart from a few Owenites and utilitarians, to imagine elementary or even higher education without a religious component, since it was thought to be impossible to teach morality without religion. Yet that was exactly what the East India Company attempted in its government schools, which excluded the minimum daily requirement of some Bible readings which were nearly universal in British elementary schools regardless of the source of funding. A compromise was reached in 1854, when the government announced a policy of government grants to voluntary groups, including religious groups, who could include religious teaching in their schools as long as the religious component was not funded by the government. Mission schools are sometimes portrayed as a kind of “consolation prize” for missionaries who were unable to gain converts by preaching in pith helmets under palm trees. Mission schools, though, were at the heart of missionary strategy from the very first days of mission work of any kind. Missionaries simply could not conceive of any serious mission to non-Christian peoples that did not involve Christian education, whether it meant assembling girls on the verandah under the direction of the missionary wife or building major institutions of higher education. If missionaries shared something of a consensus on the value of education, they remained divided on the details of educational policy and strategy. Consistent with their ultra-Protestant populism, the Serampore missionaries stressed in the beginning elementary education in the vernacular. While his colleague Ward was busy writing his defamatory treatment of Hinduism, Marshman published Hints Relative to Native Schools in 1816, in which he proposed to teach Indian children in the vernacular using the techniques of the “monitorial system” developed in England by Joseph Lancaster. In 1818 Marshman proposed an initiative in higher education, a college dedicated to “the instruction of Asiatic Christian and other youth in Eastern literature and European science.” The key phrase was “other youth.” Serampore College was opened almost at once as a dual-purpose institution, created both to be a seminary for the training of leaders in the Indian Christian community and to provide general education, with an emphasis on Bengali and Sanskrit, to Hindu and Muslim students. It also became the major project of the Serampore missionaries, and set the stage for a permanent and never-to-beresolved conflict between missionaries who regarded the education of Hindus and Muslims as an integral part of the Christian mission in India, and mission supporters at home who could not justify the use of mission funds (Serampore College was expensive) to train Hindus and Muslims who wished to take advantage of mission institutions but showed no visible sign of any desire to become Christians. In the West Indies, the South Pacific, and parts of Africa,

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indigenous Christian communities were large enough to provide a substantial body of Christian students for Christian schools, but even in those cases the conflict between general education and specifically Christian education raged on throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Missionaries initially restricted English language instruction at Serampore College to advanced students, but demand for English from Hindu and Muslim students led to an increasing role for English. Indian student demand for English provided the foundation for the elaborate theory of educational reform proposed by a Church of Scotland missionary in Calcutta, Alexander Duff.23 Before Livingstone burst on the scene in the 1850s, Duff was perhaps the best-known missionary in Britain, largely because of his influence on government as well as missionary educational policy. Arriving in Calcutta in 1830, he was the first missionary sent by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He soon developed a vision of Christianizing India through the spread of scientific knowledge and religious truth to the elite via the medium of the English language. Education was not to be a consolation prize, but a key engine of Christianization. Believing that the elite would not be able to maintain their Hindu views in the light of western knowledge, he believed in “stratified diffusion,” that is an English-speaking elite would adopt Christianity and then influence the Bengali masses below them. As a practical matter, there was widespread demand for English education in Calcutta in the 1830s, and he opened a school for the sons of the Bengali elite that was soon well-patronized by fee-paying students. Duff turned the vernacularist arguments of Carey and Marshman upside down. English, he argued, should be the medium not only of mission education but of government education. His influence came in part because his arguments buttressed the attempts of the Whig governors of India to launch a system of higher education in English. Just as Livingstone would later identify the slave trade as the great barrier to Christian expansion in Africa, which could be undermined only through commerce, Duff identified the gigantic system of error known as Hinduism as the great barrier to Christian expansion in India, which could only be undermined by western-style education in English. Many historians have seen in Duff’s theories a triumph for the principle of English language mission education in India, just as they have seen in Macaulay’s 1835 minute on Indian education the triumph of westernizing and Anglicizing forces in government education policy. In mission policy, however, Duff’s influence has been overstated, for vernacularists continued to have great influence in mission circles, including the Church of Scotland missions and, after 1843, the missions of the schismatic Free Church of Scotland, which gained the allegiance of almost all Church of Scotland missionaries in India. Duff’s counterpart in Bombay, for instance, was John Wilson, a missionary

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of the Scottish Missionary Society from 1829 who began to receive support from the Church of Scotland in 1835. Wilson found in Bombay the same demand among sections of the urban elite for an English language education for their sons, and moved to open a school for them. The first to act, though, was his missionary wife, Margaret Wilson, who opened a school for girls. In 1832 Wilson opened an English school for boys, drawing students entirely from Hindu and Parsi families who could pay the fees. Later called the Scotch Mission School and then the General Assembly Institution, the school expanded rapidly, and even attracted a few Christians, although they remained a small minority. Although on perfectly good terms with Duff, Wilson insisted on working against the grain of student demand by conducting education in both vernacular and English. Insisting that purely English instruction was inconsistent with the goals of mission education, he also feared that it would not serve the interests of his students, who would become “denationalized” by a purely western education and therefore lose influence in their own country. For the Scottish Missions in the major Indian cities, Christian influence was the name of the game. Duff pursued English language education, as did his Church of Scotland colleague John Anderson, who opened St Andrew’s College in Madras in 1837. John Wilson stressed vernacular education in Bombay, although he too offered education in English to meet student demand. There was a convergence of interests between non-Christian parents who could afford fees, and missionaries who genuinely saw a missionary opportunity in providing education in a Christian setting for the children of non-Christian elites. The ethos of a missionary school was to be a Christian one, and neither Duff nor Wilson nor Anderson could conceive of an educational setting where a Christian moral atmosphere would not influence students in a Christian direction. The contradiction between missionary expectations and parental expectations produced periodic crises in every mission school. Occasionally a student would convert to Christianity; the parents would withdraw their students from the school; then the dust would settle, and parents would see that conversion was the exception rather than the norm; demand for English language education would reassert itself; students would return, and money would begin to flow to the mission. The influence of Christian secondary and higher education on the history of South Asia is one of the great unexamined subjects in history. Virtually every denomination pursued an educational strategy, usually an all-encompassing one involving elementary schools for boys and girls, secondary schools for boys and girls, and colleges for boys and, eventually, for girls as well. Converts were few, but it is highly unlikely that the missionaries were entirely wrong in their belief that Christian education exerted a distinctive influence on the course of South Asian history. Measuring that influence is not an easy task.

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The occasional conversions provided justification for missionary aspirations for education, and were featured in missionary periodicals at home and abroad. Missionaries were expert publicists. Anderson founded the Native Herald in Madras; Wilson the Oriental Christian Spectator in Madras; Duff the Calcutta Christian Observer in Calcutta. Duff and Wilson lived long enough to become notables in their respective communities, respected educational theorists, orientalist scholars, journalists, and consultants to the government on a wide range of policies. Both were instrumental in the establishment of the universities of Calcutta and Bombay. Deeply committed to education at all levels, the missionary societies accepted a system of government grants to religious schools which initially benefited mission schools disproportionately, but opened the door ultimately for remarkably effective competition from the Hindu reformist Arya Samaj and later Islamic competitors.24 Faced with the offer of government grants for their schools, at the cost of government oversight of how the funds were spent, the missionary societies had to decide whether to maintain their independence or run the risk of corruption by government grant. They almost all decided on the latter, but not without a good deal of hand-wringing and worry. The CMS minute on the principles that lay behind accepting government grants for mission education in India is an obscure and convoluted document, but it is worth quoting in order to illustrate the contradictions of missionary policy under imperial rule. The committee wished to make it clear that They are anxious, as a general principle, to point out that their educational work is still Missionary. The Society are willing to accept the aid of Government, so far as they will give it. But they consider themselves as doing their own work, and not as standing in the position of Schoolmasters to the Government; and in reference to the fear expressed as to the secularizing tendency of the system, they feel every confidence that their Missionaries will be alive to the paramount importance of maintaining the Missionary principle intact, and that they will watch unto prayer, lest any injurious influence, arising from the encouragement given to the secular branch of their teaching, obtain any advantage over them. The Committee are alive to the difficulty, but cannot abandon the line of operation opening before them without a trial. It is one which admits of no remedy but that which is derived from on high; and they are unwilling to believe that it will be withheld.25 Tracing the workings of providence proved beyond the grasp of the CMS committee when contemplating government support for their work. It is no

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wonder they recommended prayer. The CMS had introduced into the Church of England the principle of the voluntary society as a mechanism of propagating voluntary adherence to Christianity in an imperial setting. The government of India supported a state church, to which they adhered, but which they regarded as inappropriate for proselytization. The government of India saw no role for itself in propagating Christianity, other than declaring themselves a Christian government. They were now prepared to support schools of all religions, subject to certain requirements. The CMS was very much aware that the Christian government of India was in the process of supporting nonChristian as well as Christian religions. They were not only offering grants to Hindu and Muslim schools, but also shoring up temple endowments in a sweeping legal settlement with consequences felt to this day. Yet the offer of government support for their schools was irresistible, and for a few decades worked to the competitive advantage of the missionary societies, at least in terms of funding. Such an opening had to be regarded as providential. The contradictions of presiding over a voluntary society working within an established church which itself operated within an imperial state weighed heavily on Venn’s mind. The contradictions that resulted—entanglement with commercial operations in West Africa, and with government education in India— were of less consequence to the SPG, which was becoming an increasingly vigorous rival to the CMS in the competitive battle for contributions from Anglican parishes. The SPG’s operations sprawled over the boundary between white and non-white, between settlers and indigenous peoples, and between their mission stations and the colonial episcopacy, which was spreading rapidly throughout the British Empire first in Canada, then in India, and then elsewhere as a result enabling legislation, the Bishoprics Act of 1841 and subsequent measures. The SPG like the CMS operated as a voluntary society within a confessional state church, and like the CMS its mission agents faced serious problems in relating to settlers’ societies and government agents. Rhetorically, however, these contradictions were all resolved in the authority of the bishop. Where there were colonial bishops, then missionaries and indigenous Christians were of course subject to them. Where there were no colonial bishops, the SPG resolved to send a new kind of bishop, the “missionary bishop.” The first missionary bishop, so designated, was an American, Jackson Kemper, Episcopalian missionary bishop to Missouri (and Indiana). At his consecration in 1835 George Washington Doane, Bishop of New Jersey, outlined the high concept of a missionary bishop: And if there be, in Indiana or Missouri, in Louisiana, Florida or Arkansas, some scattered handfuls here and there of Churchmen— or, if obedient to the Saviour’s mandate, to preach the Gospel

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unto every creature, we send out heralds of the Cross to China, Texas, Persia, Georgia or Armenia—upon what principle can we neglect, or on what ground can we refuse,—since from their feebleness and poverty they cannot have a Bishop of their own, or in their ignorant blindness, they do not desire it,—to send to them, at our own cost and charge, and in the Saviour’s name, a Missionary Bishop?26 The lumping together of Texas with China and Armenia demonstrates the formal blindness of the SPG to issues of both race and empire. In practice, Victorian missionary bishops were white, and by the time of Livingstone’s death the SPG could boast of two white episcopal martyrs: Charles Frederick Mackenzie, the “Bishop of Central Africa” who died in the ill-fated Universities’ Mission to Central Africa in 1862, and John Coleridge Patteson, “Bishop of Melanesia,” who attempted to establish a belated SPG presence in a previously neglected part of the South Pacific. His death in a hail of arrows in 1871 prompted numerous biographies of the martyr bishop (including a classic of missionary hagiography by Charlotte Yonge27), the bombardment of the island where he was killed, parliamentary legislation to protect South Pacific Islanders against forced labor, and the proclamation by the Archbishop of Canterbury of an annual day of intercession and prayer for foreign missions in all Anglican churches. Such publicity boosted support for Anglican foreign missions in the late nineteenth century, but it did not impress Henry Venn. The CMS subjected itself to the authority of bishops in principle; in practice, they did so only after hard bargaining on a case by case basis. Venn’s tenure as CMS secretary coincided with the work of George Augustus Selwyn as Bishop of New Zealand (1841) after the annexation of the islands by Great Britain. Selwyn battled to build up a multiracial church on the British episcopal model, complete with efforts to build a Norman-style cathedral. His defense of Maori rights went hand-inhand with attempts to recruit a Maori Anglican clergy, but one that would remain subordinate for the time being to white clergy until such time as nonwhites could meet the educational standards applied to white clergy. His attacks on CMS missionaries were based on their independent status as agents of a voluntary society, and also on their role as landlords, since the CMS used landownership as a means of sustaining its mission work in New Zealand. That Selwyn’s efforts among the Maori came to nothing in the wake of the wars of the 1860s was no surprise to Venn. He regarded the confessional model of a church, imported into a voluntarist setting wholesale by Selwyn, as a terrible disadvantage for Anglican missions in comparison with the voluntarist missions of the Nonconformist and American societies. In contrasting

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Anglican missions unfavorably with purely voluntarist missions, Venn stumbled upon one of the keys to the history of Christianity not only around the world but in the European heartland of Christendom: The unfavourable contrast may be explained by the fact that other denominations are accustomed to take part in the elementary organization of their Churches at home, and therefore more readily carry out that organization in the Missions. Whereas in our Church the Clergy find everything relating to elementary organization settled by the Law of the Land:—as in the provision of tithes, of church-rates, of other customary payments, in the constitution of parishes, and in parish officers, our Clergy are not prepared for the question of Church organization.28 For the CMS, a bishop without a church was a contradiction in terms, and missionary bishops were just that, bishops without churches. Venn confronted a parallel problem in the missionary strategy of the CMS: the mission station without a church. A bishop with a cathedral and a mission station with schools produced the same results, “a few scattered converts in an artificial state of dependence upon Christian Europeans.” To remedy this problem, Venn (along with other missionary administrators) attempted to systematically develop a strategy to create a native church, independent of Christian Europeans, out of the raw material of a few scattered converts. Searching for a formula that would generate a non-western church in an imperial setting, Venn settled on the famous phrase “self-support, self-government, and self-extension” as the hallmarks of the native church. As for the mission station, the goal of the CMS was “the euthanasia of the mission.” By the euthanasia of the mission, Venn did not mean the euthanasia of the missionary society, the organization that he headed, which would always be responsible for church expansion into non-Christian parts of the world. He meant the euthanasia of the mission station, staffed by professional missionaries who were in charge of mission institutions. Venn’s formulas were a recipe for chronic conflict. Missionaries at their stations, committed as families to a lifelong task of building up Christian institutions, were also committed to the creation of an indigenous non-western church. They naturally had a rather different view from Venn about how to build a Christian presence, which for them was to emanate from the Christian institutions they saw growing around them. Non-western Christians had mixed views on this as well, since many of them were deeply committed to building up Christian institutions which they were in no position to fund or staff without western help. Venn hoped to cut through the bureaucratic obstacles to the development of self-supporting, self-governing, and self-extending native churches by putting

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the mission stations on a timetable, imposed by the missionary society, for the granting of ecclesiastical independence to non-western clergy. Venn took an optimistic view of the progress of the church in Sierra Leone, which proved to his satisfaction that “the Negro has a head for business and a heart for religion.”29 The CMS’s Fourah Bay institute had been created with the goal of training black clergymen for black congregations, and the first student to enroll was Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who had been freed from slavery by a Royal Navy patrol. Crowther had a talent for languages, and was appointed a tutor at Fourah Bay in 1834. After participation in the failed Niger Expedition of 1841, he came to the attention of Venn, who became both a friend and ecclesiastical patron. After training at the CMS institution in Islington, Crowther was ordained in 1843 and sent as a missionary to the Yoruba mission in Abeokuta, where he became a specialist in the Yoruba language, and later published primers and grammars for the Igbo and Nupe languages. Here for Venn was living proof of the abilities of Africans, and living proof of the possibilities of a black ecclesiastical leadership for the people of Africa. Racists such as Richard Burton, who repeatedly denigrated Sierra Leone, were unimpressed. After encountering Samuel Crowther in a coastal steamship, Burton dismissed him as “our Gorilla, or Missing Link.”30 Venn though was grooming Crowther for a position as the first black bishop in Africa. Crowther was consecrated Bishop of “Western Africa beyond the limits of our dominions” in 1864, giving him authority over the Niger Delta, but not over the white missionaries in Yorubaland, who were unwilling apparently to be subject to the authority of a black bishop. Venn was jubilant, believing that this demonstration of trust in black authority would give an immediate boost to the spread of Christianity. Anglican missions in the West Indies had failed, he believed, because they retained pastoral authority in the hands of white missionaries under white bishops. The result was a dependent congregation, which lacked the manly virtue of independence. Western Christians were rendered unfit to lead a non-western church by virtue of their race. A Negro church could only grow under Negro leadership, a principle borne out by the growth of the church in the Niger Delta under Crowther’s leadership. Henry Venn and Samuel Crowther were names known mainly in missionary circles. David Livingstone’s utterly atypical missionary life created a durable image of the missionary in the public mind, but it was Henry Venn and Bishop Crowther who anticipated the fundamental problem of the missionary movement in the following generation. Missionaries were institution builders whose ultimate goal was the creation of an indigenous independent Christian church. How does one create a self-governing, independent church out of a missionary enterprise that builds western-style institutions under missionary control in lands that were under imperial rule or imperial influence?

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Chapter 8

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Providence and geo-religious triumphalism: China and Islam N T H E F A M O U S “ S C R A M B L E F O R A F R I C A ” between 1885 and 1900, the European powers partitioned an entire continent. During the threequarters of a century between 1870 and 1945 the formal British Empire reached its greatest geographical extent. The geographical expansion of the British Empire imparted a new sense of permanence that influenced the missionary movement in two ways. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the world appeared to be opening up to Christian missions. Some mission orators identified 1858 as the annus mirabilis of nineteenth-century missionary history, as the explorations of Speke, Burton, and Livingstone opened up Africa, the Treaty of Tientsin led to missionary expansion into the interior of China, and the Treaty of Yedo opened doors to the first Protestant mission work in Japan. Some Nonconformists added that 1858 also saw the end of the obstructive East India Company, although imperial rulers in India were by 1858 doing practically nothing to interfere with mission work in India. By the late nineteenth century, there was a very strong sense that the world lay open at the feet of Britain’s churches. The question posed over and over again from the pulpit and platform was this: were the churches up to the challenge? The expansion of British imperial power also influenced missionary rhetoric in its attitude to empire, which now appeared solid, permanent, and expanding. The justifications for imperial rule—including racist justifications—found their way more readily into the rhetoric of British missions, as missionary enthusiasts continued to redefine the relationship between the Empire of Christ and the Empire of Britain.

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In the early nineteenth century missionary interest was focused on India, the South Pacific, the West Indies, and Africa. Late nineteenth-century geopolitical changes brought a new interest in Islam and China, along with renewed interest in Africa and India. In the two areas of the world where significant numbers of non-Europeans had become Christians, the South Pacific and West Indies, British public interest waned as missionaries in the field devoted themselves to the often tedious and frequently (to them) disappointing tasks of sustaining Christian piety in settled Christian communities, cooperating with indigenous Christian leaders, and competing with new independent nonmission churches. British missionaries were already by that time on the ground in West, Central, and South Africa, and the religious public was deeply interested in East and Central Africa following the publicity triumphs of David Livingstone and other explorers. Livingstone’s campaign against the Arab slave trade, as well as competition between Christianity and Islam in what is now Nigeria and the entry of British missionaries into Palestine, brought Islam into focus. Public interest was reinforced by the bombardment of Alexandria and subsequent occupation of Egypt, the death of General Gordon in the Sudan, the post-World War I partition of the Ottoman Empire into French and British spheres of influence, and the emergence of Islamic nationalism in India. Britain had forced China to open its ports to British trade in a series of wars and treaties between 1842 and 1886, but in the 1880s and 1890s Britain solidified its commercial access to the interior of China, and American missionaries began to pour into previously inaccessible parts of the country. Western imperial bullying combined with American religious expansionism opened up new opportunities for British missionaries, who had established footholds in China in the very early nineteenth century but had been unable to create much of an institutional presence. The killings of western missionaries and Chinese Christians during the Boxer Rebellion in 1899–1900 had much the same effect on the missionary world as the Indian Mutiny of 1857, which is to say, surprisingly little beyond the creation of new martyrs; 153 Protestant missionaries were killed—some of them beaten to death—along with fiftythree of their children. Over 30,000 Chinese Christians were also killed, the large majority of them Roman Catholic.1 In much British mission rhetoric the rebellion was depoliticized, treated as a large misunderstanding or perhaps even some kind of natural disaster, as missionary societies reasserted their determination to occupy all parts of China and, for that matter, the entire world. When discussing China, as well as Central Africa and the Islamic world, missionary rhetoricians were fond of the word “penetration.” Both imperial and missionary expansion were accompanied by a considerable amount of

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staring at maps. David Livingstone believed that the sheer presence of a preacher of the gospel in the maximum number of locations in Africa would represent a missionary triumph, regardless of the consequences in terms of conversion or institution building. Missionary cartographers created maps that measured missionary expansion by the number of cities “occupied” by missions, and this was a strategy followed with equal enthusiasm by missionaries in the field. The revered CMS missionary in northern India, Robert Clark, was fond of military metaphors and founded “chains” of mission stations across northern India. In the same way, pioneer missionaries in China, notably the celebrated orator Griffith John (1855–1912), attempted to extend Christian influence by setting up some kind of Christian influence, however small, in the maximum number of strategically located cities. No part of China was to be left unoccupied. In the light of twentieth-century studies by missiologists of the church growth school, this strategy appears to be massively inefficient, distracting the attention of missionaries from areas where people had demonstrated an interest in becoming Christians to cities that provided instead links in a “chain” of missionary stations that looked good on a map. The areas where nonChristians showed some interest in Christianity tended to be geographically scattered, and certainly were not concentrated in the cities that constituted the links in the missionary chains. Missionaries were improvising, however, in an imperial age where geography and maps mattered. The British missionary ethnographer of China, Henry Medhurst, was author of a prayer much used in relation to that country: “O God, open China and scatter Thy servants.” By the 1890s the missionary societies had the resources to scatter their servants more widely than ever before. If the goal was to maximize the number of Christians in the world, the policy of geographical dispersion was highly inefficient, but late nineteenth-century missionaries had no way of knowing what would and would not work. The openness of the world imparted on the one hand a sense of almost smug satisfaction in the contemplation of God’s providential intervention, but on the other hand a simultaneous sense of anxiety about whether the churches had the sense of urgency needed to take advantage of the opportunities provided by God. As one speaker at a missionary conference put it, the “most important task which awaits the Church, is an advance all along the line upon the solid ranks of heathenism.”2 The high imperial period saw the advent of the international missionary conference, great and small. In the early nineteenth century William Carey had envisaged a world missionary conference, to be held in South Africa, bringing together missionaries and non-western Christians from around the globe. In practice mission conferences were held largely in Britain and the USA, and tended to be opportunities for missionary dignitaries to meet

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their counterparts from other denominations and other countries, and to achieve further publicity for the missionary enterprise. Each successive conference—the Liverpool Conference on Missions in 1860, The Centenary Conference on the Protestant Missions of the World held in London at Exeter Hall in 1888, the Ecumenical Missionary Conference in New York in 1900, and the most important of all, the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 1910—and smaller ones in between attracted more growing numbers of attenders and increasing public attention. The 1890s saw Centenary celebrations—each with a major conference and publications—for the Baptist Missionary Society (1892), the London Missionary Society (1895), and the Church Missionary Society (1899)—and Bicentenary celebrations for the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge in 1898 and Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (1900–1901). Many late Victorians obviously had an unquenchable appetite for pulpit rhetoric on the topic of missions, and the published volumes were widely circulated. Two general strands of missionary rhetoric stand out. One is the growing and explicit focus on the providential nature of British imperial expansion. The successful exercise of power places over the powerful a halo of virtue and respectability that makes their achievements appear natural and normal. When one adds to that the natural conservatism that is the consequence of the difficulty of imagining a world fundamentally different from the one we live in, it is not surprising that the triumphs of British arms and diplomacy had their effect on missionary rhetoric. There were always dissenters in the missionary world from those who associated the Empire of Christ with the Empire of Britain,3 but in the 1880s and 1890s, and especially during the Edwardian age, the identity of God’s work in the world and Britain’s work in the world became more pronounced. Equally striking, because contradictory, is the extent to which mission rhetoric remained a-political and universalized. Even at the height of British imperial expansion, there was a sense that the opening of the world was a giant historical accident from a purely human point of view. God was providentially using the mechanisms of empire, but he was using other devices as well and it was imprudent to go too far in identifying with the human, temporal inventions that were the temporary instruments of Providence. This tension between the Empire of Britain and the Empire of Christ—and the determination to maintain the distinction between the two—may be seen in the writings of even the most enthusiastic supporters of British imperial expansion such as Alfred Barry and H. H. Montgomery, both of whom returned from Australian bishoprics to become missionary propagandists and administrators at home. Both believed in hierarchies of race in which the Anglo-Saxons were on top, and both believed in the divinely ordained secular

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benefits of British rule over subject peoples. Both, however, resisted an identity of interests between British missions and British imperialism. Barry delivered the Hulsean Lectures at Cambridge in 1894–95, published as The Ecclesiastical Expansion of England (1895). A former Bishop of Sydney and Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia and Tasmania, Barry came as close as it was possible to come in identifying missionary work explicitly with the British Empire. His lectures also reflected the ascendancy of explicit racism in the late nineteenth century, for Barry classified everyone in the world as belonging to either the vigorous, intellectual races of the west, the high cultures of the east without the gospel, or the “barbarian” races of the world who were natural “subject races” under British rule. This is from a Gladstonian liberal who had alarmed other Australians with his (largely rhetorical) defense of aboriginal rights. Perhaps his self-confident racism allowed Barry to take a more tolerant attitude to non-Christian religions. Unlike early nineteenth-century missionary advocates, he spent very little time defaming the South Sea Islanders for cannibalism, the Hindus for sati, or the Chinese for footbinding. Instead he defended non-western religions as wholly inadequate but nonetheless real reflections of a genuine search for God, even among the “barbarian” races. He rejoiced that in the course of the nineteenth century “If among earnest believers in Christ, jealous for the honour of their Master, there has been anything of contempt and alienation of spirit towards all other religions, this has long passed away.”4 In Barry’s case, religious ethnocentrism had been displaced by racial hierarchy and imperial providentialism. For William Carey in the 1790s, empire had provided a glorious open door for missions. For Alfred Barry in the 1890s, the British Empire was a positive good in the world, bringing the benefits of law and order and good government both to the civilized peoples of the East and the barbarians of Africa. Even for an ecclesiastical imperialist such as Barry, however, racial hierarchy and the divine role in empire had to be put in their place, and ultimately banished from the Empire of Christ. For Barry as for William Carey, the ultimate goal of Christian mission work was a multiracial Christian commonwealth. The complexity of missionary racism is on display in Barry’s lectures, which are full of racist hierarchies along with advice on ways to combat racialist opposition to mission work. Clergy must condemn the intellectual contempt for the barbarian, as incapable of high religious ideas and aspiration, reviving under philosophic guise the old pagan theory of religions, adapted to certain races and limited by certain latitudes. There is, most formidable in practical effect,

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the pride in civilized strength, which would make him a tool, to be used and broken by the higher races . . . There is the gross and rapacious selfishness of the merely commercial spirit . . . The old witness of Christianity for real human brotherhood is as necessary now as it was in days past.5 Empire empowered missions, but it was no substitute for missions. H. H. Montgomery was the classic missionary imperialist. The son of the Lt Governor of Punjab, Robert Montgomery, a member of the famous “Punjab School” of evangelical administrators in India, he attended Harrow and Cambridge, then became known as a vigorous parish clergyman. After ten years spent reinvigorating the South London parish of St Mark’s, Kennington, Montgomery was named Bishop of Tasmania, where he conceived of a newly rejuvenated Anglicanism that would serve as a global imperial church. Named Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 1901, he immediately published his summary of the foreign missionary situation, Foreign Missions, in a series intended to give advice to parish clergy on all important subjects. What advice did he give to parish clergy and to the people of Britain in 1901 as the secretary of the SPG during its Bicentenary year? First, he congratulated them for belonging to a superior race. The flood tide of late nineteenth-century racialism is on display in Foreign Missions, although Montgomery is characteristically imprecise and confused in his deployment of racial categories. Like most missionary theorists, he has little use for theories of biological difference, although they pop up in his arguments in unexpected ways. The influence of climate on racial character looms large, reminiscent of Montesquieu or (what is more likely, given his education) Herodotus. Religion is sometimes treated as religion, and sometimes as a marker of racial or national character. The Hindus and Chinese he identifies as civilized peoples without access to the sacred scriptures, although Hindus it appears have been “dreaming intellectually for thousands of years in a hot and a physically enervating climate.”6 Hinduism, not unexpectedly given their climate or, what is more relevant, the history of missionary defamation of India, receives a bad press. Montgomery identifies special difficulties for missions in India, the first being that the people of India “do not like us; it is not easy for an Englishman to be in real sympathy with a native, even in the case of many missionaries and their converts.”7 Given what he has to say about Hindus, it is not surprising that Indians don’t like missionaries. “The Hindu”, he says, “is inherently untruthful, and lacks moral courage.”8 Given this observation, it is surprising that any Indians became Christians, but Montgomery took note of the growth of Christianity in India, which fed

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into his general optimism about Christian progress around the world. The other civilized nation without the scriptures, China, is exempt from defamatory treatment, for they are “the sturdiest race in the East, the Anglo-Saxons of the Orient.”9 Confusion of race, nationality, ethnicity, and religion extends even further in his discussion of the two great peoples of the world with access to scriptures, Jews and Muslims, whose virtues as a people would greatly strengthen Christianity if only they could look beyond their bigoted religious views, which are so close to Christianity that they act as a barrier to conversion. Montgomery clearly has a love–hate relationship with Islam, which he admires in many ways, and three important strands of the missionary assessment of Islam are evident in his writings. One is admiration for Islam for its scriptural orientation, its (relatively) rationalist theology, and its iconoclasm. The second is a focus on developing intellectual challenges to Islam as a means of persuasion, a tradition dating back to the ascetic missionary translator Henry Martyn (1781–1812), the model for Brontë’s St John Rivers. Remembered in the evangelical tradition as a scholar-saint, Martyn traveled around engaging in religious dialogue with Muslim scholars in North India and the Middle East, where he died a lonely death in 1812 at age thirty-one. The third is a sharpened geo-religious triumphalism in which Islam emerges as the world’s greatest contender for global religious hegemony. The “double vision” of missionary rhetoric, in which other cultures and other religions are simultaneously defamed and praised, set off a celebrated debate in the wake of Canon Isaac Taylor’s address to the Wolverhampton Church Congress in 1887. An orientalist scholar, Taylor suggested not only that missionaries should concede the admirable qualities of Islam, “the second greatest religion in history”, but should in some parts of the world actually promote the spread of Islam. Taylor challenged two different aspects of Christian universalism, its claim to exclusive truth and its racial comprehensiveness. The black people of Africa, he argued, are below white Europeans in the scale of civilization, and would therefore benefit at this stage in their history from adherence to the second greatest religion. This flare-up of enlightenment racism in mission circles sent mission apologists for both the SPG and the CMS scrambling to refute Taylor on both grounds, and demonstrates once again the limits that Christianity placed on racist rhetoric in the late nineteenth century. Montgomery falls into this tradition of persuading an audience tempted to admire Islam of the inherent deficiencies of that religion, which he attributes to unspecified moral deficiencies displayed by the Prophet. He promotes the persistent delusion, widely shared in the missionary world of the nineteenth century, that the fate of Christianity in the Islamic world depended upon the outcome of formal disputations between Muslim apologists and Christian

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missionaries in the one part of the world where such disputes were common in the nineteenth century, that is, British-ruled north India.10 In Montgomery’s discussion of the uncivilized or subject peoples of the world the conflict between missionary universalism and imperialist racism generates out and out contradictions in his argument, a “double vision” simultaneously defamatory and exalting which presumably he did not notice and which presumably went unnoticed by those readers who shared his cognitive dissonance. On the one hand there is the now venerable missionary task of persuading a public assumed to be racist that the lower races share with us a common humanity that will ultimately be transformed into a multiracial Christian commonwealth, in the next world if not this one. Africa he classifies as populated by “virile races possessing enormous vitality, and increasing in numbers”, and in South Africa the native races “are among the finest in the world.”11 In West Africa “the race that has always ‘served’ has given the only coloured bishops to the Church of England and her daughter Churches.”12 The “Red Indians” of North America are even more advanced than the Negro, and the Aborigines of Australia have fine qualities, are kind to children and dogs, never torture captives, and have encouraging intellectual qualities. Although he does not mention it, Montgomery is writing in the shadow of the controversy concerning Bishop Crowther, the Anglican Bishop of the Niger Delta from 1864 who was stripped of his authority in the 1880s amidst charges of racial discrimination which were only reinforced when he was replaced by a white bishop. The Crowther affair is usually treated as evidence of the growth of racialist feeling in missionary circles in the late nineteenth century. It was in fact complicated by theological factors, notably the ascendancy in the Church Missionary Society of new forms of perfectionism associated with the Keswick Convention in Britain, but there was certainly plenty of racism to go around in mission circles. The difficulty for people such as Montgomery was to find ways to justify racial hierarchies in mission institutions in Africa, despite the rhetorical commitment, and in some cases the very real commitment, to foster an indigenous, self-governing, genuinely African church. For geo-religious strategists like Montgomery, the problem was complicated even further by Islam’s formal commitment to racial equality in parts of black Africa, a characteristic that Montgomery takes the trouble to praise. Racial hierarchy in mission institutions was a fact of life, however, and had to be justified in some way without resorting to essentialist biological racism. Montgomery falls back on an old-fashioned but tenacious hierarchy of civilizations scheme in which blacks, at an early stage of civilization, require discipline in order to develop the habits of hard work that characterized the Anglo-Saxon races. Blacks were, in short, said to be lazy, and the great danger of Christian institutions is that they would in some way fail to provide

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the discipline needed to make sure that Africans would become the skilled manual workers, gardeners, and farmers, occupations suited to their stage of civilization, rather than the Christian clerks and school teachers (and nurses, although he neglects to mention them) that they aspired to be. Montgomery was not involved in the everyday running of Christian institutions anywhere in Africa, where many missionaries, male and female, were in fact encouraging black people to become Christian clerks, schoolteachers, and nurses. He was instead taking one side in a struggle going on inside those institutions, where some missionaries were attempting mightily to make sure that Africans were not trained above the station in life appropriate to their racial achievements. In this racism and social class were inextricable, for fears that mission institutions would allow excessive upward mobility had a long history, and could be found in mission institutions in Britain and around the world, including India and China where out and out racial hierarchies of the sort invoked in Africa were far more difficult to sustain. Montgomery’s ambivalence about, but ultimate rejection of, scientific racism is far more evident in his teachings about miscegenation, an urgent issue on the mission field and one that would presumably contribute to the goal of a multiracial Christian commonwealth. He is clearly drawn to the arguments of eugenicists who condemned mixed marriages for weakening the globe’s racial stock. For someone so attracted to racialist arguments, he delivers a remarkable homily to those who are “sentimentally . . . against the unions between two very different races.” He concedes that not all particular marriages are wise, drawing an analogy between those of differing social classes. But the existing races of the world, he argues, have come to be what they are by a process of evolution, by constant experiment, largely unconscious as regards the races themselves . . . it is worth remembering that there is no such thing as a pure race on the earth, nor, so far as we know, has the process of evolution ceased. There is no finality in race-building, and it may be that there are surprises in store for Anglo-Saxons . . . Some new race may develop the gift of progress and the vitality needed to become a leader among the nations . . . the foremost nations of to-day may retrograde, giving place to some new combination which may be now in the process of being made . . . Sentiment may be against certain unions between differing races, but there is nothing contrary to nature in it, nothing wrong. In the Church of God there is a place for every race, and for the mixed bloods of any races.13

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I have devoted considerable attention to Barry and Montgomery because they are distinctively British both in their Anglicanism and in their commitment to British imperialism. It is possible to find among British Nonconformists similar enthusiasm for empire, and it is even possible to find it among American Protestants, but it is difficult to find such explicit geo-religious jingoism linked to an explicit if self-contradictory evocation of racial hierarchies. Even in the cases of the most enthusiastic British missionary imperialists such as Barry and Montgomery, though, the logic of missionary universalism prevails when put in direct contest with missionary racism. Montgomery ends his book of advice to the clergy with an appendix of short, pithy retorts to those who object to the foreign missionary enterprise, including one directed against western ethnocentrism: “Missionary enterprise is at once wasteful and impertinent if the Christian religion, instead of being necessary for every child of Adam, is only suited, we will say, to the western world at a particular stage of civilisation.” Another targeted racists: The commission of the Lord includes the entire world. There is no mention in it of the Anglo-Saxon race or of Latin peoples. The apostles had probably never heard of our own race. There is not a hint to limit the possibility that in the end the most perfect fruit of Christian character may be found in the Chinese or the Hindus.14 More important than imperial expansion was a sense that the world was now open, and the possibility of a multiracial Christian commonwealth under the guidance of Christ was now more possible than ever before in history. Among other things, the new sense of confidence and openness, along with the rise of non-western nationalism in the twentieth century, also led to a very gradual (and uneven) waning of defamatory treatments of other peoples in mission rhetoric. A literary secretary of the Church Missionary Society, Sarah Geraldine Stock, wrote a missionary hymn c. 1890, “Let the Song Go Round the Earth,” that captures the missionary spirit of the turn of the century. Many will find it, as many no doubt found it at the time, to be trite or insipid, but it is notable not only for its optimistic universalism but for the absence of defamatory images of Africans, Indians, or the Chinese. Only Islam receives a reference, darkly brooding over home and hearth. Sung with enthusiasm at missionary gatherings, it was later included in the most popular Anglican hymn book, Hymns Ancient and Modern. Let the song go round the earth, Jesus Christ is Lord: Sound His praises, tell His worth,

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Be His Name adored; Every clime and every tongue Join the grand, the glorious song. Let the song go round the earth From the eastern sea, Where the daylight has its birth, Glad, and bright, and free; China’s millions join the strains, Waft them on to India’s plains. Let the song go round the earth! Lands, where Islam’s sway Darkly broods o’er home and hearth, Cast their bonds away; Let His praise from Afric’s shore Rise and swell her wide lands o’er. Let the song go round the earth, Where the summer smiles; Let the notes of holy mirth Break from distant isles; Inland forests, dark and dim, Snow-bound coasts give back the hymn. Let the song go round the earth! Jesus Christ is King! With the story of His worth Let the whole world ring; Him creation all adore Evermore and evermore.15 The depoliticized universalism of mission rhetoric was influenced by imperial expansion in another, less definable way, that would not have been evident in the moderately high churchmanship of Barry and Montgomery, that is the use of millenarian rhetoric in the mission cause. Christian eschatology is subject to an even wider variety of interpretations than ecclesiology, soteriology, and Christology. Millenarian speculation about the end times was generally found among evangelicals with a strong faith in their ability to interpret the Christian scriptures. It was also deeply influenced by the course of events. The early LMS forays into the South Seas, where armchair missionary theorists at home,

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discerning the “signs of the times,” expected missionaries to encounter noble savages eager to become Christians, proceeded amidst various degrees of millenial enthusiasm, echoing the early optimism of seventeenth-century Puritans who thought that the conversion of Native Americans was a herald of the end times. Carey and the Baptist pioneers in India were far more sober about millenial prospects, largely because of a certain grim realism about their ability to topple the mighty edifice of Hinduism. The opening of the world to missionary efforts in the nineteenth century was associated with spasmodic attempts to associate millenial reasoning with missionary expansion, particularly if it could be framed in a way that (1) did not associate the missionary cause with extremist versions of dispensationalism such as could be found among Irvingites and the Brethen, and (2) fit easily into missionary platform rhetoric as a means of stirring up Christian enthusiasm for taking advantage of the opportunities that lay before them. In some ways the mainstream evangelical counterpart to the high church H. H. Montgomery at the turn of the century was Eugene Stock, although Stock was a missionary journalist (as was his sister, author of the hymn cited above) rather than a bishop and worked for the CMS rather than the SPG. Stock’s three-volume history of the CMS published in 1899 (with a fourth volume added in 1916) is a classic of missionary literature, encompassing not merely the narrow history of the CMS but the “life and times” of Britain’s leading evangelical organization in the context of the broader history of missions, ecclesiastical politics, and imperial expansion.16 Like Montgomery, Stock was an unembarrassed enthusiast for British imperial expansion, but he was even more determined than Montgomery to establish the independence of the missionary movement not only from the imperial government, but from the imperial church. The CMS was loyal to the Church of England, but that loyalty extended only so far, and certainly did not extend to infringement of its evangelical prerogatives by colonial bishops such as Montgomery or Barry. Coming from an evangelical milieu where both millenarian and perfectionist theologies were common but not hegemonic, Stock walked a fine line in adopting millenarian enthusiasm to missionary purposes. He accepted that the Second Advent was associated with the “preaching of the gospel to all nations”, but warned that we are not told in Scripture what that phrase means. Stock concluded his volumes by assuring his readers that one thing is certain: “the true way to prepare for the return of the King, and, if it may be, to hasten it, is to proclaim Him as quickly as possible throughout the world.”17 The context for this assertion was the rapid growth of the British missionary enterprise throughout the world. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century the number of CMS missionaries had grown from 250 to nearly 1,000.

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Recruiting men The Church Missionary Society was not the only society to grow rapidly in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. All of the older missionary societies accelerated both recruitment and fundraising, and their efforts were supplemented by the proliferating numbers of new societies. Denominations that had held back from missions either because they were small and lacked resources, or because of theological reservations, began to fall in line by the late nineteenth century. Small denominations with aspirations to be like the larger ones included the Welsh Calvinists, who supported the LMS until establishing their own denominational committee in 1840, the Primitive Methodists, who in 1843 followed the example of the other small Methodist denominations (Free Methodist, Bible Christian) in establishing a committee to minister to their members in the colonies, but in 1869 extended their work to “the heathen,” and the Presbyterian Church of England (1847). The Scottish Episcopal Church forwarded money to American episcopal missions and the SPG, but in 1872 established its own independent mission board. The Strict Baptists overcame their Calvinist scruples about evangelism to establish their own mission society in 1861, and the traditionally quietist but increasingly evangelical Quakers founded three different societies, the Friends Foreign Mission Association (1865), the Friends Syrian Mission (1867), and the Friends Mission to the Zulu Kafirs of Rock Fountain (1879). Even the Roman Catholic Church began to behave like other Victorian denominations with the establishment of the St Joseph’s Foreign Missionary Society at Mill Hill in 1866. Founded by Father Herbert Vaughan, who was from a recusant gentry family of great Catholic devotion, the Mill Hill Fathers combined the cosmopolitanism and the Englishness of the late Victorian Catholic church, whose leaders were dedicated to making the English Catholic Church, and the flood of Irish immigrants who came under their pastoral care, more Catholic and less distinctively English in its devotional patterns.18 Vaughan’s missionary enthusiasm was fostered by his Jesuit education in Belgium and by his training for the priesthood in Rome. He raised funds for the society in South America and the United States as well as England, where a missionary meeting held at St James’ Hall, Piccadilly, was billed as the largest gathering of Roman Catholics in England since the Reformation. The first mission of the Mill Hill Fathers was directed to the education of freed slaves in the American south. Vaughan established preparatory schools for Mill Hill not only in Liverpool but in Rozendaal in the Netherlands and at Brixen and Absam in Austria. English Roman Catholics took their place among other Victorian denominations, outfitted with their own missionary society. The most visible late Victorian mission innovations were the new “faith missions,” portraying themselves as the cutting edge of missionary endeavor,

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applying new methods to missionary recruitment and tactics, and reaching into new missionary constituencies at home. The China Inland Mission (CIM), founded in 1865 by the charismatic missionary entrepreneur J. Hudson Taylor, was the best known, but the faith missions are best understood as part of a broad based late Victorian reaction against the bureaucratic structures that had been laboriously built up by the missionary societies over decades. Although the older missions were beginning to bear fruit, their slow progress in gaining conversions and their cumbersome bureaucratic oversight procedures led to chronic frustration. As a “faith mission,” the CIM sent missionaries out only with a clear understanding that they could not guarantee a regular salary or income, that the mission would not go into debt, that individual missionaries could not solicit funds directly, and that God would provide. Its claim to uniqueness in its reliance on the spirit rather than missionary bureaucracy obviously had a wide appeal, and with good reason. In the end its methods bore a suspicious resemblance to the old established societies that it scorned; like the older societies, the CIM was plagued with institutionalization, racism, and periodic retrenchment. However the rhetoric of “God will provide” struck a chord with a late Victorian public eager for “the evangelization of the world in our generation.” The CIM spawned important emulators including the South Africa General Mission, the North Africa Mission, and the Congo Balalo Mission. With new missions came new periodicals. Even a partial list of regular publications, far from exhaustive, gives a sense of the engine of missionary outreach in the nineteenth century. By 1870 the major missionary societies each had at least one regular periodical for adults, at least one for children, and at least one for women. The SPG, for instance, published The Mission Field for adults, the Gospel Missionary for children, and The Grain of Mustard Seed for women. The new smaller denominations each had their own organs, for example Records of Mission Work (Primitive Methodist), The Friend of Missions (Quakers), and The Olive Branch (Strict Baptists). Major missionary publications directed at women included Indian Women (Church of England Zenana Missionary Society), Quarterly News of Women’s Work (LMS), The Female Missionary Intelligencer (Female Education Society), News of Female Missions (Church of Scotland), The Quarterly Paper (Wesleyan), Our Indian Sisters (Baptist), Women’s Work (Irish Presbyterian), and Our Sisters in Other Lands (Presbyterian Church of England).19 It is tempting to link the growth in missionary recruitment to enthusiasm for global imperial advance, but as we have seen the relationship between missions and imperialism is a complicated one. By the late nineteenth century, the missions were reaping a harvest of decades of investment in the task of making the missionary profession a respectable one that a normal, educated person might find attractive. The drive to normalize the missionary profession

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was fraught with contradictions, for the missions could not, and had no desire to, disassociate missions from heroism entirely, nor could they abandon the notion that a missionary was a person set apart, with a special calling from God. Domestic theological and ecclesiastical changes had an independent role in the promotion of missionary recruitment in the late nineteenth century, apart from the lure of opportunities created by imperial expansion. A wave of evangelical religious enthusiasm swept through Britain in the years 1857–1861, leading to the creation of new institutions such as the Christian Police Association and the Christian Postmen’s Association. One of the consequences was a new emphasis in some evangelical circles upon “sanctification” or “practical holiness,” a deepening of individual spiritual life in the direction of more complete surrender to the spirit of Christ. The new evangelical emphasis upon “practical holiness” was most noticeable among Anglicans, and took a variety of institutional forms in Britain and on the mission field. The Reverend William Pennefather was a prominent Anglican “holiness entrepreneur” who inaugurated an annual conference in 1856 at his parish of Christ Church, Barnet, devoted to the intertwined themes of domestic and foreign missions, speculation about the second coming of Christ, and personal holiness. The most prominent annual holiness gatherings began in 1875 at Keswick in the Lake District, later becoming well known as the Keswick Convention. In that same year the American evangelical Dwight L. Moody toured Britain, and the even more widespread American revivalist campaign which was tinged with a combination of “practical holiness” and activist enthusiasm began to influence a British missionary movement which already had a strong sense of being part of an international Protestant movement. American revivalists placed great emphasis upon the religious recruitment of children, and Pennefather brought in an American specialist in children’s revivalism to inaugurate the Children’s Special Services Mission in 1868, which later spun off organizations such as the Bible and Prayer Union, the Children’s Scripture Union, and the Schoolboys’ Scripture Union. A notable feature of this youth work was the participation of Anglican undergraduates, especially at Cambridge, where the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union was founded in 1877. An important training ground for late Victorian missionaries was the Jesus Lane Sunday School at Cambridge, where working-class children were taught by students at the university. The university and other student associations dealt with the image problem neatly by featuring socially prestigious missionary heroes. In 1884–85 the celebrated “Cambridge Seven” committed their lives to the service of the China Inland Mission. These students were not only all of good family; one of them, Stanley Smith, was the stroke-oar of the university rowing team, and another, C. T. Studd, a member of the University Eleven, was a leading player in a victory over Australia in 1882

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and later became known as the cricketing missionary. The Church Missionary Society responded to this challenge to leadership within the world of evangelical missions with their own Cambridge recruits. Specialized missions were founded with specific university associations, the best known being the Universities Mission to Central Africa, the Cambridge Mission to Delhi, the Oxford Mission to Calcutta, and the (Trinity College) Dublin Mission to Chota Nagpur. The university missions were to a greater or lesser degree in the high church Anglican tradition, and they introduced a new emphasis in Protestant missions: the ideal of the celibate clergyman. Not all High Church missionaries were celibate, but enough were to provide an alternative to the obsessive emphasis on the missionary family in the majority of Protestant mission societies. Another American influence hit Britain in the 1880s in the form of the Student Volunteer Missionary Union (or Student Volunteer Movement [SVM] as it was generally known). Founded in America in 1886 under the auspices of the Moody revival movement, its organizers claimed that within four years 6,200 students had signed a form stating that “It is my purpose, if God permit, to become a foreign missionary.” The Moody campaign specialized in manipulating the emotions of young men and women in large evangelistic gatherings, and those who signed the missionary pledge often failed to follow up, despite expansive claims by the SVM. In 1892 the movement held conferences in Britain associated with the Keswick Convention; by 1895, 832 men and 206 women had signed the missionary pledge. In 1896, 715 student delegates (111 from Cambridge) attended a missions conference in Liverpool that made a deep impression on all who attended. The SVM generated statistics with the same enthusiasm as the delegates prayed for the “evangelization of the world in this generation,” and it is difficult to measure their recruiting influence with much care, but recruit they did. In large assemblies of students, members of the Student Volunteer Movement could be shown examples of university commitment to the mission cause. The Student Volunteer Movement claimed to have persuaded 1,621 students to sign a declaration of intent to be a missionary between 1892 and 1899; 506 were said actually to have sailed.20 With the exception of the SPG, university graduates had always been a small minority of the missionary workforce, and they continued in that status, especially as women came to form a larger and larger majority. But the status of the university graduates became easier to defend as they became more visible in the missions. This was especially important for the CMS, which had always been anxious about appointing a majority of its male missionaries without university degrees. By the 1890s, through a combination of greater selectivity in their selection process and more success at recruiting graduates, they became able to appoint a missionary force more balanced between its own men trained at their Islington Training college and clergymen with university degrees.

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Of the 2,000 CMS male and female missionaries appointed in the nineteenth century, roughly half were appointed between 1880 and 1900. Of the 1,571 men appointed, 400 were graduates (Cambridge 218, Oxford 71, Dublin 57). What is more important is that half of the 400 were appointed in the 1890s.21 The surge of missionary recruitment was linked both to imperial expansion and holiness enthusiasm, but one should not neglect the long-term payoff involved in the building up of missionary institutions, and the hard work that went into creating the missionary as a respectable profession. Student delegates who signed the mission pledge found that mission societies were competing for them, able to fund them, and willing to sustain them in overseas work. The emphasis upon the appointment of graduates should not obscure the fact that the overwhelming majority of missionary recruits were from relatively plebeian if not working-class backgrounds. Even in the Anglican CMS, graduates were not a majority at the turn of the century, and the anxiety that CMS recruits were “not quite gentlemen” continued to plague a society committed to social respectability but serving as an avenue of upward mobility, a back door into the status of gentleman. The documentation of social respectability was not merely a defensive mechanism, though, but a positive rhetorical tool. Potential recruits were being alerted to the possibilities available to them as missionaries. Recruiting women In the high imperial period it became almost impossible to continue to cover up the female nature of the missionary enterprise, largely because of the need to repeat for women what had been done before only for men, that is establish the respectability of the missionary professional. The CMS asserted the growing social respectability of unmarried women recruits because they needed them, and were prepared to use them. The missionary wife continued to be eclipsed in mission rhetoric until well into the twentieth century. In high imperial missionary rhetoric, respectable men were now being joined in the field, not by their wives, but by respectable unmarried women missionaries. Unable to use degrees as a measure of social respectability for women before the turn of the century, the CMS focused on the social respectability of their families. Just as missionary institutions established networks associated with Britain’s religious denominations, they created family networks where missionary endeavor became a family business for women as well as men. Eugene Stock in 1902 proudly listed among recent recruits a niece of Archbishop Peacocke of Dublin, a daughter of Bishop Chadwick of Derry, two nieces of Bishop Stuart, a sister-in-law of Mr J. K. Wingfield Digby, M.P., a niece of Mr S. Gedge, M.P., and two daughters of General Brownlow. The CMS

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home bureaucracy also generated daughters, including the daughters of the CMS Hon. Clerical Secretary Mr Fox, two sisters of the Secretary, Mr D. H. D. Winkinson, a daughter of Dr Waller, late Principal of St John’s Hall Highbury, and a great-granddaughter of Samuel Marsden, “The Apostle of New Zealand.” He then lists the surnames of missionary families who sent sons and daughters to the work, and another list of families where sisters followed their brothers into the field.22 It would be possible to use missionary literature to identify dozens of obscure clerical families such as that of the Rev. J. E. Sampson of York and Barrow, described in the CMS official history as the “ideal leader of a Parochial Missionary Association in a poor district,” and father of four daughters given to mission work in India.23 Women’s secondary schools provided in some respects a substitute for the male degree, and in the twentieth century women too were increasingly graduates. The SPG sent at least 312 unmarried women to work in Delhi or Lahore between 1860 and 1947. Of these, 113 had a secondary education of some kind, including at least five from the prestigious Cheltenham Ladies College and four each from Bedford High School and the Godolphin School.24 In 1842 Bishop Wilson wrote from Calcutta objecting to the appointment of single women being sent out to India on the grounds that it violates the Apostolic maxim that “I suffer not a woman to speak in the Church.”25 At the time he wrote, unmarried women were already at work in Calcutta, recruited locally rather than in Britain. Objections such as his continued to be voiced, but the striking thing about mission history is the extent to which they were simply swept aside in the nineteenth century. By the late nineteenth century the appointment of unmarried missionary women to the missionary profession was uncontroversial except among critics of the entire missionary enterprise, who began to direct their ridicule at women missionaries. The normalization of women’s work occurred in part because of the successful rhetorical assault on the Zenana, but even more importantly because religious work by unmarried women was becoming utterly familiar, not only uncontroversial but laudable, at home in Great Britain. It is a convention of imperial life that the domestic and the foreign are intertwined, and that is nowhere more evident than in the history of the advent of the professional missionary woman. The rhetoric surrounding women missionaries often focused on the Zenana, or on the practice of Purdah, that is the seclusion of both Hindu and Muslim women in the home in India. As a figure of speech, the Zenana had several important rhetorical uses for advocates of missions. Like earlier nineteenthcentury defamatory treatments of India, it provided a justification for western intrusion into the country as a means of protecting the universal rights of women, who were assumed to be treated on a basis of equality in the west. For more narrow missionary purposes, women were judged to be necessary

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for mission work because men cannot enter the Zenana. The same justification was later used for female missionary doctors, that is Indian women will not see a male doctor. The Zenana argument, however, should be seen in context, as part of a larger argument about the utility and indispensability of women in mission work. In the very early nineteenth century white LMS missionaries in South Africa justified their marriages to black women on the grounds of their useful knowledge of African languages. By the mid nineteenth century unmarried male missionaries in India were complaining that there were a range of tasks that could only be done by a woman, either a wife or an unmarried woman. Sometimes they pleaded for wives, but they were also eager to have as partners in the mission station unmarried women, including Indian women. Female tasks were rarely limited to Zenana visitation, but extended from the relatively low level but useful medical treatment that almost all missionaries engaged in to girls’ education. Women argued that they should be sent to India because “our Indian sisters” need us. Male missionaries in India argued for more women because women were useful in building mission institutions. They made the same argument in other parts of the world, where there was no Zenana tradition. Women missionaries concentrated on institutional work even more than men. Barred from ordination, they were less likely to do preaching. As women, they were less likely then men to itinerate in the Livingstonian manner (although women too engaged in itinerant mission work in India). Specialized mission agencies for women first emerged as early as the 1830s in Scotland, and in some ways they were less interested in defending the principle of women’s mission work as in defending the evangelistic character of their institutional work, and fending off accusations that they were primarily designed as a marriage agency for unmarried male missionaries. As early as 1834 the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East, accused of being a “Bachelor’s Aid” society, reassured the public that their employment contracts required repayment of passage and initial funds for missionaries who went to the mission only to marry shortly after arrival.26 The Scottish Society for Promoting Female Education in the East was the first prominent society designed exclusively to send women to the mission field to work with women. Scottish Presbyterians were relatively late in establishing mission societies for men, the Church of Scotland only establishing an official society in 1825. By 1837, however, the established church had created the Church of Scotland Ladies’ Association, followed after a schism by the Free Church of Scotland Ladies’ Association for Female Education in 1843, and the United Presbyterian Zenana Mission in 1847. Like other mission leaders, Father Herbert Vaughan of the Mill Hill Fathers recruited Roman Catholic women; an order known as the Franciscan

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Missionaries of St Joseph first ministered to the needs of men in training at Mill Hill, then became partners in mission work throughout the world. Missionary orders for men and women proliferated in Great Britain and Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most of them were small and did not account for their home and foreign work separately. Their international character makes it very difficult to quantify their work under the category “British.” Missionary statisticians complained that the one thing God did not know was how many new Roman Catholic women’s missionary orders there were. Roman Catholic monastic traditions provided a ready-made institutional tradition and structure for recruiting women. The bureaucratic forms governing Protestant women’s mission work required improvisation, and varied greatly from the independent society run by women to the subordinate women’s auxiliary within the male, denominational mission society. The sociological function of every society was the same, however, that is to provide professional women workers in the building of mission institutions wherever the path was open. William Pennefather’s wife, Catherine, began the informal training of evangelical Anglican women foreign missionaries in 1860 at Christ Church, Barnet. English and Irish Protestant societies followed the Scottish example in the second half of the nineteenth century and put together formal bureaucratic structures for the recruitment and sending of unmarried women, beginning in 1852 with the interdenominational Indian Female Normal School Society (known from 1880 as the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission). The Wesleyan Missionary Society Ladies’ Auxiliary (1859) followed, along with the British Syrian Schools and Bible Mission (1860), the SPG Ladies’ Association (1886), the Baptist Zenana Missionary Society (1868), the Irish Presbyterian Female Association for Promoting Christianity among the Women of the East (1873), the Presbyterian Church of England Women’s Missionary Association (1878), and the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society (CEZMS)(1880). The CEZMS served as a parallel Anglican evangelical society, but that did not prevent the CMS appointing women directly, creating administrative chaos in the mission fields as professional missionary women arrived. Their arrival also created a certain amount of dismay among missionary wives. Having worked alongside of their husbands for decades to see their work ignored in missionary rhetoric, they now confronted unmarried women taking over some of their work as mission institutions expanded, and receiving the credit for what had been underway since the early nineteenth century. In his history of the CMS, Eugene Stock celebrates the arrival of unmarried women with careful attention to statistics, which often have to be qualified with the recurrent phrase: “not counting the wives.”

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In his Centennial Survey of Foreign Missions after the turn of the century, the Rev. James Dennis congratulated a global Protestant missionary movement for becoming 37 percent female, when in 1879 the number of overseas women was, he claimed, “negligible.”27 This is the characteristic erasure of the missionary wife from history. He should have said “invisible” instead of “negligible”, for women were central to the operations of the missionary from the first, and beginning to be dominant by the 1880s. We will return again to the scale of missionary institution building abroad, but for purposes of illustration it is worth taking a look at the scale of female participation in one corner of the British Empire, Amritsar in Punjab. The CMS Secretary there, Robert Clark, eager to rebut critics of the missionary movement who taunted the CMS for their paucity of converts after half a century of work, invoked the “gospel of bricks and mortar.”28 In the city of Amritsar, he pointed out, there was a mission school and branches with 1,100 pupils up to entrance standard of Calcutta and Punjab universities, eighteen female schools under the CEZMS, a medical mission with a branch at Sultanwind, a medical mission for women with two medical/two non-medical ladies, ten Christian assistants, and twenty non-Christian assistants, ladies engaged in Zenana visitation, a Christian congregation with two native clergy, three Sunday schools, a book shop with colporteurs, public mission debates with the Arya Samaj, the Alexandra School for girls with seventy-seven Christian boarding and twelve day students, and a girls’ orphanage with fifty-two inmates. Ten miles to the east in Jandiala, three CEZMS ladies worked with an itinerant catechist, a CMS medical mission outpost at Sathiala 15 miles further out, and two catechists at Uddake. The work at Ajnala, 16 miles to the north, was conducted entirely by three CEZMS ladies and an Indian pastor. At Tarn Taran the mission centered on a leper asylum in the hands of a male missionary, but he was outnumbered by two ladies from the CMS and two Indian catechists. In Majitha, a mission school endowed by a non-Christian Indian enrolled 160 boys and an itinerant catechist. In Batala, 24 miles northeast, a Christian boys’ boarding school enrolled fifty-seven boys, and was staffed by three CEZMS missionaries and an itinerant male missionary who supervised four substations with schools. Further north at Narowal, the two CEZMS missionaries managed Christian institutions while the single male missionary itinerated. Far from being white, male, and middle class, the mission staff was dominated by women and Indians, and this is “not counting the wives.” Where were missionary women recruited? Despite the invocation of good families and good schools, missionary societies continued to depend for their foot soldiers on relatively lower-middle class and plebeian recruits. The relatively haphazard training for men, which was for the most part done at Nonconformist academies and ministerial training schools or their CMS

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equivalents in Islington, was even more haphazard for missionary wives, who largely learned on the job. Unmarried women often learned in parish and chapel at home, and in some ways the high imperial missionary movement is best seen as an overseas extension of new ways of deploying women in the campaign to Christianize rural and urban Britain. Evangelical women headed for work in the CMS or interdenominational evangelical missions could receive training at “The Willows,” a training house associated with the Mildmay Deaconesses Center. For the modest cost of only £55 per year (paid for the most part directly by donors), a young lady could be prepared for a life of service by studying the Bible, foreign languages, bookkeeping, cooking, nursing and bandaging and, if desired, receive more complete nursing training, give out stores, provide for the household, play the harmonium and ride. Most important of all, missionaries in training accompanied the Mildmay Deaconesses into district mission work in London’s slums and hospitals. Missionaries were inveterate institution builders, and by looking at the complex of missions at Mildmay Park in northeast London, one can peer into the vast array of mission institutions built around the British Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Before there was the Keswick Convention, there was the Mildmay Conference in Islington, founded by the holiness and perfectionist activist the Rev. William Pennefather in 1856. The Mildmay Conference Hall opened in 1870 for an annual conference during the last week in June, when evangelical men and women gathered for preaching but primarily for the massed singing of triumphant evangelical hymns such as “Man of Sorrows, what a name!” The institutions that developed around Mildmay were the work of Catherine Pennefather, who had been in charge of an Association of Women Workers since 1856. After her husband’s death in 1873, Catherine took charge of a rapid expansion of institutions dedicated both to home and foreign mission work, feeding workers into institutional complexes, like those near Amritsar, around the world and around Britain’s cities. The Conference Hall remained in use throughout the year for a Men’s Night School, a Widow’s Sewing Class, Meetings for Mothers, Servants, Young Women, Children, and many others, mostly female. Next door was the Deaconess House for fifty Mildmay Deaconesses who fanned out over London for various “missions,” a Probation House for those considering service, and a junior deaconess house for those in training. Adjacent to these was a Nursing House for Mildmay Nurses, who provided nursing in private homes for fees, and also sent nurses to the Doncaster General Infirmary, the Mildmay Home for Cases of Advanced Consumption at Torquay, and the Nursing Institution at Malta. A Memorial Cottage Hospital could be found on the grounds, along with an Illuminating Depot where volunteers illuminated fundraising text cards

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for Christmas and New Year, birthday cards, confirmation cards, and “large general texts.” In the Flower Mission Room, floral displays were dispatched all over London to cheer up the sick and those in hospital. There was of course an Orphanage, a Retirement Home for Mildmay workers, and a Servants’ Registry for working-class women of good character seeking respectable employment. Direct Mildmay missions abroad included the Hebron Medical Mission in Palestine, and nursing missions in Jamaica and Malta. Associated with the parish of St Jude’s, Mildmay Park, these institutions had broken parochial boundaries to become a free-standing complex of evangelical women’s institutions. They supplied women for London’s parishes, though, as well as the network of independent home and foreign mission societies, and throughout Britain in the late nineteenth century the “institutional church” emerged as a center of a vast range of parochial and chapel activities, most of them run by women. These spread across both theological and denominational boundaries, far beyond the world of evangelical Christendom. The high church SPG was associated with the revival of women’s sisterhoods in the nineteenth century, organizations of celibate Protestant women who engaged in religious and philanthropic work throughout the world, and provided a formal model of female celibacy that challenged the primacy of the missionary family. The SPG operated its own deaconess training house in South London, but also drew upon the high church sisterhoods of Portsmouth, Truro, Warminster, and Wantage, where women established the principle of independent female ecclesiastical activism within the most socially conservative sections of the Church of England. Eugene Stock, the official historian of the CMS, complained of the difficulties he faced when he began his work in the 1850s. By the end of the century the scale of parochial machinery in urban parishes could be astonishing.29 At Christ Church, Gipsy Hill, in south London, a separate individual was responsible for soliciting funds sent by the parish to the South American Missionary Society, St Mary’s Southwark Aid Fund, the Religious Tract Society, Moravian Missions, Mission to Seamen, Mission to Lepers, Mission to Deep Sea Fisherman, London Jewish Society, London City Mission, Italian Church Reform Association, Irish Society, Irish Church Missions, the Industrial Society, Dr. Barnardo’s Homes, the Colonial and Continental Church Society, the Church Pastoral Aid Society, the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society, the Church of England Zenana Mission, the Bishop of Sierra Leone’s Fund, and, of course, the Church Missionary Society.30 This was all in addition to the extensive local work carried out by parishioners. The blurring of British and Foreign is evident in the names of missions supported by Christ Church, Gipsy Hill. It is less evident, but even more important, in domestic parochial work, which was linked to the training of

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women for mission work both British and foreign. As the future Bishop Montgomery built up the parochial machinery at St Mark’s Kennington, in South London, the neighboring parish of St John the Divine, Kennington, built an even more extensive network of parochial missions right at his back door. Their Anglo-Catholic vicar had inherited a fortune from his father, an evangelical cloth manufacturer from Huddersfield, and he poured the money in the parochial machinery of Kennington: ten curates (assistant clergymen), twenty-five district visitors, 150 Sunday School visitors, 170 other volunteer workers, one nurse, and eight sisters. St John the Divine in 1900 boasted 2,500 working-class students in its day schools, and 1,500 more in its Sunday Schools, and sponsored a hostel for the dying, a burial guild, a day nursery for working mothers, a penny savings bank, a benefit society, a sanitary committee, a men’s institute, and a registry office for servants.31 The work at St John the Divine bore a distinct resemblance to the work of two high church late Victorian sisterhoods: St Stephen’s Community in Delhi and St Hilda’s Community in Lahore. In the century preceding Indian and Pakistani independence, the SPG sent over 300 unmarried women to Delhi and Lahore, six times the number of male missionaries even when wives and the dozens of European and Eurasian women recruited locally are not included in the statistics. St Stephen’s Community occupied a five-acre compound in the 1890s, where the sisters lived communal lives and went out into the community during the day to do domestic visitation (“Zenana work” as it was called in India), teaching in day schools, and medical care. In addition to boarding schools for Christian girls and day schools for non-Christians, the sisters of St Stephen’s were beginning the medical work that would quickly evolve into the most important hospital for women in India. The sisters in Lahore lived in St Hilda’s Deaconess House in the grounds of the Early English Cathedral on the Mall, where each room was named for a virtue such as Honesty, Truth or Courage. Their parochial work focused on the nominally Christian Eurasian community that worked in the Post Office and the yards near the Cathedral. A new probationary at St Hilda’s, Miss M. V. Durell, found herself assigned to work with the Girls’ Friendly Society, and reported that “in most ways it is very like village parish work at home.”32 Hidden behind the rhetoric of the Zenana was a pattern of parochial work transferred directly from Britain.33 By the 1880s an institutional path was open for educated women with aspirations who wanted to do something to make the world a better place not only at home but abroad. Unlike Jane Eyre, late Victorian women had socially distinguished role models whose lives bore little resemblance to David Livingstone, or to his hapless, alcoholic wife Mary Moffat Livingstone. Held up in CMS literature was the life of Irene Petrie (1864–1897), youngest

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of three daughters of a military officer retired in London. A graduate of Notting Hill Day School, Petrie excelled at the study of history, the guitar, painting, singing, parties, and balls. From the age of 15, however, she had been an enthusiastic member of the St Mary Abbots, Kensington, Missionary Union, and after her mother’s death Irene began to concentrate on parochial work in Kensington and religious charity work in the East End through various charitable groups, locally and in the East End through the National Health Society, the Prison Mission, the Scripture Union, and the Factory Helpers’ Union. Her father encouraged her to devote her life to religious philanthropy rather than marriage, but objected when she received a “call” to be a missionary in 1891. The next year he died, and Irene went directly for a year of training at The Willows, the missionary training arm of the Mildmay Institute, and from there to St Hilda’s Deaconess House in Lahore. Perhaps because of her evangelical leanings, she shifted to the Church Missionary Society and accepted, along with her close friend and constant companion Charlotte Hull, an appointment to the CMS mission schools in Srinigar, Kashmir. An evangelical missionary society, the CMS did not organize monastic-style sisterhoods for unmarried women, but they had to create institutions where women could live together and work together, a new all-female version of “the mission station.” Petrie died of typhoid in 1897, but her sister published a biography that received wide circulation in both Great Britain and the United States, where it was published until the title A Woman’s Life for Kashmir. Her motives are reasonably transparent. She wanted to make the world a better place by building up Christian institutions in non-Christian parts of the world. How many women like Irene Petrie were there?

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Chapter 9

C O N F L I C T A N D C O N S E N S US I N M I S S I O N I N ST I T U T I O N S

Gender, race, and the missionary workforce C A R E F U L C O U N T O F T H E N U M B E R of British missionaries in the late 1880s produced a figure of 3,074 “foreign workers” (i.e. British missionaries working in a foreign country) sent out from Great Britain, not counting the Roman Catholics and not counting the wives.1 The United States reported at the same time 1,942 foreign workers, and 1,054 continental European Protestant missions. Britain’s domination of both American and continental European Protestant missions has been noted earlier (see Appendix, Figure 3) in terms of fundraising, and it is borne out in the statistics of missionaries sent abroad (See Appendix, Table 1). The ratios are distorted, however, by the gender politics of statistical compilation, which is in some ways as interesting and informative as the statistics themselves. Britain’s “lead” over the United States in the international missionary league table was even larger than the statistical evidence would indicate in the 1880s because the Americans had begun to count the wives, although not in a systematic way. The American missionary workforce was described as 57 percent female, the British 36 percent, and the continental 30 percent, but only because the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) had begun to count wives as missionaries. It took several decades before other Protestant missionary societies followed the example of the ABCFM. How many wives were lost in the process of not counting the wives? The only way to estimate is to make an educated guess of the percentage of male missionaries who were married at any given time. From the point of view of a skeptical historian this is a risk, but it is

A

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better than not counting the wives at all, a practice that has distorted the character of the missionary enterprise throughout its history. For American Protestants, the ABCFM did just such an estimate for the first 78 years of its existence, when it sent out 817 men and 1,157 women, of whom 357 were unmarried. That leaves 800 missionary wives for 817 men, which sounds high given our knowledge of the presence of unmarried men in the mission field, but also gives some sense of the normality of marriage, and the ubiquity of the missionary couple, in Protestant missionary circles. In 1889 the ABCFM reported 160 wives and 175 male missionaries, which also sounds high at 90 percent but makes a figure of 80 percent for British missionaries sound relatively safe. To be even safer in setting a lower limit, the extensive statistical exercises that accompanied and followed the 1910 World Missionary Conference of Edinburgh may be consulted. Calculations made from the Harlan P. Beach and Burton St John (eds), World Statistics of Christian Missions published in 1916 in order to take into account the statistical work done before and after the conference, indicate that the number of missionary wives was roughly 60 percent of the number of ordained and unordained British male missionaries.2 That is almost certainly an undercount, particularly since the comparable figure for American missionaries was 79 percent, but it provides a safe lower limit for an estimate of the number of British wives in the late 1880s. If only 60 percent of the 1,945 men reported as British missionaries in 1889 were married, the total British missionary workforce would grow from the just over 3,000 reported (3,074) to over 4,000 (4,232) and the percentage of women (married and unmarried) would grow from a reported 36 percent to an estimated 54 percent, close to the reported American percentage (see Table 1). However the numbers are calculated, two facts are clear. Britain sent more missionaries in the 1880s than any other Protestant country, and the majority of the missionary workforce was female, making it unique among British imperial institutions. The missionary enterprise was not unique among British ecclesiastical institutions, however. At the grassroots level, they were all well known to depend largely upon both paid and volunteer women to conduct their operations. Late Victorian accounts of both public worship and the broader “institutional church” all report a disproportionate participation by women, although the ratio varied by denomination, female participation being slightly larger in Anglican parishes than in Nonconformist chapels. The impact of women as measured by sheer numbers may also be seen in the league tables of missionary societies. It is very difficult to sort out Anglicans from Nonconformists by the 1880s because of the prevalence of interdenominational missions such as the China Inland Mission and the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission, but a look at the top ten societies by total appointments of

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men and unmarried women, and of unmarried women alone, shows the extensive use being made of unmarried women by the Anglican missionary societies, notably the SPG, CMS, CEZMS, SPG Ladies’ Auxiliary, and to some extent the China Inland Mission and the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East, which both recruited Anglican women. By the 1890s the British missionary world was notable for the presence of non-denominational societies—the China Inland Mission, the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission, the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East (FES)—as well as the Salvation Army, which was in the process of turning itself into a fully formed denomination but in its early days recruited its overseas workers of necessity from across denominational boundaries. American mission societies at this time were almost exclusively denominational. By way of contrast, Victorian British missions were noted for their proliferation of both non-denominational and “special interest” societies that collected funds or sent workers to a particular location. Another feature of the recruitment of women was its trans-theological and trans-ecclesiological character, encompassing societies as diverse as the moderately high church SPG, a faith mission such as the China Inland Mission, and the unique Salvation Army, which combined a high degree of egalitarianism in matters of both race and gender with an authoritarian, bureaucratic command structure. Continental mission societies lagged behind both Britain and America in the recruitment of unmarried women, although the three largest societies were the ones that made the most use of women: the Moravians, the Basle Society, and the Rhenish Missionary Society of Barmen, the latter two rooted in the transnational and voluntarist traditions of pietism rather than in an Anglo-American-style denomination. It is not clear if the reported numbers for the Moravians include wives, who were treated as missionaries in Moravian circles earlier than in other societies, but it appears that, by even a very conservative estimate of the number of married ordained missionaries, a majority of Protestant missionaries from the continent were women. If the British missionary movement was a woman’s movement, although structured in a gendered hierarchy, by the 1880s it was also a multiracial movement, although one structured in a racial hierarchy. Race was built into the statistics of missions without embarrassment, for the recruitment of “native” clergy and staff was central to the Protestant missionary aspiration to create a native church for native people, one that was self-supporting, self-governing, and self-extending, as a prelude to the euthanasia of the mission. But how was such a church to emerge from a missionary movement that practiced institution building as a way of life, and that staffed those institutions with white foreigners with superior knowledge and superior skills that formed the justification for their presence in another culture?

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The basis of missionary racism was institutional rather than ideological, rooted in a sense of missionary professionalism. As we have seen, the ideology of racial universalism had a powerful hold on missionary theorists, one that provided a bulwark against scientific and essentialist racism even at a time of their widest appeal. The conflict between Christian universalism and the practical realities of institutionalized hierarchies of race created conflict both insoluble and unavoidable. The drama of that conflict is a central theme of mission history, worked out in everyday encounters between British missionaries and the non-western Christians—and in some cases non-Christians—who were attracted to or compelled by circumstances to become a part of the missionary enterprise, as pastors and Bible women, as day laborers and janitors, as teachers and nurses, as doctors and bishops, as orphans and administrators, and as Christian volunteers of every imaginable kind. Some mission societies rejected ordination in principle. The Friends Foreign Missionary Association, for instance, sternly resisted the practice common among compilers of statistical atlases of missions to place non-ordained men who performed ministerial functions into the category of “ordained.” For the great majority of missions, however, the gendered category of ordination for non-Europeans provided an index of their progress in creating a non-western church. The great mid-Victorian experiment in early ordination was the elevation to the episcopate of Bishop Crowther, who despite the fiasco associated with his retirement and replacement continued to be cited even in the high imperial age as evidence of the church’s good faith. More mundane evidence of the progress of ordination was associated with less celebratory language. It was not that there were no ordinations, or even that there were few ordinations, although there were chronic complaints from non-western Christians about both. It was that ordinations occurred within a hierarchical structure of authority that was highly visible to everyone involved, and that generated discontent among ordained non-western Christians about the gap between universalist rhetoric and an institutional reality based upon racialized hierarchies of what we would now call, quite rightly, white privilege. Although many categories of “native workers” appeared in statistical tables as nothing more than wild guesses, most of the missions attempted to keep a conscientious record of non-western ordinations. The exceptions included those who were skeptical of the value of ordination, or whose ecclesiology left them unable to control ordinations because they were in principle at least in the hands of local congregations of non-western Christians who did not always follow the advice of their white patrons, for example the Baptists. In 1889 British societies reported 1,280 ordained foreign workers overseas and 1,744 ordained “natives,” who were already a majority in the mission enterprise, constituting 58 percent of the total ordained workforce in mission

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institutions. Not every society approached the problem the same way; the Salvation Army, the China Inland Mission, and Friends Foreign Missionary Society, and the Baptist Missionary Society either refused to supply statistics on the basis of their irrelevance, or were unable to supply them. Anglicans generally lagged behind the Nonconformists, and high church Anglicans behind the evangelicals.3 The importance of racial diversity in mission institutions is much clearer when examining reported numbers of “native” staff, for the total non-western workforce of 22,422 reported in 1889 dwarfed the 1,744 ordained nonwesterners. Non-western staff constituted 84 percent of the missionary overseas workforce, a figure that remained fairly consistent throughout the high imperial period (see Table 1). Sorting out the female percentage of the “native” workforce is hopeless at this stage, but the politics of gender exclusion is obviously at work in a powerful way in the collection of statistics. It is highly likely that the non-western workforce, like the “foreign” workforce, was predominantly female, a central feature of missionary history that is obscured not only by the statistical calculations, but by the gendered rhetoric of the missionary enterprise. If the male clerical hero on the Livingstone model dominated the image of the missionary enterprise, the female counterpart was the Friend of the Indian woman, a heroic British woman of irreproachable social class who could do what no man could do, that is enter the seclusion of the Zenana. These contrasting images were equally misleading. Africa was not entirely ignored in the literature of female missions, but the focus was first on India and then on China. Anyone reading the highly readable periodical accounts of women’s work in India in Our Indian Sisters, The Indian Female Evangelist, or The Female Missionary Intelligencer would conclude that the primary activity of women missionaries consisted of visitation in the homes of Indian women who were secluded in Purdah, kept there as uneducated servants of men and breeders of children until the light of the gospel and western learning penetrated the (literal) darkness of the women’s quarters in the person of a female missionary. Missionaries did a considerable amount of Zenana visitation in different parts of India, and its importance is difficult to assess. It was associated with an orientalist barrage of criticism of Indian men, for which missionaries could draw not only on missionary sources but on secular utilitarian and orientalist writings such as those of James Mill. The question of why an Indian man would invite a missionary into the women’s quarters was rarely addressed, since it would bring to light the fact that among certain Hindu and Muslim families in India there was considerable demand for education for women. What is more important is the downplaying of the most important aspect of the mission institutions, which is the role of women, foreign and “native,”

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in building up mission institutions devoted primarily to education, and secondarily to pastoral care. The most significant lost figure in missionary history is the Bible woman.4 These (usually) nameless “natives” were recruited from the ranks of the wives of catechists or evangelists, and from the mission schools for women that proliferated indiscriminately around the globe. The new category of Bible woman, which was virtually universal, was created first to provide work for the catechists’ wives, both to provide additional support for Christian employees but primarily to make use of this valuable labor market in servicing Christian institutions. The model of the Bible woman was partly that of the clergyman’s wife, but even more important was the missionary wife, who as we have seen was very different from a clergyman’s wife, and also the unmarried woman missionary, who provided a model (and in some cases a role model) for the creation of a class of unmarried Bible Women.5 Initially they were used as “district visitors” among Christians, and sometimes among non-Christians, as non-European Christian visitors to the Zenana, or simply to the homes of non-Christian poor people. Bible women assisted in itineration in some places, especially in India, and wherever there were Christian hospitals or dispensaries with in-patients, Bible women were used as scripture readers to comfort the patients in their affliction, and in rare cases to press on them the claims of Christianity, a feature of their work that was stressed in missionary literature despite its rarity in practice. References to institutions for the training of Bible women are found scattered throughout missionary literature. The LMS, for instance, funded Bible Women Training Institutes at different times in Shanghai and Siaokan in China, at Madras, Calcutta (Berhampore), and Attingal in India, and in Madagascar, where women were trained not only as Bible women but as Bible school teachers for the LMS network of elementary schools. In some cases they assumed pastoral charge of a congregation when no catechist was available.6 Occasionally Bible women came to life in missionary literature, with names and photographs supplied in a good faith attempt to put a human face on Christian benevolence, but on the whole it is striking how nameless Bible women remained throughout the colonial period, appearing as “my Bible Women” or “a Bible woman” or “the Bible woman”. Education had been central to the building of Christian institutions since the first days of the missionary movement in the eighteenth century, and missionary wives began schools for girls as part of their natural and normal role as a missionary wife. Missions reported 15,271 day schools in 1889, an almost meaningless statistic except for its use in illustrating the importance of education in the missionary enterprise. The China Inland Mission, consistent with its anti-institutional faith mission approach, proudly reported no schools at all in the 1880s, as did the Salvation Army, but as we shall see missionaries

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from these societies became educators and institution builders just like the other missions in one form or another. In 1916 all Protestant missions reported more than 100,000 “native staff” working for missions worldwide, 42,880 of them (see Table 1) associated with British missions.7 However imprecise the number, it reflects the very large growth of non-western people, not all of them Christian, who were employed by Christian institutions. Beyond the numbers of “staff” was a penumbra of non-western people associated in various ways with Christian institutions, as students. At the peak of its foreign influence in the early twentieth century, the most important dimension of mission “influence” lay in its institutions, and the hundreds of thousands of people associated with them not only as “staff,” but as “individuals under instruction” in mission schools (1,973,816), “individuals treated in dispensaries and hospitals” (3,107,755), “Sunday School teachers and pupils” (1,777,443), and “Communicants, Baptized Non-Communicants, and Others Under Christian Instruction” (5,145,236).8 These gross figures give some sense of the scale of mission institution building, and the centrality of non-western participation. The missionary movement was not only multiracial, but heavily non-white. Henry Venn devoted his later years to lamenting the dependency of nonwestern Christians on the missionary, and in many mission stations this remained the case. In other parts of the world by the early twentieth century the foreign missionary staff had been simply overrun by non-western employees and others associated with the missions. By the 1880s the overseas work of the missions took a shape that would continue more or less until the end of the formal British Empire after World War II. The overseas workforce was dominated by white, ordained males from Britain, and professionally trained unmarried women teachers and administrators, but the mission workforce was overwhelmingly female and non-white. From the 1880s until the great depression of the 1930s, and the advent of war in China, mission institutions expanded globally. As mission institutions expanded, so did their critics inside and outside the missionary enterprise. Breaking away: the revolt against institution building The missionary enterprise was and is replete with contradictions and unintended consequences. From the beginnings of voluntarist missionary efforts in the eighteenth century to the present, men and women with voluntarist aspirations created institutions to fund a missionary enterprise that built institutions, not of the people, but for the people. The result was a kind of new confessionalism, not based on the parish and school, but on the mission station, school, and hospital. These institutions inevitably generated suspicion that the missionary

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enterprise had become a means of supporting a class of privileged persons, the missionary and missionary wife, who undermined the aspirations of missionary workers and donors at home, and lived privileged lives in contrast to the non-white people they were supposed to serve. Every missionary society suffered from controversy and conflict over what were essentially institutional issues, but a particularly bitter fight erupted among the Wesleyan Methodists in the 1880s, reaching the point where the Wesleyan Missionary Society felt obliged to hold hearings and publish the various printed reports that were hurled at opposing sides.9 The critics of missionaries targeted what they regarded as a mistaken policy initiated by Alexander Duff upon his arrival in Calcutta in 1830, that is his well-known strategy of undermining Brahminism by promoting missionary-sponsored English education. The critics fundamentally misunderstood Duff’s educational strategy, believing it to be an innovation, when Duff in fact was a clever missionary rhetorician providing a new justification for the building of schools which had been going on since Carey set foot in India in the 1790s. The critics were not wrong, however, to focus on the inefficiency of institution building as a contrast to the avowed goal of converting India as a nation to Christianity. It had, they rightly observed, failed to turn the Brahmins to Christianity. Like most critics of missionary educational policy, they had little clear view of an alternative to building schools of some sort. Educational policy was controversial, but even missionaries who were skeptical of education normally ended up building schools of some kind. The real focus of this controversy, and the reason it generated such bitterness, was the charge that missionaries were living in luxury abroad. The published reports and hearings are full of somewhat pointless arguments about whether missionaries did or did not receive £300 and a bungalow, how much it cost to have servants in India, how much it cost to keep a carriage, etc. Missionaries did in fact live decent lives in India at least, well above the level of many of Methodism’s workingclass and lower-middle-class contributors. Missionaries responded that they were making sacrifices by living in India, that their lives were not luxurious by any reasonable standard, and that it was ridiculous to suggest, as some critics did, that missionaries should live ascetic lives on the level of Indian fakirs and holy men, and that only then would Indians be persuaded to become Christians. On this point they were no doubt correct, but that did not prevent critics of missionary luxury from continuing to suggest such a strategy, which appears in this debate to be the only alternative to living as Wesleyan ministers and missionary wives and building up Christian institutions in India. More serious than moralism about luxurious living was the suggestion that missionaries were exercising undue power in relationship to Indian Christians,

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and were living in a way that we would now describe as an exercise of white privilege. Critics implied that the shared missionary goal of a multiracial Christian commonwealth, eventually generating a non-white Christian church that would be self-sustaining, self-governing, and self-extending, was undermined by the “subtle temptation of their social environment”, that is the temptation to live as if they were imperialists rather than missionaries. Missionaries were attacked in Wesleyan hearings for becoming like other British residents of India who as a class . . . represent a military despotism . . . and are by their very relation to the natives the last person in the world to understand either the natives themselves or those who regard the natives not as subject races, but as the redeemed and beloved of God.10 One of the most persistent and widely read critics of the missionary movement from the inside, the CMS lay supporter Robert Cust, extended his criticism to the institution of the mission station: missionaries accustomed to command natives, become very dogmatic, and desirous to have their own way; thus a Mission ceases to be a model of Apostolic zeal, and self denial, and becomes a hot-bed of jealousy; small men contending bitterly with each other for the exercise of a feeble power.11 Like most debates about the proper role of missionaries, this was a debate about imperialism, and whether missionaries were or were not imperialists. To the accusation of privilege was added the accusation of racism on the part of missionaries, and this in turn became a debate about the inferior status of Indian Christian ministers, and their subjection to missionary control and missionary rule. Cust could be a flag-waving Anglo-Saxon racist himself on some occasions, but when criticizing missionaries he attributed the slow progress of missions towards the Vennite principles of self-government to an un-Christian sense of racial superiority on their part: That pride of race, which prompts a white man to regard coloured people as inferior to himself, is strongly ingrained in most men’s mind, and must be wholly eradicated by the Grace of God, before he will ever win the hearts and souls of the Heathen.12 On this point even the aggrieved missionaries, or at least some of them, were willing to admit that there was a problem, and that more must be done to

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establish brotherly relations with non-white Christians. Throughout mission history, from the days when Dr. Van der Kemp took an African wife and began going without a hat, some missionaries, male and female, grew frustrated themselves with the confines of the mission bungalow, mission station, or mission compound, and moved out, attempting to live either with the “natives” or as a “native.” Some were theologically liberal, and committed themselves to social activism on behalf of the people. Most were evangelical voluntarists who wanted to demonstrate their genuine sympathy with non-western peoples by living like them. They were very different from imperialist impersonators such as Richard Burton (or Kipling’s Kim) who lived like Indians in order to fool Indians. When the Reverend Theodore Pennell, for instance, bicycled across north India dressed as an Indian holy man, living on alms, he was not trying to fool anyone.13 Missionaries who went native did not want to fool non-western people so much as demonstrate their sympathy, to reach across the imperial gulf created by the building of mission institutions, and the gap in income and prestige that lay between missionaries and their spiritual equals. Abandoning the mission station usually meant abandoning the missionary family, the fundamental institution of the missionary enterprise, and critics of missions routinely attributed its failure to the presence of wives and children on the mission field. An inveterate reader of annual reports, Cust ridiculed the frequently encountered assertion that the presence of a missionary family had an intrinsic Christian influence: In another report I read, that white children are an object-lesson of Christianity: In my hearing the present Bishop of Calcutta at a Meeting in London stated, that the exhibition of a white Baby was favourable to Conversion: as a matter of surprise, the exhibition of a spaniel, or a ferret, would have had more effect.14 In attacking the missionary family, though, mission critics were hard pressed to offer alternatives unless they were high church Anglicans. The overwhelming majority of missionaries in the major missionary societies drew the line at abandoning marriage, or living lives of extreme poverty, and defended their married lifestyle as consistent with the standards of missionary professionalism that had been established in the nineteenth century. They rejected accusations of racism and imperialist pride, but nonetheless promised to do better to establish sympathetic relations with their non-white coworkers and non-white people generally. They took refuge in the spiritual and social utility of the institutions that they were building, and the majority of missionary donors in Britain must have accepted their arguments, for the money continued to flow and institutions continued to be built.

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As an evangelical Anglican who believed that the best missionary was a man, unencumbered by wife and children, Cust was unable to even see the experiments in alternatives to the missionary family that were going on around him. The mainstream missionary societies remained committed to the missionary family, but at the very time that Cust was writing they were sending out increasing numbers of unmarried women missionaries. High church Anglicans capitalized on the disquiet over the missionary family by sending celibate communities of unmarried men and women to India, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific: among others, the Cambridge Mission to Delhi, the Oxford Mission to Calcutta, and the Cowley Fathers’ mission to South Africa. Although they claimed they would be more effective because unmarried, the brothers of the high church missions specialized in institution building, especially the building of schools, and their missions were notable for their lack of success in recruiting Christian converts. In evangelical circles critics of missionary institution building hoped instead to send out missionary men and women, married and unmarried, who would live mobile lives of evangelism, following David Livingstone’s model of itineration rather than William Carey’s model of building a mission station. Missionary professionalism was in their view a hindrance to the gospel, but they advocated, not the abandonment of Christian marriage, but the abandonment of any expectation of a regular salary for the missionary family. Hudson Taylor’s highly successful China Inland Mission was the model for these “faith missions,” sometimes called Matthew X missions after the words attributed to Jesus in calling on his followers to wander around preaching the gospel without any visible means of support, with “neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves,” depending on hearers and supporters for voluntary support. No mission could operate on those principles, but the rhetorical appeal of the “faith mission” was rooted in the reality of widespread frustration with mission bureaucracy and institution maintenance. Hudson Taylor had arrived in China as a missionary with the short-lived Chinese Evangelization Society. Frustrated both with mission bureaucracy and his status as a foreigner, he soon began wearing his hair in a pigtail and adopting Chinese dress. Abandoning his allegedly inefficient mission station, he began to live simply and address his requests for financial support directly to God. Returning to England, he launched the China Inland Mission based on what he regarded as revolutionary principles of complete dependence on God for financial support, no educational requirements for missionaries, and the wearing of Chinese dress. The China Inland Mission grew rapidly, with nearly 300 missionaries (a majority of them women) by the mid 1880s, and 650 by the mid 1890s. Missionaries were spread throughout China in hopes of evangelizing every

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province. This required funds, and Taylor devoted most of his time and effort to promoting the CIM worldwide, to creating a council in London to support the CIM and then fighting with it, and devising ways to promote fundraising without appealing directly for funds. The CIM was serious about an uneducated ministry, and serious about requiring its missionaries to go native, but mission stations required mission bungalows, and mission children required mission schools for them, as did the Chinese converts to Christianity associated with the CIM. Studies of the CIM on the ground have demonstrated that although their strategy was different than other missions, it required a large central bureaucracy and stable mission stations and schools in China.15 The appeal of the CIM lay in part in its evocation of simple living and sacrifice in contrast to missionary professionalism and luxury. The attempt to go native by wearing Chinese dress was also an implicit critique of the imperial dimensions of missions. During the Boxer Rebellion dozens of CIM missionaries were killed. Along with the SPG, but few other major missionary societies, the CIM at Taylor’s insistence refused compensation from the Chinese government, which was being used by the mainstream British societies to fund a rapid expansion of Christian higher education. The China Inland Mission, and subsequent imitators like C. T. Studd’s World Evangelization Crusade, could not escape the need to build mission institutions, but they were nonetheless different from the established missionary societies, and were able to tap into new social strata in recruiting idealists who might fall below the educational standard expected in denominational societies. The CIM’s attempt to bypass the structures of missionary professionalism had a counterpart in India, and other countries, in the Salvation Army. Founded as an attempt to take Britain’s slums by storm, through direct action rather than through the patient, behind-the-scenes work being done by Anglican parishes and Nonconformist mission halls, the Salvation Army began to adopt methods similar to the CIM in its foreign mission operations. The advent of the Salvation Army in India around the turn of the century was itself a sustained critique of the imperial dimensions of the missionary presence. Salvation Army missionaries were recruited to an unprecedented degree directly from the working class. The Salvation Army was not democratic, but it was egalitarian, and women were given prominent leadership roles from the very first. The Salvation Army not only made efficient use of women workers, but of Indian workers as well. From the very first the Salvation Army was not only officially anti-racist, as all the missionary societies were, but more antiracist in practice than other missionary societies, recruiting Indian men and women into positions as officers. They used their affirmative action policies as a recruiting tool, and as a badge of their superiority over other missionary societies. There was even an African-American salvation army missionary in

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Punjab, Zulu John, a lion tamer by profession, who had been converted by the Salvation Army in the East End of London, enrolled as a missionary, sent out to India, given an Indian name and a turban, and sent out barefooted into the villages for evangelistic work. Salvationist missionaries, men and women, adopted Indian-style dress and Indian names. Coalminers from the West Midlands, and clerk-typists from London, were put into dhoti, a light Salvationist jacket, shoulder cloth and turban for men and saris for women and sent out into the villages with names like Fakir Singh. Rejecting the trickle-down elitism of the major missionary societies, the Salvation Army concentrated on untouchable villagers, and grew very rapidly in the early twentieth century. But the Salvation Army had no more success than the China Inland Mission in escaping altogether the imperial associations that bedeviled the entire missionary enterprise. In some ways, they made it worse, for in their flight from the evils of racial separation and gendered hierarchies, the Salvation Army ran directly into the arms of the imperial government of India. Salvationist leaders were highly sensitive to the ways in which material and racial inequality could undercut their egalitarian spiritual message, but they appeared to have a blank spot in their brains where politics belongs. The growth of the Salvation Army coincided with a policy of the imperial government of rounding up certain groups designated under the Criminal Tribes Acts of 1871 and 1911 as “criminal castes and tribes,” and putting them in reservations, that is, prisons, concentration camps for entire communities. The Salvation Army, known for its grand schemes of social reconstruction through rural labor camps, saw an opportunity to make itself useful to the government of India and show that it could reform criminals through the methods known as “crimino-curology.” By the 1920s they were supervising dozens of criminal settlements in India as well as South Africa. The China Inland Mission and the Salvation Army represent two distinctive attempts to create a new kind of mission, one not mired in bureaucracy and professionalism. Both succeeded in creating a new kind of mission, one that appealed to new constituencies in recruiting foreign missionaries, but the fundamental dilemma of the missionary enterprise remained. When mission societies recruited Europeans to go to non-European countries to spread Christianity, some form of bureaucratic structure at home had to be created to sustain them, and some form of institutional structure abroad had to be created for work to be done. Furthermore, despite their genuine anti-racism, as they understood it, and their attempts to demonstrate sympathy and good faith by experiments in “going native,” foreign missionaries remained in a privileged position by virtue of their superior knowledge, accomplishments, and wealth. Whether in a new mission or an old mission, the relationship

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between a foreign missionary and a non-western Christian, or non-Christian mission employee, remained fundamentally and irreversibly ambivalent. It oversimplifies and distorts the history of missions to portray missionaries either as cultural imperialists attempting to impose European standards on the natives, or as friends of humanity bringing the benefits of the gospel to people in need. All relationships in the world of missions stood somewhere on a spectrum stretching from one of those extremes to the other. There are competing stories about Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, but we continue to return to those stories because they are representative of thousands of less prominent conflicts between missionaries and non-western Christians. In the very year that Golak Nath challenged the sincerity of missionaries at the Lahore Missionary Conference, the CMS attempted to demonstrate the sincerity of their commitment to an indigenous, non-western church by having Crowther consecrated as Bishop of “Western Africa beyond the limits of our dominions.” Crowther was to be an African bishop of an African church, a goal simplified by the unwillingness of white CMS missionaries in Nigeria to serve under him. The history of his episcopate can only be called a success, but new missionaries coming to Nigeria in the 1870s and 1880s didn’t see it that way. As the nonwestern staff in mission institutions grew to 22,422 worldwide in the 1880s, missionaries became more anxious about the quality of Christianity among their staff. Under fire for unspiritual ambition and luxurious living themselves, missionaries began to turn those criticisms against non-western Christians in positions of authority, particularly those who depended on the patronage of Bishop Crowther and his relatives. The result was a tragedy, as missionary critics persuaded a badly divided CMS home committee to strip Crowther of more and more authority, dismissed his son from the mission, and eventually drove the churches of the Niger Delta to the brink of schism. Crowther suffered a stroke in 1891 and then died, to be replaced by a white bishop.16 Critics of CMS policy treated this as straightforward racism, naturally enough. A member of the Afrophile minority on the CMS home committee, Robert Cust, treated this as an example of Egoism and Albocracy . . . We do not hear of white men going out as assistant Bishops: the difference of treatment is only skindeep, and the reason only extends to the skin. As regards Africa we have had a Negro-Bishop for a generation, a good man, and he died beloved: there were competent men to succeed him; one a member of the council of the Governor at Lagos, two Archdeacons on the Niger; why were they passed over, except from feelings of un-Christian contempt of so-called inferior races, just as a Pagan Roman of the time of Trajan would have passed over a Gaul, or a Briton, as something below contempt? 17

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On a smaller and less spectacular scale, similar conflicts could be found throughout mission institutions, with widely differing outcomes. The Crowther affair is not so much an example of growing racism in the nineteenth century, or even of the importance of new theological emphases within the churches, as it was an example of a conflict built into the structure of mission institutions, in which missionary professionals debated among themselves what it meant to be a professional, and what kind of professional authority they had the right to exercise under changing circumstances. Cust was not the only CMS supporter who was horrified by the actions taken against Crowther, and some missionaries in the field regarded their own colleagues as racists who failed to distinguish between Europeanizing and Christianizing Africans. In 1911 CMS missionaries in Nigeria officially acknowledged their own faults, implicitly apologizing for the campaign against Crowther.18 These same debates occurred among African Christian leaders, some of whom sided with the high-minded missionary reforms. Defenders of Crowther created a new Independent Delta Pastorate under the leadership of Bishop James “Holy” Johnson, which to the consternation of the CMS began to thrive on a self-supporting basis, and was later lured back into a connection with the CMS on the basis of a constitution guaranteeing its independence. Other African church leaders worked patiently under missionary tutelage waiting for the day when they would run the church, a day which duly came after decades of glacial progress. In his study of the CMS in the Yoruba land to the west of the Niger Delta, John Peel has found a body of CMS catechists, inferior clergymen, who spread the Christian story with a high sense of mission, and who produced in their mandatory missionary journals “the first works of the modern Yoruba intelligentsia.”19 Africanist cultural nationalism grew out of Christian rhetoric and Christian institutions in Nigeria, where the Anglican church today is the largest in the world (depending on how you count). The revolt against bricks and mortar took a neo-voluntarist turn with the new mission societies and an indigenous, anti-western turn in the struggles over control of mission institutions. Other crises of missionary institutions pointed not to the way professionalism undermined spirituality, or paternalism thwarted the growth of an indigenous church, but to the evident inefficiency of mission institutions when judged against the pattern of Christian conversions. The fact that some people were more receptive to the Christian message than others, and that some people took up Christianity and made use of it for their own ends, was not ignored in the nineteenth century, but mission theorists had very little in the way of an explanation for those conversions, other than references to providence and the Holy Spirit. Defenders of the universal institutional strategy responded to queries about a lack of converts by claiming

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that they were following the commands of God to evangelize the world, and that He would see to its conversion in his own good time. As churches continued to grow in some parts of the world but not others, the critics became more insistent, especially in India, where the “mass movements” of low-caste peoples to Christianity had been evident since the eighteenth century. These large-scale conversions were mysterious to missionaries, and only welcomed by some of them. The dominant theory of church growth was one of stratified diffusion, that is convert the Brahmins and others with influence and Christian influence will trickle down to those below. Christian institutions of higher education in India and China were operated explicitly on that theory. In a widely read article in the missionary journal East and West in 1907, the Bishop of Madras, Henry Whitehead, pointed out the sheer inefficiency of the Anglican church’s policy of bricks and mortar. His own dioceses boasted 35,000 converts in 30 years, mostly the outcome of rural low-caste mass movements; during the same period the sixty-eight missionaries, mostly in institutions of education and higher education in Calcutta, Cawnpore, Delhi and Poona, together had seen fewer than 1,000 converts. Despite this well-known disparity, “we persist in spreading our best energies year after year in preaching the gospel to people who show no readiness to accept it.”20 For a bishop of the Anglican Church to complain about the building of Christian institutions might seem an inherent contradiction. In 1907 another Anglican missionary, Roland Allen, resigned his position as an SPG missionary in China, and devoted the rest of his life to anti-imperialist jeremiads against the structures of the missionary enterprise. His Missionary Methods: St Paul’s or Ours? (1912) was widely noted, as were Allen’s subsequent books, but it was difficult to know how to act on his recommendations, based as they were on an abandonment of mission institutions on the grounds that they were intrinsic barriers to the growth of Christianity. In Allen’s moralistic view, St Paul had wandered around preaching without building any institutions, without training any clergy, without opening any schools, and without exercising any undue authority over the (presumably) indigenous churches that he founded. Whitehead’s argument led in a different direction, to a question of deployment, and in it were the seeds of an alternative mission strategy that did not involve the immolation of the mission bungalow, mission station, and catechist’s training school. Whitehead argued that missions should follow the lead of converts, who were becoming Christians for their own good reasons, and deploy missionaries in areas of church growth. This insight was later given a boost by the highly influential study of Indian conversion movements by the American Methodist missionary pastor J. Waskom Pickett. In his Christian Mass Movements in India (1933), summarizing his observations from years of work as a pastor, evangelist, and mission newspaper editor, Pickett laid out

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the theory of “group conversions” among people who have an incentive to become Christian. That incentive varied; what was important about Pickett’s argument is that he shifted the debate about strategy from theology to sociology, looking at the social dynamics of group conversion. Pickett’s arguments were as controversial as the almost entirely negative criticisms of Roland Allen, but for different reasons. The logic of Pickett’s argument led to a shift away from the evangelical and voluntarist notion of conversion as an individualistic inner drama. Unlike Allen, Picket provided some practical advice about how to recognize Christian growth and further it. He assumed that the missionary presence might actually further group conversions rather than hamper them, as Allen asserted. Coming at the height of the missionary passion for institution building, Pickett provided a way forward in mission strategy for the looming post-colonial age, one that was later taken up in the writings of the evangelical “church growth” school. His views, though, however much they might point the way to future changes, were coming at a time when global missionary institution building reached its peak.

Chapter 10

E C C L E S I A ST I C A L S PR AW L The triumph of bricks and mortar

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Mission institutions before World War II 1901 and 1938 represent an extraordinary attempt to conduct a comprehensive census of the global Protestant missionary movement based on the best available returns from the missionary societies themselves, who were asked to put their data in systematic form.1 The missiological statistician with primary responsibility for deciding these categories was Harlan P. Beach, an American Board of Commissioners (Congregationalist) missionary to China who later became a staff person for the global Student Volunteer Movement. In keeping with the traditions of the ABCFM, Beach was committed to the counting of wives as missionaries. He was also keenly interested in race, largely because of his determination to chart the growth of non-white Christianity and the progress of devolution and the euthanasia of the white missions in the non-white world. He was less interested in the national origins of white missionaries, largely out of his sense of participation in a unified global Protestant missionary effort. His statistical tables are sufficiently thorough and detailed that they may be reorganized in order to answer questions that Beach ignored (see Table 1 in the Appendix). British and American missionary literature of the turn of the century celebrated a rapid growth in the number of missionaries sent abroad, and an even more rapid growth in the number of women, and they were right.2 Between the late 1880s and the eve of World War I, the number of British men abroad had grown by 72 percent, and the number of unmarried women by 168 percent. The British overseas workforce in 1914 (reported in 1916) included 3,264 men, ordained and unordained, and 4,429 women,

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married and unmarried (Table 1). Or, to put it another way, the British foreign missionary workforce was 58 percent female on the eve of World War I, out of a total British overseas missionary workforce of 7,693. Even more striking is the continued growth of the missionary workforce despite the disruptions of the Great War. In the public mind British missionary work is associated with the mid and late Victorian periods, but the interwar period saw both the maximum geographical expansion of the British Empire, and the deployment of the greatest number of British missionaries abroad. Growth in the number of men, however, had virtually stopped. From the eve of the Great War until the mid 1920s, British missionary societies added 1,000 employees to their overseas workforce, and the growth was entirely female. The number of women, married and unmarried, grew from 4,429 to 5,352, and the number of missionaries from 7,693 to 8,699. Despite this growth, British missions had been overtaken by the Americans both in terms of fundraising and recruitment even before the war. The income reported by missionary societies is inadequate as evidence of the total resources put into missions, but it is a useful index of comparative effort and interest. In 1916, of the roughly $39 million reported in mission society income, the United States accounted for 46 percent and Great Britain for 34 percent.3 Of the roughly 22,600 Protestant missionaries sent abroad in 1916, the United States accounted for 43 percent, Great Britain 34 percent, and continental Europe 14 percent. Ten years later North American missions had added over 4,000 missionaries to Great Britain’s 1,000, and accounted for 50 percent of the missionary workforce to just over 30 percent for Britain. What is notable about British missions in the 1920s is not the relative decline so much as the institutional resilience of the missionary movement in the wake of war and post-war economic depression. Victorian missions institutions sailed on into the twentieth century, as oblivious of man-made catastrophe in the form of global war as they had been of the Boxer Rebellion of 1899 and the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Despite being increasingly overshadowed by the United States, the British missionary societies continued to supply the second largest number of Protestant foreign missionaries throughout the twentieth century. The war of course disrupted mission operations, and drew some missionaries into military chaplaincies. The third largest Protestant missionary country, Germany, found its work thoroughly disrupted, and taken over by British or American missions in parts of Africa and India. The SPG assumed some German mission work in India (Chota Nagpur), and American Lutherans assumed most of the work of the Leipzig Mission in Tanganyika. In south-west Africa, however, the Rheinische Gesellschaft continued with support from British Protestant missions, who generally followed policies of attempting to sustain

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German missionary work wherever possible. International Protestant solidarity had been a feature of the British missionary enterprise since the eighteenth century, and it survived the hatreds of the Great War.4 The global Protestant missionary workforce was not evenly distributed either by national origin, field of work, or gender. The relative strength of British and American missions was to some extent complementary, with Americans dominating the missionary workforce in Latin America, the West Indies, and East Asia (especially in Japan and Korea). British missionaries exceeded American missionaries in South Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific (see Figure 5 in the Appendix). By the mid 1920s, American missionaries overtook the British even in South Asia, although Britain continued to dominate Sub-Saharan Africa. In other words, these two Protestant superpowers sent missionaries to areas of traditional imperial domination, following the principles of the Monroe Doctrine in one case and the contours of the British Empire in the other. A closer look, however, complicates the picture, and discloses the consequences of the rhetoric of global universalism in Anglo-American Protestant missions. Both countries placed a heavy emphasis upon India and China. America’s East Asian dominance is largely a result of work in Korea and Japan, while both nations placed a heavy emphasis on reaching China, where there were 2,222 British missionaries on the eve of World War I compared to 2,862 American. In British India, a part of the world very far from America’s informal and formal imperial ambitions, American missionaries were almost as prominent as British, with 2,105 and 2,328 respectively. In 1925, with 31 percent of the global Protestant workforce, Britain supplied a larger than average percentage of the workforce in South Asia, the West Indies, Africa and the Islamic World. North American missionaries, with 50 percent of the global total, supplied an above average percentage in Latin America, East Asia, the Islamic World, and the West Indies. Of all British missionaries on the eve of World War I, 35 percent were sent to South Asia and 31 percent to East Asia; only 19 percent to Africa. The war saw a slight shift away from South Asia and the Middle East, mainly on the part of men, and a growth in mission work by men and women in Africa. But the main outlines of missionary investment remained the same: over 60 percent of missionaries went to South Asia and East Asia, mainly India and China (see Beach, World Missionary Atlas, 1925). The first three decades of the twentieth century represent the high water mark of British missionary investment in India and China. Speaking in the broadest terms, these numbers reflect the autonomy of the history of the British missionary enterprise. It is related to the history of the British Empire, but also shaped by the rhetoric of providential Christian universalism. Missionary history is also related to the history of Christianity generally in the twentieth

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century, but it is also distinct from that history, characterized by explosive growth in both missionary and non-missionary churches in Africa and Latin America. Missionary investment in China and India reflected nineteenth-century preoccupations with institutional expansion, guided by a sense of God’s providential work in the world that was judged opportunistically. God’s hand was seen in the work of imperial expansion only insofar as that expansion opened the way for Christian expansion. Missionaries understood that the victims of British and western imperialism were likely to associate them with foreign military conquest and cultural domination, but their own view of history was firmly rooted in the notion of a providential march of history toward a global Christian commonwealth. The killing of missionaries because they were foreign agents could be dismissed as a misunderstanding, or a temporary setback, or a contribution to the noble army of martyrs stretching back to the early days of Christianity. This “double vision,” as missionaries embraced imperial expansion insofar as it promoted the mission enterprise and simultaneously denied that they were imperial agents, created a blindness among missionaries to their own imperial entanglements, an inevitable result of the promiscuous opportunism with which they pursued openings for their work. It also created a strong sense of ultimate triumph that missionaries invoked when asked to account for their lack of success. The nature of the Indian and Chinese mission fields strengthened the confessional, that is institutional, rather than the voluntarist, that is evangelistic, aspects of missionary work, a contrast which took new forms in the nineteenth century. Missionaries who came out of the voluntarist traditions of evangelical Nonconformist missionaries turned out to be just as active in the pursuit of the gospel of bricks and mortar as missionaries from the established churches of Scotland and England. Instead of a parish church with a minister who might also conduct a school, the ubiquitous goal of SPG missions in the eighteenth century, Victorian missionaries of all denominations created mission stations with schools, dispensaries, and training schools for non-western Christians. The gospel of bricks and mortar set off an equal but opposite reaction against institutionalism, which took various forms: outbursts of domestic criticism of the missionary lifestyle, attempts by missionaries in the field to leave mission institutions and “go native” in order to put themselves on the same level as their converts and potential converts, and most important in the long run, the emergence of new faith missions such as the China Inland Mission, committed to rapid Christian expansion without, they claimed, the impediments of schools and dispensaries. Despite bitter controversy and the emergence of entirely new antiinstitutional missionary societies, the most important fact about early twentiethcentury missions was the omnipresence of institution building. India and

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China were recognized as great civilizations. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Confucians would only be attracted to Christianity if Christian institutions in their countries could rival indigenous institutions in sophistication. A visible architectural presence was important, along with a visible body of distinguished converts. A collection of untouchables or other marginal agriculturists huddling in a mud hut was not the mainstream missionary ideal in China or India. The three great battering rams that were to be used against the ancient nonChristian religions were, in chronological order, education, the deployment of unmarried women with access to Indian and Chinese women, and the dispensing of western-style medical care under Christian auspices. Each strategy was meant to generate a body of elite non-western Christians who would provide leadership for a growing non-western church. Each was based on an evangelistic theory of stratified diffusion, that is recruit from the elite, and subordinates would fall in line behind their influence. Each strategy was controversial, but the critics were largely swept aside until the providential doors opened in the nineteenth century were slammed shut by the (from a missionary point of view) political and military disasters of the mid twentieth century. Although unmarried women missionaries became more important everywhere in the world, they were specifically recruited for work in India and China, the largest mission fields, and in the Islamic world, where the three Victorian battering rams were even more essential given the complete inability of the missions to attract significant numbers of Muslims to Christianity. On the eve of World War I, 58 percent of the British missionary workforce was female, but the percentage was 67 percent in the Islamic world, 62 percent in South Asia, and 60 percent in East Asia (see Figure 6). By the mid 1920s the missionary workforce had become even more female, even in Africa, which had a female majority for the first time. The major investment remained India and China, areas where along with the Islamic world women dominated the missionary movement thoroughly. In the Islamic world, as in parts of India such as Punjab with a large Muslim presence, women exceeded two-thirds of the missionary workforce. The female presence was notable in different ways in medical work, especially in India. In 1916 there were more than 1,000 Protestant medical missionaries at work around the world, concentrated in China and India and some parts of Africa. Missionary statisticians produced an extraordinary range of medical statistics, including patients visited, hospital beds, etc., (Protestant missions claimed 4,788,258 individual patients, and 146,333 minor operations, in 1925 alone5) which varied so wildly from year to year and field to field that they are of very little use even in making regional comparisons. The best index of

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missionary medical effort is the number of British medical personnel sent abroad by the missionary societies. Roughly 300 of the physicians were women, who were under-represented in comparison to men in China but constituted a majority of foreign physicians in India. In British India there were 68 British female physicians to 61 male. This was at a time when, by one estimate, there were only 60 unmarried career doctors practicing in England.6 There was very little growth in the number of physicians, male or female, during the course of the war, but the number of nurses grew rapidly, from 537 to 1,007 globally for all Protestant missions. Recruitment of British male physicians fell off during this period, and the recruitment of female physicians was sustained only in India, where the number grew from 66 to 97. There were nearly three times as many British female missionary physicians in India as British male physicians. The 1920s marked the high tide of British medical missionary institution building in China and India. In Africa, the total number of medical personnel including nurses grew from 67 to 111, but there were only three female physicians deployed on the entire continent. Here again, though, the growth in medical personnel was female, accounted for almost entirely by nurses. The medical missionary institution-building juggernaut proceeded with remarkably little controversy given how little there was in the way of associated evangelism. Doctors and nurses claimed their work was inherently evangelistic, and even the more extreme evangelical critics of institution building were familiar with the healing exercises of Jesus, who founded no schools and certainly no institutions of higher learning. Missionary educationalists were routinely pressed to explain why there were so few conversions from missionary schools, while doctors and nurses were generally left alone even though they could account for even fewer converts. The important fact about medical and educational institutions is that they were at the heart of the missionary enterprise that reached its greatest extent in the 1920s, and the missionaries of all sorts continued to build institutions in almost every possible setting, although the kinds of institutions varied in different parts of the world. We can see by the deployment of missionary personnel that the battle for the hearts and minds of India and China was the most important missionary task, and that missionary institutions were the chosen instruments of God’s providence in this struggle. As important as medical institutions, but far more controversial, were Christian colleges and universities, 101 of them in 1925 located almost entirely in India (37), China (24), and Japan (12), with 20,583 men and 2,233 women enrolled.7 What the Protestant churches did in Great Britain and the United States, they did in India and China, a natural outgrowth of their commitment to the building of Christian institutions, but one that laid bare many of the imperial contradictions of missionary institution building.

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In India, undergraduate colleges providing arts degrees were associated primarily with one denomination, although some were “union” institutions with several missionary societies contributing. The union college was the rule in China, not only in arts and sciences but in theological and medical education. Of the leading undergraduate Christian union colleges in China founded before the 1920s (I am using interwar western transliteration), American missions cooperated with each other in the maintenance of Canton Christian College, Gingling College for Women, and the University of Nanking, and British and American societies cooperated in Fukien Christian University (CMS), Shantung Christian University (BMS), West China Union University, (CMS), Yenching College (LMS), and what would later become known as Peking University (LMS).8 In 1931 A.D. Lindsay, the Master of Balliol College, Oxford, headed a commission to examine the much-studied Christian College of India. A.D. Lindsay’s own personal life in some ways paralleled the history of Christian education in India and China. His father had been principal of the United Free Church College in Glasgow. A high-flier in the world of scholarship and academic administration in Great Britain, Lindsay never lost his Liberal Protestant commitment to shaping educational institutions in ways that serve the public. Liberal Protestantism often appears in a secular guise in the modern world, and the religious underpinning of Liberal Protestantism is easy to miss. It is clear, however, from Lindsay’s Report on Christian Higher Education in India that the supporters of India’s mission colleges regarded them as performing a distinctively Christian mission. They were simultaneously creating the conditions for a successful and eventually independent India by spreading scientific and other useful knowledge, and serving the Indian Christian community both with educational opportunities and by increasing its prestige.9 Of the twenty-eight undergraduate colleges considered by the commission, twenty-three were sponsored by British missions (fourteen by Church of England missions) and ten by American missions. Two of the most prestigious colleges, Wilson College, Bombay, and Madras Christian College, received some support from American missions but were primarily British foundations, and the most prestigious college of all, St Stephen’s, Delhi, was a project of the moderately high church Anglican Cambridge Mission to Delhi. The rhetorical task of defending Christian colleges to a home audience contributing to the conversion of India was heightened by the fact that the colleges were largely non-Christian, in that a majority of the Indian teaching staff was non-Christian and the student body overwhelmingly non-Christian. To make things worse (or better), the government of India (like the nationalist government of China in the 1920s) had imposed on mission colleges and schools a conscience clause prohibiting the practice of mandatory Christian or Bible teaching. Furthermore,

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two-thirds of the funding of these colleges came from student fees and government grants, with the remainder from donations in Britain and North America. Enrollment in the six Indian women’s colleges was very small, and their student bodies predominantly Christian, but they were facing pressure to enroll non-Christian students. Isabella Thorburn College at Lucknow and Kinnaird College at Lahore were turning away students, raising debates about how to maintain their Christian character, and there was also pressure on the only two medical colleges for women in India, the Women’s Christian Medical College at Ludhiana and the Union Missionary Medical School for Women in Vellore. With women’s higher education, though, the numbers were less important than the strategic location of Christian institutions. In India as in China and Japan, they were pioneers, and seen to be in the forefront of modernity. The report of the Lindsay Commission, while acknowledging the contradictions in Christian higher education in a non-Christian country, was unapologetic in its defense of Christian colleges. It was to serve the nation of India, which was itself defined as a Christian duty. This was a social gospel of liberal Protestantism in an imperial context, and it is worth reading the report’s explanation of the purposes of Christian higher education in India in order to understand the mentality of British missions at its peak: To give the students who come to them a sound education, to open their minds to the opportunities of service which are all about them, and through contact with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to inspire them with the spirit which will enable them to render that service effectively; to furnish leaders for the Christian Community, which in its growing numbers and enlarging influence is becoming a factor of increasing importance in India’s national life; and through the studies of its scholars into the baffling problems—economic, social, and religious—which cry out for solution, to lay a firm basis on sound knowledge for wise action: this is to do for India what India most needs.10 The same theme of Christian nation building runs through the mission statements of the major Chinese Christian Colleges. Canton Christian College was devoted to the “Education of Chinese youth in a thorough manner under Christian influence and discipline” with the ultimate goal the “spiritual and moral regeneration of China.” Fukien Christian University hoped “to aid the youth of China to acquire a literary, scientific and professional education,” while the University of Nanking hoped “to provide educational advantages for the children of our Christian constituencies, and to promote higher education

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in China and Christian influences in harmony with the Word of God.”11 Serving the Chinese nation with the best possible higher education provided in a Christian setting, and serving the Christian community in China, were the elements of building the Kingdom of God at a time when the character of the Republic of China was in the balance. Social Christianity The gospel of bricks and mortar was taken in new directions in both China and India by two British missionaries of very different social backgrounds: Timothy Richard and C. F. Andrews. Although both missionaries went beyond the mainstream of the high imperial missionary movement, there is a logic in their arguments that is rooted in the institutional presence of missions. The same logic may be found in a more moderate form in the platform rhetoric of the great age of internationalist missionary conciliarism: the famous Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910, the World Conference on Faith and Order at Lausanne in 1927, the Second World Missionary Conference at Jerusalem in 1928, the World Conference on Faith and Order in Edinburgh in 1937, the Third World Missionary Conference at Tambaram, India, in 1938, and ultimately in the formation of the World Council of Churches in 1948. In institutional terms, social Christianity (using the term in its broadest possible sense as the liberal Protestant commitment to spreading Christian values through social reform) and the missionary contribution to the modern Protestant ecumenical movement were elaborations on and interpretations of the foreign institutional presence of the missionary enterprise. Caught up in the evangelical enthusiasm of the Welsh revivals of the late 1850s, Timothy Richard was baptized by immersion at the age of twelve. A classic case of Nonconformist upward mobility through the institutions of the Baptist denomination and the missionary enterprise, Richard became first a schoolmaster, then a theological student at a Baptist college, and finally a missionary as the BMS shipped him off to China at the age of twenty-five. Inspired at first by a vision of converting China’s millions one by one, he rapidly became convinced that China needed a massive institutional transformation and that Christian institutions were essential to China’s future. In Richard’s geo-religious triumphalism, the fate of both Christianity and China would be determined by the ability of the missionary movement to align Christianity with the currents of history, and therefore bring China under Christian influence in its inevitable march to modernity and national independence. Richard politicized the missionary movement in response to the anti-foreign and antiChristian aspects of late nineteenth-century Chinese nationalism. Converting individuals should be left to Chinese Christians; converting the elite was the

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special historical role of Christian missionaries, who were bringing the benefits of modern science to China along with the blessing of Christianity. The BMS Committee, finding Richard’s views a bit too advanced, but not condemning them, agreed in 1891 to allow him to become the Secretary to the Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge among the Chinese. In that position Richard became an influential propagandist for a convergence of interests between Christianity, modernity, and Chinese nationalism. The anti-foreign riots of 1891, he explained patiently to BMS supporters at home, were temporary ill effects of intercourse between China and the West [whereby] foreign nations have greatly profited by trade with China, while China in comparison gained little . . . seeing their wealth going abroad, primitive industries failing, her people steeped deeper and deeper in the opium vice, while her teeming millions struggle in vain for the bare necessaries of life, many leaders are roused with indignation and desperation . . . it somewhat resembles the riots of the mechanics of earlier days against machinery in England. Missionaries are especially hated because of their power with the masses, and because they feel that to become Christians is to begin to become entirely under the control and arts of foreign nations. The Chinese must be taught, he argued, that “international intercourse may bring incalculable benefits to them as well as some injuries . . . when rightly used.” The Chinese have “a great dread of the evils of Christianity and Christian civilisation, and almost the complete ignorance of the benefits of these . . . the specific cure for that is . . . enlightenment.”12 Hoping to capture the mind of the Chinese elite, Richard used the Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge to publish his proChristian, pro-reform views. Just as missionaries in India came to regard the Rebellion of 1857 as a minor setback in the grand scheme of things, Richard interpreted the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the century as just another misunderstanding which must not deter Christian work in China. Combating what he regarded as misunderstandings in Britain as well as China, he urged British Baptists to resist the despair that might come from reading accounts of the torture and murder of Baptist missionaries and their children. As soon as order is restored, all the machinery for the progress of China in all departments will at once be set in motion . . . Believing as we do, in this and in the providence of God, which overrules all things, even massacres and

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wars, for the promotion of the highest interest of mankind, we must take courage and continue our work of enlightenment with greater vigour than ever, as the dawn of New China is at hand.13 This extraordinary self-confidence in the face of missionaries being beaten to death involved a certain sleight-of-hand about how order was to be restored, that is by foreign military intervention. Richard’s aspiration to create a Christian university in every province was actually furthered by the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion, as missionaries (amidst strong criticism internally and externally) took compensation money exacted from the authorities to build the new Christian university of Shansi (Shanxi), with Richard as Chancellor. His hopes appeared vindicated with the triumph of the Chinese Republic in 1911, which generated nearly millenarian enthusiasm among those who hoped to see China move in a Christian direction. Richard died in 1919, unable to see whether history would move in the direction he anticipated. In India as in China, some missionaries responded to the advent of the national movement, particularly after the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885, with new theological ways of discerning the direction of history. In 1904 C. F. Andrews joined the teaching staff of St Stephen’s College, Delhi, the mission college of the Cambridge Mission to Delhi (CMD). Moderately high church Anglicans, the clergymen of the CMD came from a social world miles away from that of a 12-year-old Welsh boy who was baptized in the open air. Founded under the influence of the biblical scholar B. F. Westcott, the CMD had been committed from its foundation to a “synthesis of East and West” in its institutions in India, hoping to recreate not only the Christian academic atmosphere of Cambridge, but the intellectual excitement of second-century Alexandria where the church fathers Clement and Origen had synthesized Christianity with the best of Greek thought. Eager to discern the “Signs of the Times,” that is evidence of God’s work in the world, the Cambridge Brothers identified that work with British rule in India, although as missionaries they recognized the ultimately ephemeral nature of the British Empire and the need to create religious institutions that would survive its inevitable decline and fall. Shortly after his arrival in Delhi in 1879, G. A. Lefroy, future Bishop of Lahore, put it succinctly when he observed that “I believe that our position as the ruling power puts a dead weight on the missionary enterprise which nothing but the direct grace of God can possibly enable us to lift.”14 It was not the grace of God that Lefroy resorted to, but the establishment by the Cambridge Mission of St Stephen’s College, Delhi. The Cambridge Brothers hoped to foster the emergence of an Indian Christian elite that would be fit to guide the nation after the British Empire met its decline, even if that decline was projected into an indefinite

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future. Andrews fell in with this Christian institutional missionary work, having been trained not only with a Cambridge degree but with several years of work with the Pembroke College Mission in South London. Andrews, though, began to discern the signs of the times in a different way from his colleagues, particularly after some bruising battles inside St Stephen’s over missionary objections to the appointment of an Indian Christian head. These battles along racial lines were endemic in Christian institutions in India, but for Andrews they called into question the alignment of the missionary movement in India in relationship to the direction of history, which he rapidly came to believe was to be embodied in nascent Indian nationalism that would lead to a New India. Attending the Indian National Congress in 1906, Andrews discerned the work of God there rather than at St Stephen’s College, and began to judge missionary institutions in their relationship to Indian nationalism: It is easy to take a superficial view and call the whole movement secular, yet I cannot see how this can be maintained by anyone who holds intelligently the faith of the Incarnation, and who believes that Jesus is the Son of Man. If the Christian nations are faithful to high principles, and the Christian messengers make clear their message, then it may come to pass that, amid the shaking of the nations of the East, we shall see the Son of Man coming in His glory, and before this generation pass away shall welcome one of the days of the Son of Man.15 In political and theological terms, Andrews was moving to the left, but his theory of missions was thoroughly rooted in the practice of the conservative members of the Cambridge Brotherhood. For them, missions were a matter of service and dialog with Indians, with whom westerners were to cooperate in building up improving Christian institutions in India. Andrews found himself dissatisfied with the Indian Christian church, which contained too few leaders who could exert an indigenous Christian influence on the national movement. To Andrews, existing missionary institutions appeared in 1908 to be heading not toward the great triumph of a Christian India, but toward a historical cul-de-sac, relegated to marginality by the triumph of the national movement. A marginal Christian presence was not Andrews’ goal. Like Richard, Andrews maintained his high hopes for a Christian nation. Unlike Richard, he found Christ at work not in the existing Christian institutions, but in the work of the Indian National Congress itself. He finally concluded that the missionary movement was “out of keeping with the character of Christ himself and . . . unworthy of his name.” Christ was to be found, instead, in the work of Gandhi.16

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Andrews came from a moderately high church academic background, Richard from the artisanal and lower-middle-class culture of evangelical Nonconformity. Both became geo-religious missionary strategists, hoping to infuse the main currents of national life in China and India with Christian ideals. A similar aspiration for Christian influence on Islam became the mission of W. H. T. Gairdner, the son of a professor of medicine at Edinburgh University drawn to mission work in the Islamic world through his involvement with the evangelical subculture of the Student Christian Movement at Oxford. From 1899 to 1928 Gairdner served as a CMS missionary in Cairo, building up Christian institutions there and acting increasingly as a defender of Islamic culture to Christians in the missionary movement in the west, while attempting to build up a synthesis of Christianity and Islam that would be reflected in a new, hybrid form of Egyptian Christianity. Although evangelical rather than high church, Gairdner’s aspirations paralleled those of the Cambridge Mission to Delhi associated with the SPG; his journal Orient and Occident was meant to serve the same purpose as the SPG’s East and West, that is provide a forum for discussion of the development of a truly indigenous Christianity in the Islamic world that would be in some way congruent with Islamic culture. With Richard, Andrews, and Gairdner the defamatory rhetoric of the early nineteenth century began to wane in mission circles, although elements of it never went away. Richard was deeply concerned to persuade western Christians that the atrocities of the Boxer Rebellion were not in any way a reflection of any intrinsic evil in Chinese culture. Andrews was at first appalled when actually confronting Hindu idolatry upon his arrival in India in 1904, but he quickly recognized that the missionary and social reformist tradition of singling out aspects of Hindu culture that were most offensive to westerners had produced a distorted image of India in the west. In 1914 he wrote to Rabindranath Tagore confessing his shame at “how insolent and vain I was when I first came to India ten years ago, coming to teach instead of to learn and writing and speaking at first in the evil patronizing way.”17 Gairdner’s The Reproach of Islam, first published in 1909 and widely read during the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910, went through several editions before the title was changed in 1920 to The Rebuke of Islam in order to make it clear that it was a critique of the Western treatment of Islam rather than a contribution to a defamatory assault which extended in some cases in the nineteenth century to attacks on the character of the Prophet.18 Gairdner saw himself as a mediator between Christianity and Islam, not only presenting Islam in a favorable light to western Christians, but attempting to develop an indigenous Arabic version of Christianity through Arabic-language Christian drama, Arabic-style commentaries on the Christian Bible, and the adaptation of Arabic lyrics to Christian hymn tunes.

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The new conciliarism Richard, Andrews, and Gairdner were far from alone in their view that the missionary movement would provide the institutional basis for an emanation of Christian influence throughout the world in the twentieth century. These geo-religious hopes animated the proceedings of the first great twentiethcentury World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh in 1910. This was not the first international missionary conference by any means, and in some ways resembled those held in Liverpool in 1860, London in 1888, and New York in 1900, as well as the Decennial Missionary Conference at Madras in 1902, the Centenary Mission Conference at Shanghai in 1907, and the world Pan-Anglican Mission Congress of 1908 which preceded the Fifth Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops worldwide. But “Edinburgh 1910” also looked forward to a new era of missionary-based trans-denominational Christian conciliarism, in which the councils of the missionary enterprise were no longer merely representing the missionary societies that funded them, but speaking for a new global Protestant church with aspirations to shape the history of the twentieth century in decisive ways. Gairdner attended the World Missionary Conference, and was given a sabbatical by the CMS to write an interpretive history that would explain its significance to the general public. The platform rhetoric and published reports of the conference anticipate the language of the International Missionary Conference at Jerusalem in 1928, and Madras in 1938, 19 both organized and sustained by an international bureaucracy dedicated to providing a unified voice of the international missionary movement in the search for solutions for global social and political problems. The leading lights of global mission bureaucracy were J. H. Oldham, an Anglican layman and former missionary to India, and John R. Mott, an Iowa Methodist and global ecumenical pioneer who later received the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to public policy. Primary organizers of Edinburgh 1910, Oldham and Mott worked to create permanent institutions to carry on its work. Oldham became the first editor in 1912 of the International Review of Missions, and in 1921 Oldham and Mott founded the International Missionary Council to provide a public voice for the missionary movement, and organize the international missionary councils of 1928 and 1938. The work of the three major councils, and the International Missionary Council, is often and rightly treated as part of the history of the ecumenical movement leading up to the creation of the World Council of Churches in 1948. The missionary councils though have their own significance as the voice of a particular phase in the history of missions, imperialism, and Christianity, speaking for a particular kind of missionary investment overseas that coincided

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with the peak of British imperial control in the world. The interests of the missionary societies and the British government were never identical, but they often coincided, and in each generation the relationship had to be reinterpreted, often with resort to considerable euphemism. Gairdner was assigned the task of first interpreter of the Edinburgh Conference, publishing his “Edinburgh 1910.” An Account and Interpretation of the World Missionary Conference only a few weeks after its conclusion. He was not the least bit shy about the rhetorical purposes of his volume, which was to make sure that the missionary public and the general public alike understood the significance of Edinburgh 1910. The international Protestant missionary movement was treated explicitly as a new kind of global church, with a home base rooted in the fragmented churches of the Protestant world and an overseas base that was to be the germ of a new, united global Christianity, encompassing not only the many fragmented branches of Protestantism but ultimately, he hoped, the Orthodox churches and even the Roman Catholic church. Gairdner faced the additional task of papering over the many conflicts within missionary bureaucracies, between evangelical soul savers and the liberal social Christianity advocates, between evangelists and institution builders, between the white males who dominated this conference as they dominated all mission institutions and the non-western Christians who provided the most persuasive evidence of the success of the enterprise. As for women, who appear in the official photograph of the assembled delegates as a small but visible minority, and as a majority of those who were viewing from the galleries, Gairdner mentioned them not at all. One could read his entire account without realizing that the missionary enterprise was a majority female enterprise. Edinburgh 1910 exhibited the same geo-religious triumphalism that characterized the missionary enterprise from the days of Carey. The Christian church was on the march harvesting not only souls, but entire civilizations, especially those of India, China, and Islam. The conquest of Africa for Christianity was justified, just as it had been in the nineteenth century by Robert Moffat and David Livingstone, as a means of heading off the advance of Islam. Gairdner himself lived in the heart of Islam, hoping to penetrate the hitherto impenetrable. The new rise of nationalism in China and India, and even in Africa (as “Ethiopianism”) was treated as a hopeful sign, especially in East Asia, for if the ascendant non-western national powers could be Christianized, then the world could be turned in a Christian direction. Gairdner made much of Japan’s victory over Russia in 1905: “The tide of western advance and domination, which had seemed more like an unchangeable phenomenon of nature than a resultant of human actions and states, was checked, rolled suddenly back.”20

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The almost total absence of Christians from the Indian national movement lamented by C. F. Andrews was ignored by Gairdner, although hopes for a Christian India were by this time somewhat muted. It was China, though, that stirred the highest hopes: “To Christianise the national life of China! Would not that, more than any one other thing, mean the conquest of the world for Christ?”21 Hopes for the Christianization of the world meant far more than a world that was the sum of its Christian individuals. Hearkening back to Carey’s dream of a world devoted to peace and devoid of error, Gairdner rhapsodized over the prospects of a new world civilization under the leadership of non-western Christian nations: Might it not well be, that Japan with her traditional nonaggressiveness, China with her Confucian contempt for war, and India with her tradition of potent passivity, might when Christianised teach the West the supreme Christian lesson it has never been able to learn, in taking their mighty stand upon the principle that henceforth world-evolution should proceed humanly, and competition itself, freed from its nature-tradition of cruelty, become just one aspect of human cooperation!22 This transcended the missionary narrative of anti-conquest, becoming a selfreproachful reverse imperial conquest of the world by nations whose righteousness exceeded those of the imperial nations of the west. The vision of Edinburgh 1910 masked the bitter conflicts between conversionists and diffusionists, between evangelists and educators. All were part of a mighty Christian advance. Gairdner did note disagreements on educational policy, but came down firmly on the side of Christian education as a tool of Christianization, endorsing the views of George Miller, the veteran head of Madras Christian College, who believed firmly in stratified diffusion of Christian values among the upper castes in India. Christianity would remain a foreign religion, he argued, as long as it was a religion of the “lower castes or outcastes.” Madras Christian College was creating a class of educated Indians who would be morally fit to lead an independent India. In its treatment of non-Christian religions, Edinburgh 1910 reflected the realities of the mission fields in the waning of the importance of defamation. Hardly a word was said against Hinduism or Confucianism or even Islam in an explicit way, although the “Animists” of the backward portions of the world continued to come in for criticism, especially in relation to the apparently ineradicable trope of cannibalism. Gairdner admitted that the defamatory treatment of non-Christian religions was simply impractical, rhetorically counterproductive, as missionaries in China and India had long recognized,

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but he went even further in the direction of “fulfillment theology,” urging his readers to recognize the truth that may be found in non-Christian religions, scolding Christians with characteristic, mild missionary moralism for not seeing truth where it might be found: since the Church of Christ itself is partially involved in mists of unbelief, failing aspiration, imperfect realisation, this quest of hers among the non-Christian religions, this discovery of their “broken lights” may be to her the discovery of facets of her own truth, forgotten or half forgotten.23 There is an explicit defamatory assumption in a movement committed to the “conquest” of other civilizations, of course, but if explicit defamatory treatment of other cultures is rare in the proceedings of Edinburgh 1910, explicit racism is virtually nonexistent. Of anything that could be labelled “scientific racism” there is no hint whatsoever. The older racism of a hierarchy of civilizations does appear openly in discussions of education in Africa, where it could hardly be avoided, since the contrast between the massive missionary investment in India, China, and the Middle East on the one hand and its almost total absence in Sub-Saharan Africa could hardly be ignored. Gairdner reaches for the conventional wisdom, referring to the difficulty in balancing the “literary” and the “industrial” elements in education, for the “former without the latter tends utterly to spoil the Negro, while an industrial without a literary education wholly fails to develop the whole man.”24 Gairdner immediately warns his readers, though, that nationalism is the wave of the future in Africa as well as Asia, and that the missionary task of providing a new generation of non-western leaders schooled in the moral values of Christianity is just as important for the African as for the Asian. In the 1790s Carey had been an isolated voice, soon to be dismissed by Sydney Smith as one of the “little detachments of maniacs” infesting the British Empire. Edinburgh 1910 reveled in its success at attracting the patronage and attention of people of influence, although the fundamental judgment of governments, imperial and non-imperial, remained the same as it was in the days of Carey. Were Christian missionaries allowed to operate, or not? The government of China was defended from charges that it hampered missionary work, while the colonial government of Great Britain was accused outright of promoting the interests of Islam in Nigeria and Egypt. Mentions of the three great social evils of the opium trade, the liquor trade, and forced labor brought angry responses from the audience, but they were mollified considerably by the readings of letters from the King, from the German Colonial Office, and from recently defeated President Theodore Roosevelt. All three

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praised the missionary movement, not for making people Christian, but for being a wholesome influence in the world with their Christian work and promotion of world peace. Gairdner ignored women, and papered over the endemic controversies over Christian higher education by endorsing Christian schools as central tools in the extension of Christian influence. On the issue of race, however, Gairdner allowed the fault lines of the missionary enterprise to appear in the text in his account of the address to the conference by V. S. Azariah, an Indian delegate. There has been some dispute of how important Azariah’s address actually was at the conference, although there is no doubt that it became famous in missionary history afterwards, and that was in part Gairdner’s doing. Delegates to the conference, selected according to the amount of money raised by the respective missionary societies, were overwhelmingly white. Missionary institutions were overwhelmingly non-white. In British missions alone, the 7,693 British foreign missionaries posted overseas on the eve of the Great War were dwarfed by 42,880 “native staff,” 85 percent of the missionary workforce. Non-western staff grew in tandem with the growth of white missionaries, accounting for roughly 84 percent of the British mission workforce in 1889 and 85 percent in 1916 (see Table 1). The number of ordained nonwesterners showed exactly the same pattern, accounting for 59 percent of the British mission workforce in 1916 compared to 58 percent in 1889. Despite non-white numerical domination of mission institutions, non-white delegates accounted for a mere handful, but Gairdner anticipated the future rhetorical path of Protestant missionary conciliarism by featuring Azariah. Gairdner’s treatment of Azariah was not merely celebratory, however, for he used it to acknowledge the ongoing conflict in all mission institutions between missionaries who were committed in principle to the creation of a self-governing, non-white, independent church, and the non-white mission staff who confronted the hypocrisy of white privilege in mission institutions. Azariah echoed Golak Nath’s address to the Lahore Mission Conference in 1863, appealing for sympathy and friendship across the lines of race and empire even while suggesting the difficulties involved in that aspiration. The multiracial commonwealth of missionary fantasy had not, it appeared, been achieved: Azariah also anticipated E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India in pleading for “a deep readjustment of the personal relation that sometimes existed [he alleged] in India; for a more real cooperation of spirit between Western and Eastern, in one word, for ‘friendship’.” 25 Gairdner conceded that there was open heckling of Azariah by white missionaries from India, and that Azariah’s was an unpleasant task; an electric silence, broken now by a sort of subterraneous rumbling of dissent, or startled by thunderish

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claps of applause . . . the least comfortable of all atmospheres for an orator to speak in . . . Speaking with a subdued intensity that underlay the whole speech, he closed thus, the rolled foreign r’s making the words “friends,” “friendship,” vibrate through the hall. “This will be possible only from spiritual friendships between the two races . . . Through all the ages to come the Indian Church will rise up in gratitude to attest the heroism and self-denying labours of the missionary body. You have given your goods to feed the poor. You have given your bodies to be burned. We also ask for love. Give us FRIENDS!” 26 Gairdner’s acknowledgement of Azariah’s appeal was a resort to an old rhetorical strategy of the missionary enterprise, dating from the eighteenth century: the commitment to the euthanasia of the mission by creating nonwestern leadership, combined with a frank admission that “we have a lot more to do,” particularly in relationship to what Gairdner referred to as “the difficult ideal of interracial friendship.” White privilege and the ideal of a multiracial commonwealth existed side by side in the missions. Sattaniaden was featured in SPCK rhetoric of the late eighteenth century, Bishop Crowther in CMS rhetoric of the late nineteenth century. In the twentieth century the emblem of racial progress was to be Azariah, ordained Bishop of Dornakal in 1912, the first non-white Protestant bishop in India. It is easy enough to unmask the hypocrisy in Gairdner’s rhetoric, which became the bulwark of missionary analysis of twentieth-century nationalism. A non-western church, with a growing non-western leadership, was to provide the vehicle for a global Christian influence in a global age, leading nations into the paths of righteousness instead of war and social evils such as drink, drugs, labor exploitation, and sexual immorality. The growth of non-western leadership was agonizingly slow, however, largely because of the structural nature of the neo-confessional missionary movement, committed first of all to building institutions with western money and, even more important, western expertise and western professional prestige. The number of non-white ordained ministers associated with British missions grew from 1,744 in 1889 to 2,941 in 1916 (see Green, 1889; Beach, 1916), but the ratio of white to non-white remained exactly the same. From the time of his consecration in 1912 until 1935, Azariah remained the only non-western bishop consecrated in the Anglican Church of India. In unmasking hypocrisy, though, it is important not to forget the importance, the historical and religious significance, of piety. The white delegates at Edinburgh 1910 were motivated by a genuine globalist vision of a world brought under increasing Christian influence, and the goals of that influence, including world peace and the end to the exploitation of non-white labor by

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the west, were shared by many people of good will who had no interest in missions or even in any religion whatsoever. Gairdner conceded that large conferences and assemblies are not noted for spirituality, but claimed Edinburgh as an exception, in that every day, mid morning, the conference devoted a half hour to prayer, where “even the voice of the leader is still, and this strange intercession-meeting prays in a symphony of united silence, in the close Presence of God.” It is difficult to convey the significance of this, or to evaluate it historically, but it is worth remembering that these notables were praying in the presence of a vision of a united world, and it was one shared by many non-western Christians, including not only the twenty of them present but those who were excluded from this privileged venue. Azariah was appealing for spiritual friendship across racial and imperial barriers, and it is impossible to assert that within the cumbersome structures of missionary bureaucracy, this never occurred. The tireless John Mott took it upon himself to institutionalize the spirit of Edinburgh 1910 by organizing a series of indigenous leadership councils for non-western Christians in 1912 and 1913, mainly in India and China. In 1921 with J. H. Oldham he formed the International Missionary Council and later became its chairman, orchestrating the great international missionary conferences at Jerusalem in 1928 and Madras in 1938. Azariah played a key role in global ecumenical missions, first in the National Christian Council of India, then at the aptly named Faith and Order conferences at Lausanne (1927) and Edinburgh (1937) that preceded each of the international missionary conferences, and finally at the Madras Conference of 1938. As recently as the 1950s and 1960s historians read the proceedings of these conferences as landmarks on the way to the global ecumenical movement, with its high hopes not so much for the Christianization of the world as for the unification of the fragmented Christian church, which would provide the basis for a diffusive Christian influence on the great nations of the world, first of all India and China, but also Japan, the United States and Great Britain, influencing these great empires, especially through the instrumentality of Christian schools, in the direction of peace, temperance, and morality. It is difficult to see much in the published conference volumes now but the certainty of shattered dreams to come, with the failure of Christianity to date in India and its long oppression in China, and the disintegration of dreams of a united Protestant Christianity, much less a global Christianity. Edinburgh, Jerusalem, and Madras represented a significant phase in world history, even if these consequences have been largely unintended. In the eighteenth century British Protestants struggled to adapt the confessional model to the new conditions of empire, using bishops and parishes as best they could, while challenged by voluntarists who had a new model of private,

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voluntary evangelism. Voluntarist Protestantism in turn developed a new confessionalism, a new form of religion for the people rather than of the people, as they built Christian institutions wherever they could for the nonChristian peoples, and non-western Christians, of the world. The 1920s and 1930s were the high water mark of that phase of British mission history, which coincided with the peak of Britain’s territorial imperial influence. As the platform rhetoric of missionary conciliarism became less of a white preserve, the number of British missionaries sent abroad began to decline. Race and the rhetoric of retrenchment Since the origins of the missionary enterprise, race had been central to the hopes of mission enthusiasts for the advent of a multiracial, global Christian commonwealth, and racial issues central to the frustrating of missionary hopes. As the voluntarist Christian impulse generated a global structure of neo-confessional Christian institutions that were providing religion for people rather than being built by people for their own use, racial controversy caused one crisis after another in mission institutions. Even at the high water mark of white institutional domination of missions in Edinburgh 1910, the one crisis allowed on stage, as it were, was the racial crisis provoked by Azariah’s speech, or at least in Gairdner’s depiction of the speech and its reception. In subsequent conferences, global missionary conciliarism had to face a number of new crises, some of them associated with race, and the task of missionary leadership was to chart a path through those crises, and maintain a public justification for the growing missionary enterprise. One of the crises was the perception that growth was stalled, and that for the first time in mission history the number of foreign missionaries from Britain was declining. What made the decline difficult to dismiss as a temporary setback were associated crises generated by the spread of explicit theological liberalism, itself rooted in the social gospel of missionary institutionalism, and the dashing of hopes for Christian geo-religious advance in both India and China in the face of growing non-western nationalism. Almost all of the mainstream denominational societies began to cut back on their overseas operations at some point in the interwar period. However, because of changes in the way missionary deployment was calculated in the International Missionary Council’s Interpretative Statistical Survey of the World Mission of the Christian Church, published in 1938, it is not at all clear that the total number of missionaries actually fell in the 1930s. Missionaries formerly attributed to British societies were counted under “international” or “Australasian” or “national” headings in the 1938 volume, which is riddled with lines of statistics in italics which were judged to be “duplications” by the

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editors and not included in the grand totals. Furthermore the China Inland Mission included many missionaries who were not from Great Britain, especially from Australia, but they continued to recruit a large but unknown number directly from Great Britain. If China Inland Missionaries are counted as “British” in both 1925 and 1938, and missionaries from the Cowley Fathers and Wantage Sisters working under diocesan auspices in South Africa are included in the 1938 totals, the figures in The Interpretative Statistical Survey show an actual increase in the number of British missionaries in the 1930s, from 8,699 in 1925 to 9,881 in 1938 (see Table 1, which includes totals with and without the China Inland Mission). Whether the total number of British missionaries sent overseas actually grew in the 1930s, or declined slightly, what is striking is the durability of the British missionary presence around the world in the 1930s, when American missions experienced a larger relative decline than did British missions. For the established denominational societies, the SPG, CMS, BMS, LMS, and Methodist Missionary Society, retrenchment was no statistical mirage. The long-term health of the missionary movement depended ultimately on the long-term health of the British churches. From a twenty-first century point of view, Britain’s churches appear to be institutions of great social and political importance in the 1920s and 1930s, but all of the major churches were very much aware that they were experiencing a decline in numbers. This long-term decline in influence had little to do with global trends of modernization, urbanization, and secularization, and everything to do with the changing social functions of Britain’s churches in the light of their very rapid mid and late Victorian growth. The major Nonconformist denominations provided a disproportionate share of missionaries in the late nineteenth century. After the great Liberal landslide of 1906, the big three Nonconformist denominations—Methodist, Congregationalist, and Baptist—began in unison when counting their members each year, to discover that they had fewer than last year. With hindsight we can see that this was no temporary downturn, which had happened before, but the beginnings of the long-term decline of Nonconformity as a social and religious force in Great Britain, rooted in the inability of parents to communicate the importance of religion to a young generation that experienced none of the sense of social exclusion or social marginality that had driven Nonconformist growth in the nineteenth century. The decline and virtual disappearance of Nonconformity as a category of social definition is one of the great untold stories of twentieth-century British history. At the same time all of the large Protestant denominations found it increasingly difficult to persuade members of the general public that they were institutions of general social utility. A patron who wanted to make the world a better place had alternatives to the churches in the 1920s and 1930s

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that did not exist in the 1870s and 1880s, and government at all levels was assuming the social responsibilities that the churches had served only a few decades before. Only the Roman Catholic church, sustained by a growing ethnic base in Irish immigration and high birth rates which generated a larger pool of potential churchgoers, showed sustained growth in the twentieth century, very much along the lines of those American denominations with identifiable ethnic and regional social bases. Roman Catholic growth in Britain was treated as an exception to the general rule of decline. Widespread acceptance in Britain of the theory of secularization, the belief that there is something intrinsically anti-religious about the modern world, had a demoralizing effect on church leaders and laity alike. The decline in the churches, however slow, generated fiscal crises in the major missionary societies that led to demoralizing rounds of retrenchment. The surprising thing is how well the established societies managed these crises, and continued to sustain an overseas workforce that in turn was very creative in seeking out new sources of overseas funding for educational and medical institutions. The CMS ran a yearly deficit every year for thirty years after 1910.27 Missionary fundraisers claimed that the problem was not with giving at the local level, but with the absence of a body of relatively wealthy patrons that could be called upon for special projects, and counted on for legacies. The Home Secretary of the LMS from 1914 to 1936, William Bitton, kept a notebook with the names of prominent Congregationalists with incomes of more than £5,000 a year that he could appeal to in times of crisis. He claimed that with each year the list grew smaller.28 Both the LMS and the BMS had to confront the exhaustion of the funds left by William Arthington at his death in 1900. A wealthy Leeds millenarian, known as a miser, he left one million pounds for the evangelization of unreached peoples. Neither society entirely ignored Arthington’s wish to reach the unreached, but voluntarist aspirations were nonetheless transmuted into neo-confessional bricks and mortar by both societies as the BMS built a new steamer and hospital in the Congo, a women’s training institution in Calcutta, and along with American Presbyterians (using Rockefeller money), Shandong Christian University in China.29 By the late 1930s both societies had exhausted the Arthington legacies. The task of constantly scrambling to find resources from a shrinking pool to sustain institutions that continued to make increasing financial demands in all directions, as institutions do, was complicated further by the spread of theological liberalism, which led to outright schism in the CMS with the formation of the Bible Churchmen’s Missionary Society in 1923. All of the major societies experienced controversies over theological liberalism on the part of missionaries, and it is remarkable that the CMS was the only one to suffer outright secession. Relative peace and harmony was maintained by

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a common interest in avoiding disruption of mission institutions. Missionaries with liberal leanings were often judicious in their public statements; missionary administrators for their part were inclined to look the other way rather than set off theological inquiries into the views of errant missionaries. Fundamentalists, conservatives, and strong-minded evangelicals were themselves divided on how far is too far, and the language of liberal theology was so maddeningly vague that it was hard to figure out whether the mission society had a heretic on its hands, or not. Occasionally things did go too far, on one occasion with the publication of Re-Thinking Missions: A Laymen’s Inquiry After One Hundred Years in 1932, edited by a philosophy professor at Harvard named William Hocking, who essentially reduced Christianity to the social gospel and attacked the missionary movement for its commitment to individual conversion and subservience to western imperialism. This was sufficiently alarming to the bureaucrats of missionary conciliarism that they commissioned a Dutch theologian to write a conservative rejoinder. Hendrik Kraemer’s The Christian Message in a NonChristian World was an official document of the International Missionary Council at Madras in 1938, and dismissed the Laymen’s Inquiry as containing no authentic Christianity. Kraemer was no fundamentalist, though. His writings were designed to reassure mission supporters of the orthodoxy of the mission movement, but he provided no litmus test that could be used to smoke out liberals. In Britain, evangelicals concerned with the orthodoxy of the mainstream missions could always turn to a variety of smaller but avowedly orthodox non-denominational societies. The dashing of Christian hopes for exerting influence on both Indian and Chinese nationalism was another rhetorical setback leading to demoralization. Even before World War I, C. F. Andrews had abandoned the missionary ship, and become a kind of Anglican chaplain in the Indian national movement. The Amritsar massacre of 1919 and the advent of Gandhi as a commanding national leader put an end to the hopes of missionary leaders that the educated Christian minority would exert a crucial influence on the course of Indian nationalism, although Christian educators continued to make their case. The small Indian Christian community, caught between increasingly visible communal passions of Indian politics, began to look to the future with a sense of dread about their position in an independent India. It was in China where the high Christian hopes of the immediate post-1911 revolution fell the farthest. The use of British soldiers to fire on Chinese students in 1925 had an impact similar to the Amritsar massacre of 1919 in India, and Christian influence within the Chinese nationalist movement produced an anti-Christian reaction that was highly demoralizing to foreign missionaries in Japan. Civil war and physical dislocation interfered with mission

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work repeatedly, and even the baptism of Chiang Kai-Shek in 1930 did little to make it possible for missionaries to continue to argue that China might be moving in a Christian direction. In China as in India, the number of Christians was growing, but growth was nowhere near the numbers needed to sustain a rhetoric of eventual Christian triumph. The global numbers show a significant reallocation of resources from China and India to Africa by British missions, as sub-Saharan Africa became the largest British mission field in the 1930s (2,894 missionaries) displacing both China and India. Mission investment in Africa had for long been driven as a means of heading off the expansion of Islam. In the late 1930s missionary theorists began to notice the relatively rapid rate of Christian growth in Africa in comparison to China and India. The Statistical Survey asserted a doubling of the number of Christian communicants in thirteen years, and estimated that 7 percent of sub-Saharan Africans were Christians. At a time when the global reach of Christian institutions was at its peak, missionary apologists began to argue that the rate of Christian church growth was the key to success in missions, not the capturing for Christianity of the massive adversary world civilizations of China, India, and the Middle East. The issues of race raised by the Bishop Crowther controversy had never been resolved, nor could they be resolved as long as white missionaries poured into mission institutions funded by western missions. British mission societies reported 66,822 non-western staff in 1938: evangelistic, educational, and medical (see Table 1). The largest societies in 1938 continued to be the established late Victorian mission societies, and they were also the societies with the largest number of non-white staff (see Table 2). The newer evangelical societies, the Sudan Interior Mission, the Africa Inland Mission, and the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, modeled on the China Inland Mission with aspirations to avoid bricks and mortar and concentrate on evangelism, were true to their aspirations in not putting large numbers of non-westerners on the payroll, but they too were spreading the most durable of all mission institutions: the mission station, dominated by a missionary couple or by unmarried career women, and funded with contributions from Britain. Mission leaders were serious about promoting indigenous leadership in the churches, and featured emerging national Christian leaders such as Bishop Azariah and the African educator J. E. K. Aggrey who promoted indigenous African Christianity from his post as vice-principal of the Achimoto College in the Gold Coast. The handful of non-western delegates at Edinburgh 1910 became 25 percent at the Jerusalem Conference and, by some counts, over 50 percent at Madras in 1938.30 Despite these efforts, male and female missionaries remained in charge of key institutions throughout the mission world, though indigenous non-western church life in the mission churches

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developed in the hands of catechists and assistant missionaries. Where Christian institutions were large enough, mission staff were in practice out of the control of missionaries. In some mission stations in various parts of the world, missionaries can only be described as white people in charge of black Christians. Here is an example from the daily routine of Ernest H. Clark of the LMS who with his wife, a nurse, supervised in 1925 a small community of African Christians and a larger set of elementary schools on the border between northern Rhodesia and Tanganyika. It is worth quoting to give a sense of what it meant to be a missionary in most parts of the world, regardless of what was happening at the church councils: March, April and May, there is Normal School from 6:30 to 8 a.m., and 9–12.30. Then I am schoolmaster all the time . . . From 2 until 4 the pupils are at work and I have to try and find jobs for them to help pay for their food. They fill the land, clear the station of long grass, work in the carpenter’s shop, dig ditches to clear wet land, make a road where needed—as far as possible all on piece-work, and they go when they’ve finished their task to get firewood to buy books. At 2 also I usually have the dispensary . . . At 4:30 there is usually a meeting—a little time is usually needed for correcting papers, preparing addresses, treasurer’s work, etc. June, July, and August and September are practically all spent on the road. During these months I try and visit every village in our district, about one hundred and fifty altogether. In about one hundred there are schools to inspect. I can’t reach more than three villages a day at the most if I mean to talk to the people, inspect a school and have a service. I reckon I cover a thousand miles on my bicycle in getting round. Usually I start as soon as I can see to ride, say 5:45 a.m . . . and I reach my third village about four in the afternoon, to find my tent up and my bath and meal ready. After that I inspect school and have evening service by lamplight.31 Independence from mission control usually occurred, not because of interference by the distant missionary society at home attempting to put in practice the principles of Henry Venn, but as a consequence of the growth of local mission staff and the Christian community to the point where missionaries such as Clark were no longer able to act as supervisors. Eight thousand missionaries could not directly supervise effectively 68,000 mission staff, many of whom were catechists or assistant missionaries or school teachers

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operating beyond the control of the missionary, even while deferential to missionaries as necessary. Studies in parts of the world as disparate as the Yoruba lands of what is now Nigeria and Bhopal in North India have demonstrated the emergence of indigenous non-western Christianity in the midst of paternalistic mission institutions, as catechists developed their own forms of ministry to the Christians in their care, and often to a penumbra of society beyond the boundaries of mission institutions.32 Even further beyond mission institutions, entirely independent versions of Christianity began to appear, and some of them to grow rapidly. Mission historiography lately, and for good reason, has downplayed the importance of missionaries in the broader spread of Christianity in the nonwestern world. Missionaries are seen as enablers or “detonators” of Christian growth, but not as part of a multiracial Christian community. Missionaries, it is said, might have provided the raw material, but non-western Christianity grew on its own, beyond their tutelage.33 There is some truth to this view, of course, but it is important to remember the ambiguous nature of the struggles between missionaries and non-western Christians. Golak Nath despaired of receiving “sympathy” from missionaries in his appeal to the 1864 Lahore Missionary Conference, but half a century later Azariah was in Edinburgh at another missionary conference appealing for love. The great anti-imperialist scholar Edward Said, himself the product of an Arab Protestant upbringing, referred to the missionary presence in the Middle East as one based on “the value of a mutual experience. True, there had once been a principal and a subordinate, but there had also been dialogue and communication.”34 Perhaps sympathy had never been possible, but affection was possible, and many of those associated with mission institutions, Christian and non-Christian, looked back upon their associations with missionaries with affection. In her novel Clear Light of Day Anita Desai looks back at the high church Anglican missionary teachers of her youth, in post-war Delhi, at the threshold of Indian independence: The missionary ladies who ran the grey, austere mission school . . . were all elderly spinsters—had, in fact, taken the vow of celibacy although not the nun’s habit—awesomely brisk, cheerful and resourceful. Having left the meadows and hedgerows, the parsonages and village greens of their homes behind in their confident and quixotic youth, they had gone through experiences of a kind others might have buckled under but they had borne and survived and overcome like boats riding the waves—wars and blitzes, riots and mutinies, famines and droughts, floods, fires and native customs—and had then retired, not to the parsonages

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and village greens, but to the running of a sober, disciplined mission school with all their confidence, their cheerfulness and their faith impeccably intact. Tara could not suppress a baleful look as she observed them bustling about the classrooms, cracking open the registers or working out algebraic problems across the blackboards, blowing whistles and rushing across the netball fields, organising sports days and annual school concerts, leading the girls in singing hymns and, every so often, dropping suddenly to their knees, burying their faces in worn and naked hands, and praying with most distinguished intensity. Tara wondered uneasily if hers were one of the lost souls they prayed for.35 The wars, blitzes, riots, and mutinies, but most of all the nationalist triumph, marked the end of the British missionary presence in China and the beginning of the end of its presence in India. In the post-colonial world of the second half of the twentieth century, British missions entered an entirely new world, one in which the old ways of doing things died slowly.

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Chapter 11

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China and India: the end of geo-religious ambitions H E E N D O F F O R M A L B R I T I S H C O L O N I A L I S M after World War II brought with it a fundamental change in the way missionaries and mission activists looked at the world. As is usually the case in matters of religion, men and women with a religious outlook looked at the world in a distinctive way. Momentous historical events were placed into a linear view of history that ran parallel to the secular view, but was not identical to it. In the drama of British imperial history, independence for India and Pakistan was the central event, the beginning of the end. In the immediate post-war world of British missions, the central event was the “loss” of China to communism and its ecclesiastical aftermath, the expulsion of all western missionaries in 1949 and 1950. From the high hopes of the early 1920s for putting China on a Christian path to modernity and independence, the downward spiral of frustration and defeat was complete by 1950. The Foreign Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society called the evacuation of missionaries “the most trying and tragic experience of my life.”1 With half of the world living under communist regimes by 1950, some sections of the American evangelical missionary world submerged their strategic geo-religious ecclesiastical ambitions in a global anti-communist crusade under the American nuclear umbrella. An American Baptist missionary, John Birch, killed by communist troops in China, was proclaimed the first fatality in the Cold War, and one of the most resolutely right-wing American political societies was named in his honor. Although there was sympathy for that point of view in some Protestant churches in Northern Ireland, for the most part

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British missionary societies, including the emphatically evangelical ones, resisted that path. The great British missionary hero to emerge from the closing days of the missionary period in China was no heroic male anti-communist, but Gladys Aylward. A pious parlourmaid whose educational qualifications were too low even for the China Inland Mission, Aylward nonetheless succeeded in devoting her life to serving the poor people of China as an independent missionary. She was expelled from China along with all of the other missionaries. After her life was dramatized on BBC radio and became the subject of a popular biography, she was portrayed (over her vehement objections) by Ingrid Bergman in the 1958 Hollywood movie The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. The missionary was depicted as an a-political humanitarian of humble origins, not a martyr in the cause of American geo-political expansion. Gladys Aylward became a missionary hero, not for the number of conversions to Christianity under her influence, but for her life of service to the people of China. China had been the great laboratory for the export of institutional Christianity, and also the scene of the longest-running experiment in opposition to missionary institution building, the China Inland Mission. The China Inland Mission had recruited missionaries of lower social and educational standing than those of the denominational missions, and had attempted to deploy them to evangelize the people of China directly rather than merely serve as staff at educational and medical institutions. Despite this passion for souls, there was a logic to missionary institutional building that the China Inland Mission could not evade. Missionaries cannot work without institutions and the China Inland Mission built its own distinctive set of institutions designed to serve the people of China by spreading Christian influence and relieving human suffering. Despite its tactics of identifying with the people of China, and shunning wherever possible direct association with the occupying powers, the China Inland Mission found its missionaries expelled alongside the educators, doctors, and nurses of the BMS, LMS, and CMS. Having failed to escape the taint of imperial associations, the China Inland Mission had to regroup and rethink its mission along with all the others. In 1951 it changed its name to the China Inland Mission Overseas Missionary Fellowship as its missionaries were redeployed to Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Independence for India and Pakistan was less traumatic in the missionary narrative than the loss of China as a mission field. Both South Asian countries remained open to missionaries for several decades after independence, and hopes for shaping Indian national history in a fundamentally Christian direction had more or less disappeared as early as the 1920s with the advent of the secular Indian National Congress as the guiding force in Indian politics. The small size of the Indian Christian community, and the freedom of religion guaranteed in the Indian constitution, meant that Christians felt relatively

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secure in most parts of independent India despite recurrent attempts to link them with western imperialism. Instead of a major force in the land, the Indian Christian community was composed mostly of untouchables, a fundamental and inconvenient social fact that was ignored or evaded by missionaries and Indian Christian leaders alike in the 1950s and 1960s. After the exodus of Hindus from West Pakistan, the tiny Christian community there found itself the largest religious minority, small and tainted even more than Christians in India by untouchable origins. Career missionaries continued to operate in India and Pakistan, although they were under periodic political pressure in independent India, and upon occasion accused of acting as agents of the CIA. Missionaries continued to have access to both India and Pakistan as long as they engaged in Christian institution maintenance and, in Pakistan, avoided proselytizing openly among the Muslim majority. Christian high schools and colleges were among the most prestigious in independent India and Pakistan, with many distinguished graduates in positions of authority, although few of those graduates were Christian. The Christian institutions, supported with mission (and government) funds, were important to the Indian and Pakistani Christian communities, which gave them a common interest with the missionary societies in maintaining them. The rise of Hindu political communalism transformed Christianity in India into an embattled minority in the 1980s and 1990s. Career missionaries faced new restrictions and the foreign mission presence in India became largely short term by the 1990s, bringing an end to nearly 200 years of work by career missionaries from Britain. In Pakistan the trauma of western intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq and the rise of newly aggressive Islamic communal politics placed Christians in political and in some cases physical danger, and placed new obstacles in the path of foreign missionaries. What happened to missionaries suddenly in China in 1949 and 1950 happened slowly in South Asia in the second half of the twentieth century. One strand of mission rhetoric used to justify the persistence of bricks and mortar in India and parts of Africa was ecumenicalism, the involvement of missionary societies in movements for church unity and social justice. The conciliarism of the International Missionary Council merged with and contributed to the new World Council of Churches (WCC) inaugurated in Amsterdam in 1948. The “clash of civilizations” triumphalism of Edinburgh 1910, characteristic of missions in the high imperial age, had been transformed into a new sense of humility in subsequent councils in Jerusalem and Madras. Instead of being the vanguard of the movement to turn the great world civilizations in a Christian direction, the global missionary movement instead provided the basis for a new and eventually united Christian presence in the world. The politics of the WCC was a meliorist version of global anti-imperialism with a large dose of

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enthusiasm for the United Nations. J. H. Oldham’s Christianity and the Race Problem (1924) had set the tone for a vigorous rhetoric of anti-racism in mission circles, often directed against segregationist practices in the churches themselves and in mission institutions. The defamatory treatment of “the other” that characterized nineteenth-century mission work did not disappear altogether, especially in popular literature for home consumption, but it waned rapidly in the twentieth century. When the International Missionary Council merged outright with the World Council of Churches in 1961, a period of global missionary conciliarism initiated at Edinburgh in 1910 came to an end. Like the missionary councils, the World Council of Churches was a talking shop with no authority over any religious denomination. The missionary societies continued to exist as independent fundraising and recruiting entities, and continued to control the disbursement of mission funds in the nonwestern world. The rhetoric of the WCC was nonetheless important for the churches. By the 1960s the WCC was so identified with the struggle against racism that South African Premier Henrik Voerward began a campaign to purge the Dutch Reformed Church there of the malign influence of “liberal men from Geneva.”2 The anti-imperialist rhetoric of the global ecumenical movement was strengthened by a tradition of social criticism emanating from the high church branch of the Anglican communion, with its troublesome priests acting in the tradition of Bishop Colenso of Natal and C. F. Andrews of India. In 1943 an Anglican High Church Mission in South Africa conducted by the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, appointed Trevor Huddleston to be priest in the Sophiatown and Orlando Missions in the Diocese of Johannesburg. Huddleston became one of the world’s most prominent critics of the new system of apartheid introduced in 1948 in South Africa, and was deported in 1956 after publishing his memoir, Naught for your Comfort. A supporter of Julius Nyerere’s brand of African socialist nationalism, he became Bishop of Masasi in southern Tanganyika in 1960. After leaving Masasi in 1968 he served as suffragan bishop of Stepney in the East End of London, and was in 1978 consecrated Bishop of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, a position that he used as a base for a global campaign against apartheid. The anti-racism and anti-imperialism of the WCC, linked as it was to the advance of liberal and/or Anglo-Catholic theology, caused some confusion and ambivalence in British missionary circles, especially evangelical ones, although it did not lead to an American-style evangelical crusade against the WCC. Even the leaders of the fundamentalist Bible Churchmen’s Missionary Society were willing to contemplate cooperation with denominations and mission societies in the WCC as long as they could reserve the right to assert their own distinctive evangelical principles. The anti-imperialist theological

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liberals of the WCC refrained from polemics against the more conservative missionaries’ societies, unless they were segregationists, and instead launched a critique of their missionary predecessors. Anti-imperialist critics of the missionary movements had for decades and even centuries accused missionaries of being agents of western civilization, colonizing the hearts and minds of non-western peoples for western folkways and capitalist consumerism. This accusation had always hurt, because the majority of missionaries, when they thought about it, denied that they were importing western culture. They were instead there to share a universal faith that could inhabit any culture or society, if only ways could be found to communicate that faith in indigenous forms. One of the ways missionaries dealt with this perennial accusation was to shift the blame to earlier generations of misguided missionary imperialists. In addition to blaming earlier generations of missionaries, missionary liberals responded to charges of imperialism with yet another campaign to accelerate self-government in those churches associated with British missionary societies. The new secretary of the BMS confessed in 1952 that “there is a real measure of truth in the charge of imperialism that has been brought against us by the enemies of the Church.”3 The growth of genuine ecclesiastical independence, though, remained mired in the contradictions of the high missionary period. The institutions that had been created for good reason to serve Christian interests in non-western countries were beyond the economic means of the Christian congregations in those countries. How could schools and hospitals be turned over to people who can’t afford them? Furthermore, non-western Christians had always been ambivalent about a wholesale takeover of missionary institutions and the elimination of missionaries from their ecclesiastical institutions. They appreciated the financial support that came from the west; they respected missionaries even in the midst of serious conflicts with them. South Asian Christians faced particular difficulties because of the great prestige of Christian institutions, which served to raise the status of the Christian communities and provide educational opportunities for their Christians alongside non-Christian elites. The second half of the twentieth century saw a steady transfer of non-western Christian institutions to indigenous control, but for those on the ground it appeared to be a slow and uncertain process. It is perhaps telling, as a landmark, that the first non-western Protestant Bishop of Lahore in Pakistan was finally consecrated in 1968. Church growth in Christian Africa The slow growth of ecclesiastical self-government in mission-related churches in Africa appeared particularly inexcusable given the rapid growth of African

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Christianity, and the history of white Christian participation in slavery and apartheid. The nineteenth-century experiment with Bishop Crowther in the Niger Delta had ended in recriminations, and bitterness lasted for decades. The first assistant bishop in the Anglican Church of the largely Christianized colonial state of Uganda dated from 1949; the first Bishop of Sierra Leone, where missionaries had been active since the 1790s, was consecrated 1961. In another site of decades of missionary investment, Malawi, it was 1981 before the first non-white bishop was consecrated. Missionary societies took the blame for this paternalism. In 1974 Canon Burgess Carr, General Secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches, labeled missionary societies the “Perpetrators of structural violence at the deepest level of our humanity in the so-called Younger Churches,” and called for their abolition.4 Although the arguments about dependency were familiar, the growth of genuine ecclesiastical self-government in Africa occurred in a different context from South Asia. In both parts of the world former colonies became independent. In Africa, though, the Christian churches were growing rapidly, and the mission churches existed side by side with a bewildering variety of African independent churches. In 1979 the once proscribed Kimbangist movement was admitted to the World Council of Churches. In the post-war world, contemplating the rapid spread of African Christianity and its contrast with disaster in China and apparent failure in South Asia, missionaries and mission scholars began to study and comment upon the reasons for this growth, leading to a revolution in mission theory and practice. By the late twentieth century, the magnitude of the transformation was becoming evident. In what was arguably one of the greatest transitions in the entire history of Christianity, the center of gravity of one of the great world religions was shifting from one continent to another, from white Europe to black Africa. In 1959 the influential American missionary theorist Donald McGavran pointed out that in the last seventy years most of the people of the central parts of Uganda had become Christian, yet there was almost nothing written that explained how that had happened.5 McGavran was in fact writing in the midst of a flood of missionary and scholarly writing on the growth of Christianity in Africa, which began in earnest with the publication of Bengt Sundkler’s Bantu Prophets in South Africa in 1948. Since then there has been great interest in the growth of Christian groups independent of the mission churches of the west. Sundkler counted 1,906 titles on the topic by 1977, including David B. Barrett’s pioneering study, Schism and Renewal in Africa: An Analysis of Six Thousand Contemporary Religious Movements, which gives some idea of the complexity of African church growth in the twentieth century. The torrent of analysis has illuminated particular reasons for Christian growth in particular parts of Africa, but the reasons why sub-Saharan Africa has become

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predominantly Christian remain unclear. Missionary theorists in the early twentieth century had already noted the resistance to conversion among the highly articulated systematic world religions that put down deep social and intellectual roots in the great world cultures. Mission institutions were of major importance in East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East, but few Hindus or Buddhists or Jews or Muslims became Christians in the high imperial age of missions. What would have happened in China without the advent of communism is anyone’s guess. The first non-western areas of the world to be largely Christianized were the West Indies and the South Pacific, whose inhabitants were beyond the reach of the large non-Christian world religions. The very rapid growth of many varieties of evangelical and pentecostal Christianity in Latin America in the late twentieth century represented for the most part conversions from nominal Catholic Christianity. In comparison to American missions, British missions played a numerically small but important role both in promoting evangelical Protestantism in Brazil, and in missions to indigenous peoples. Like church growth in Africa, rapid Christian growth in Latin America was multidimensional. It became part of the rhetoric of evangelical triumphalism in the late twentieth century despite the fact that it did not contribute to the same extent to significant growth in the overall population of the world that could reasonably be classified as Christian.6 In 1971 the anthropologist Robin Horton published an article in Africa identifying a unifying cosmological basis for conversions throughout Africa. The apparent diversity of African religions, he argued, disguises a common underlying belief in a supreme being that is analogous to the Christian supreme being, and helps explain the ease of transition to Christianity. Horton’s theory does little to account for the sheer diversity of social, political, and material interests in Christian conversion that have been documented throughout Africa. John Peel’s study of African catechists in Yorubaland, for instance, stresses the importance of Christianity in shaping a common Yoruba ethnic and later national identity, in very much the same way that Terence Ranger has documented the uses of Christianity in “inventing” a national tradition among the Shona of Zimbabwe.7 Martin Etherington and others have stressed the importance of mission stations as “melting pots” for displaced and outcast peoples of all kinds, and Bengt Sundkler the importance of labor migration in creating new melting pots where displaced Christians shared their faith.8 Politics played important roles elsewhere, especially in Uganda where the British government and the Church Missionary Society, hoping to save Ugandans from Roman Catholicism, cooperated both with the British government and indigenous elites before World War I to create an ecclesiastical form of “indirect rule”, a kind of indigenous Christian kingdom with missionary educational

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institutions controlling access to the elite.9 In Zimbabwe Cecil Rhodes granted huge tracts of land to the missions, ranging from the Salvation Army to the Roman Catholic Church, which were then used as bases for the extension of Christian influence and membership. What we are left with is the conclusion that many different groups throughout Africa found Christianity useful for a variety of reasons. Another theory of African conversion, and indeed global conversion, comes from the missionary theorist Lamin Sanneh, who focuses on the unique translatability of the Christian Bible as a means of allowing local peoples with many motives to adapt Christianity to their own purposes. Given the diversity of motives found in African church history, it is difficult to sustain Sanneh’s argument as a general theory, although in many local cases Biblical narratives were clearly adapted and adaptable, in part because of the great missionary emphasis upon translation. On the other hand Islam has spread in many parts of northern Africa without the advantage of a translatable holy text, as has Roman Catholicism in East Africa. The largely French Roman Catholic missions of the nineteenth century, notably the White Fathers founded by Archbishop Livigerie of Algiers, had no hesitation in the use of the secular arm to compel conversions when they could, but were forced by the secular character of the French state to compete as if they were just another voluntary missionary society. In the early twentieth century the missionary popes, Benedict XV and Pius XI, became even more reconciled to voluntarist mission ideals, including the ideal of an indigenous clergy, although the growth of an African clergy remained as slow among Roman Catholics as among Anglicans. A Latin Bible and a foreign clergy did little, though, to retard Roman Catholic church growth. A responsive people, it appears, will take up almost any form of Christianity. Christian medical and educational institutions have often been identified as positive obstacles to Christian growth, diverting resources from conversion to institution maintenance. Christian growth in Africa, though, often originated in medical and educational institutions. The great evangelical East African Revival that began in the 1930s spread from mission hospitals through its leaders, Simeon Nsibambi and the CMS missionary doctor Joe Church. From a family of evangelical clergymen and missionaries, Church was searching for a higher spiritual life under the influence of the Keswick Convention when he met Nsibambi, a graduate of Anglican schools and government health officer. They set up small groups committed to a higher spiritual life among mission school teachers, mission hospital orderlies, building contractors, and highly mobile railway employees. One of the consequences was the emergence of evangelical Anglican churches in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya that had a very different character from the high church Anglicanism of South Africa and parts of Tanganyika.

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John Peel’s work on Yoruba Christianity identifies the central figures as the catechists, the trained, subordinate second-class clergy that the CMS, like almost every missionary society, used to spread Christian teaching and provide pastoral care in areas where church growth outstripped the ability of missionaries to provide direct supervision. Everywhere in Africa the catechist/teacher appears as a central figure in the organization of early Christianity, although the position is called by different names in different missions and churches. The hierarchy in the mission churches was a racialized one, although not one based on scientific racism, but it is clear that many young Christians regarded the position of catechist/teacher as a welcome road to self-improvement and upward mobility. Similar figures appeared in the independent Ethiopian and Zion church, and in independent churches such as the Kimbangist movement in the Congo. The wives of catechists, pastors, and assistant missionaries often had their own spiritual authority in congregations, whether or not they were employed at the mission as Bible women. The women’s auxiliaries of the major mission denominations in South Africa held national conventions that became centers for female solidarity and often political action against apartheid, with the Wesleyan women always wearing black, white and red, the Congregationalists a uniform of black skirt, white blouse, and pink ribbons, and the Anglicans white jackets. In their influential study of Christian conversion in South Africa, Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa,10 Jean and John Comaroff treat Christianity as essentially western and missionaries as representatives of western modernity, imposing ideas of competitive bourgeois individualism on a population that is partly receptive but partly resistant. For them Christianity represents a “colonization of consciousness” of Africans, except insofar as Africans appropriated aspects of Christianity that were unrelated to missionary ideology. The Comaroffs’ reductionism makes very little sense in light of the diversity of relationships that existed between missionaries and African Christians. African Christians naturally appropriated aspects of Christianity that were useful to them and neglected aspects that were not, but the relationship between missionary and African catechists, Bible women, and congregation was often one of mutual respect and admiration, and cooperation in the pursuit of mutually agreed upon goals that were understood in the light of a common understanding of the meaning of Christianity. Nowhere is a balance sheet of the losses and gains to Africans who adopted Christianity set out with greater poignancy than in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958), his first novel.11 The relationship between Christianity and African religion among the Ibo portrayed here is one of great complexity, as is the relationship of missionaries and villagers. Achebe shows the variety of

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strategies deployed by two missionaries, Mr. Brown and Mr. Smith. Mr. Brown carries on long conversations with Africans and concludes that a frontal attack on African religion would never succeed. Instead he encourages Africans to learn to read and write so they could protect themselves when strangers come from other places to rule them. The fundamentalist Mr. Smith prefers a direct assault on pagan customs. In Achebe’s story, some of the Ibo people find Christianity repulsive and womanish while others, mostly people who are stigmatized for some reason or another, find different dimensions of it appealing. Divisions in society that are already festering become caught up in the new division between Christians and non-Christians, leading to an unraveling of the social cohesion that maintained pre-Christian society. Most telling of all is the generational conflict between the main character of the novel, an opponent of Christianity, and his son,who becomes a Christian and is rewarded by being sent to a mission school. Christianity is not operating here on a level playing field, the one imagined in the great drama of evangelical Christianity where every individual is equal before God and has an equal choice to make, to choose Christ or reject Christ. On the other hand to see Christianity through the reductionist lens of the Comaroffs, as a form of western-style bourgeois liberal social indoctrination, truncates the human drama and human tragedy involved in changing one’s religion. Whether looked at from the macroscopic level of Robin Horton, or the microscopic fiction of Chinhua Achebe, the spread of Christianity in Africa has its own logic and its own autonomy, drawing equally from diverse African societies and political systems, but also from competing Christian narratives that are made available by missionaries and African Christians alike. A paradox of mission history in Africa is that on the continent where mission work probably had its greatest influence, the missionary role in African history has been minimized in a half-century of scholarship, due to the understandable desire to stress the overwhelming importance of the indigenous African contribution at the expense of the European or American missionary contribution to African religious history. It is characteristic of missionary history to be left stranded between national histories, and marginal to the histories of both sending and receiving nations. The study of African independent religions has shown repeatedly a replication of forms taken from mission institutions, and that missionaries have been far more than simply “detonators” of new and indigenous forms of Christianity that are entirely distinct from the Christianity promoted by missionaries. As the prominent scholar of African independent Christianity Bengt Sundkler observed: It is to the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist etc. Churches that the overwhelming majority of African

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Christians have belonged and still do. The current depreciation of these ‘established’ churches is as mistaken as was once the neglect of the ‘Independent Churches’.12 The new evangelical triumphalism of church growth The most important missionary document at the beginning of the voluntarist phase of British missions was William Carey’s An Enquiry Into the Obligations of Christians, to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, published in 1792. Two short books published in the 1950s by another evangelical mission theorist mark the transition in mission strategy at the beginning of the post-colonial age: Donald McGavran’s The Bridges of God (1955) and How Churches Grow (1959).13 Carey and McGavran both succeeded in summarizing what many others were saying in a period of ecclesiastical transition, and in succinctly pointing the way forward in terms of missionary strategy. Carey outlined the principles behind the use of a new organization, the private voluntary missionary society to spread Christian influence throughout the world. McGavran persuaded missionary theorists to shift their focus from individuals on the one hand and the great world civilizations on the other to intermediate groups who were responsive to the mission message. British colonial India was central to both writers. Carey was an evangelical English Baptist who shortly after publishing his Enquiry sailed to India to spend the rest of his life building Christian institutions in the British colony of Bengal. McGavran was an evangelical American who spent thirty years building Christian institutions in India before returning to the United States in 1956 to promote his distinctive theories of church growth. Published in London by the evangelical World Dominion Press, McGavran’s books were presented directly to a British audience in the context of an ongoing debate among British missionary theorists. Carey and McGavran both walked a fine line between claiming that what they said was new, and acknowledging that they were incorporating a history of both missionary argument and missionary experimentation into their arguments. Entirely new ideas are rarely persuasive. Carey was building on nearly a century of experimentation by Moravians, Scottish evangelicals, and Methodists, and echoed the arguments of both Philip Doddridge and Thomas Coke. McGavran’s British edition of Bridges of God was introduced by the President of the Church Missionary Society, Kenneth Grubb, who acknowledged that McGavran’s arguments will not be unfamiliar to those who have read the work of Roland Allen and Alexander McLeish. Kenneth Grubb had himself been arguing for new missionary strategies for nearly a quarter of a century, beginning with his pioneering study of missionary opportunities in the Amazon

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basin, The Lowland Indians of Amazonia (1927).14 Much of this writing, Grubb conceded, had fallen on deaf ears, just as the eighteenth-century voluntarist proposals of Doddridge and Coke had fallen on deaf ears until the advent of Carey. More derivative than they claimed, the writings of both Carey and McGavran were genuinely innovative as well, which accounts for their influence. McGavran’s argument was a simple one that had been anticipated in an Indian context by Bishop Whitehead of Madras in as early as 1907 and the American Methodist missionary to India J. Waskom Pickett in Christian Mass Movements in India (1933). Missionary resources should be put into places where there is a response, not in places where there is decade after decade, even century after century, no response. By response McGavran meant a rapid growth in Christian conversions. Christian influence does not count, and the effectiveness of Christian educational and medical institutions should be judged by the number of Christians they make, not by the good that they do. Carey had seen the world on the one hand as a level playing field of millions of individuals all standing in need of God’s redemption, and on the other hand as divided into great world civilizations that could be classified according to their level of civilization and distance from Christian teaching. In practice, as we have seen, Carey’s voluntarism involved building up Christian institutions around the world in the hopes of toppling the great world nonChristian civilizations. Carey hoped that the translation of the Christian Bible into Indian vernacular languages would lead to the disintegration of Brahminism and then of Hinduism generally, with Christian missionary teachers in place to substitute the truth for falsehood. The paradoxical result of voluntarist Protestantism was a mass of Christian bricks and mortar scattered around the world, and a rhetoric of geo-religious triumphalism that saw Christianity locked into global struggle with Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism for dominance in India and China. McGavran pointed out that most examples of conversion to Christianity involved neither isolated individuals nor great world civilizations, but intermediate sociological entities which he had the good sense to avoid classifying as anything more sophisticated than “people groups.” The motives for conversion were also left vague; they hardly mattered to McGavran, since conversion was the point regardless of its motives. As an evangelical who believed that faith is the starting point rather than morality or social discipline, he took a dim view of setting high standards for potential converts, a lesson taken from the many years of debate about the “discipling” of the largely untouchable converts in India. The “people movements” he listed as examples of missionary success were extremely heterogeneous, ranging in time-frame from the conversion of most of the Yoruba people over a century to the sudden surge in Christian conversions in Korea between 1905 and 1910. The list of peoples

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who showed an interest in Christianity was by the 1950s very diverse, encompassing the Karens in Burma, Malas, Madigas, Ngas, Garas, Mahars, Bhils and Chuhras in South Asia, Batak people in Sumatra, other unidentified “people movements” in the Moluccas and New Guinea, “outlying chains of families” in Ghana, 40,000 evangelical Quakers in Kenya, and indigenous peoples in Mexico and Formosa. What is striking about McGavran is the resemblance between his view of history in the 1950s and that of Carey in the 1790s. Neither of them could entirely avoid any mention at all of the relationship between imperialism and the evangelical missionary enterprise, but they were determined to detach themselves from any imperial connection. For Carey, the 1790s was a decade of opportunity, where a “glorious open door” was present for those who could see it. The open door was there because of British commercial and imperial expansion, but for Carey this was merely providential. For McGavran, it is the end of the colonial era, not the beginning, that created new opportunities, a level playing field with open doors for evangelical Christians who could take advantage of new opportunities. Ignoring the Cold War and America’s drive for global domination in the non-communist world, McGavran believed that the end of colonialism created a level playing field for Christian missionaries that had been obstructed by empire: Since 1800 missions have been intimately involved with colonialism. Missions have gone from the rulers to the ruled, from industrialized to agricultural nations and from the culturally advanced to the culturally retarded. They could not have done otherwise. Today’s advance of the non-Occident and the break up of colonialism leaves missions and younger Churches searching in scores of ways for a whole new mode of mission which shall be from free and equal nations to free and equal nations.15 In a classic example of inter-generational finger pointing, McGavran dismissed 150 years of evangelical missionary enterprise as misguided because of the way that Protestant mission efforts had generated global Christian institution building. As we have seen, there were good reasons for this historical development, but for McGavran it is little more than a regrettable mistake on a very large scale. “Not only did missions turn to secondary aims, but they came to consider them primary. Orphanages, schools, hospitals and agricultural enterprises were developed. Generations of missionaries devoted their entire lives to them.”16 Not wanting to wholly dismiss the entire history of mission work since Carey, McGavran conceded that missionaries in the mission stations were “fine

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people,” but ultimately “these mission station churches are lacking in the qualities needed for growth and multiplication. They are, in truth, gathered churches, made up of individual converts, or ‘brands snatched from the burning’, or famine orphans, or a mixture of all three,” but they have no connection with people groups in society, and isolated individuals don’t lead to growth.17 He not only blames previous generations of missionaries for their errors, but attacks non-western Christians for their devotion to Christian institutions: “The Christians of the gathered colony approach have a vivid realization of the power of education . . . They are keen for their children to receive as much education as possible . . . But they do not always have a vivid experience of the power of God . . . The gathered colony churches usually have a vivid consciousness of the mission as their parents. The churches tend to feel that it is the business of the missionary to head up a wealthy social service agency, designed to serve the Christian community.” 18 McGavran’s criticism of the low level of spirituality among non-western Christians, like his finger-pointing directed at earlier generations of missionaries, has a long pedigree in mission history. In both the South Pacific and West Indies, missionaries who succeeded in fostering the growth of non-white churches found the level of spirituality in those churches wanting. This was partly a matter of the contrast between normal everyday Christianity and the virtuoso Christianity represented by the figure of the missionary. It was also a means of maintaining a hierarchy of privilege in non-western churches, with the spiritually superior missionaries on top. The situation was a complex one, though, that cannot be reduced entirely to a search for white privilege. Missionaries often genuinely believed that non-western churches should become independent, and found themselves confronting non-western Christians who wished to maintain an ongoing missionary presence. This was partly, as McGavran implies, a desire to keep western resources flowing to weak and poor non-western churches, but it also represented a genuine respect and admiration for the figure of the missionary among non-western Christians. The reverence given by African Christians to David Livingstone, regarded now as an arch-imperialist, is often puzzling to people in the West, but from an African Christian point of view he did, after all, bring the gospel to parts of Africa. McGavran’s unfairness to non-western Christians had a distinctive rhetorical purpose in the 1950s, and that was to undermine the legitimacy of Christian institution building as a central mission strategy. McGavran was not a historian, and his failure to understand the logic of voluntarist Christian institution building is perhaps understandable. So is the sheer common sense of arguing that missionaries should concentrate on people who show some signs of responding to the Christian message, rather than building institutions at the

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heart of the great world civilizations in the hopes of spreading Christian influence. In some ways, though, McGavran was reinventing the wheel, for he failed to acknowledge the decades of struggle, especially evangelical struggle, against the logic of Christian institution building, and he also failed to understand the inevitability of spreading Christian institutions as a mission strategy. Nothing can happen anywhere without institutions, as the history of the China Inland Mission demonstrates. McGavran wanted to avoid building certain kinds of institutions, but he advocated the building of other kinds of institutions, and those institutions inevitably faced the same dilemmas of western influence and non-western dependency dealt with by Henry Venn and Rufus Anderson. The period of mission history lasting from the 1790s to the 1950s saw the paradoxical growth of mission societies at home organized on the voluntarist principle, the sending of missionaries who built mission institutions because no mission can spread the gospel without institutions, and a dialectical struggle within the missionary movement to overcome the dilemmas and contradictions generated inside and outside of mission institutions. Henry Venn and his American counterpart Rufus Anderson addressed those issues in theory; the China Inland Mission, the Sudan Interior Mission, and the Heart of Africa Mission, among others, in practice, along with many missionaries and nonwestern Christians in the major denominational missions. That the critics of institution building ended up building institutions themselves should have been a warning to McGavran and other critics to consider institution building as something other than a mistake, or as a “consolation prize” for missionaries who failed to make converts. Missionaries in the colonial age were interested in far more than snatching souls from hell. They were promoting the advance of the Kingdom of God by spreading Christian institutions throughout the world. Christian advance took the form of conversions in many cases, but Christian influence emanating from institutions was itself a preparation for evangelistic advance in God’s own good time. Despite his weaknesses as a historian, McGavran provided a roadmap for a new phase of British mission history, one marked by the resurgence of evangelicalism within British Christianity, by mission strategies marked by a focus on receptive peoples wherever they might be found, and by the use of short-term missionary operations determined to spread the word without creating educational and medical institutions that would be a drag on the church. Taken up by many others within evangelical Christianity, the triumph of the church growth approach shows up in the statistics of British mission change in the late twentieth century. A revisionist church history of twentieth-century Britain places great emphasis upon the 1960s as a watershed decade in the entire history of British Christianity.19 The decline of British Christianity, formerly treated as beginning

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in the late nineteenth century, has now been moved to the late twentieth century, leaving a large field of inquiry into what exactly was happening to British religion between World War I and the 1960s. The short answer is that British religious institutions were more important in the middle of the century than we had previously thought, and that support for missionary societies remained a major project for the churches well into the twentieth century. The 1920s and 1930s mark the high water mark in the number of British missionaries sent abroad, and Britain remained the second largest sending nation for Protestant missions throughout the twentieth century. The new emphasis on the 1960s, however, slights the reality of a gradual, long-term twentieth-century decline in Britain’s churches, one that Anglicans and Nonconformists were very much aware of, and struggled to combat. The disappearance of a distinctive Nonconformist social identity is one of the most important changes in twentieth-century British social history, and one that awaits its historian. Roman Catholicism by contrast was growing largely for demographic reasons. The most important task for most churches was to keep the doors open and maintain services to both members and the general public, and recruit new members. Once that was taken care of, the largest single project of Britain’s churches in the twentieth century has been foreign missions, and the gradual decline of the churches is naturally reflected in mission statistics. The standards for counting missionaries continued to vary enormously, but (see Figure 4 in the Appendix, British Protestant missionaries abroad) the best estimate is that the number of overseas Protestant missionaries from Britain fell from nearly 9,000 in the 1930s to around 6,000 in 1980. The durability of the mid twentieth-century mission enterprise is evident from comparing 1980 with 1890, when there were just over 4,000 missionaries in the field. Furthermore, the largest missionary societies in the 1980s (see Table 2 in the Appendix. Largest British Missionary Societies, 1889–2000) have a distinctively Victorian ring to their names: Church Missionary Society, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Missionary Society, the Church of Scotland, the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission (now the Bible and Medical Missionary Fellowship), along with their Victorian and early twentieth-century “faith mission” rivals: the China Inland Mission (now the Overseas Missionary Fellowship), and the Heart of Africa Mission (now World Evangelism Crusade). The top ten countries in the mission field have a familiar ring as well, particularly since India had only begun by 1980 to deny visas to career missionaries: India, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil, Rhodesia, Zaire, Zambia, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea. Brazil is new, and reflects the redeployment of missionaries from China by the BMS, and along with Papua New Guinea the interest in a number of missions in reaching “unreached tribes.”

EVANGELICALS AND UNREACHED PEOPLES 259

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By the end of the century, the total number of British missionaries had hardly changed since 1980 but the character of the mission workforce had been transformed by the advent of the new evangelicalism of the church growth school, with its shunning of institution building (in principle), its focus on mobilizing lay missionaries for short terms abroad, and its determination to build up new institutions devoted to translating the Bible into every known language in the world. Two American mission organizations established work in Great Britain at mid century, The Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1955, and the Navigators in 1960. With headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Wycliffe Bible Translators is a global organization dedicated to translating the gospel into every language, and providing it to missionaries who are to bring the gospel to unreached “tribes” and “people”, until the day when every person on earth can read the Bible in their own language. Also an American group, the Navigators was founded in California in 1943 to organize young men in the military and on college campuses in programs of scripture memorization and short-term Christian projects. By the turn of the century the Wycliffe Bible Translators was the fourth largest missionary society in Britain, and the Navigators was number ten (see Table 2). Leading the top ten list were two imitators of the Navigators, Youth with a Mission and Operation Mobilisation. Both intensely evangelical, they send young men and women on short-term mission projects, often to the largely secular continent of Europe. Of the Victorian denominational missionary societies, only the Baptist Missionary Society and the Church Missionary Society remained in the top ten list. The surge in evangelical missions sustained the total number of missionaries from Britain, a workforce that was paradoxically both intensely professional (in the case of Wycliffe) and relentlessly short term and youth-oriented (in the cases of the Navigators, Operation Mobilisation, and Youth with a Mission). The evangelical missions were non-denominational, but they drew on recruits from within the evangelical sections of both the Church of England and the Baptists. In a striking contrast with the missions in the United States, where missionary recruits are drawn increaingly from denominations founded in the twentieth century, late twentieth-century British missionaries were recruited from two of the most important Victorian missionary denominations rather than from a diverse array of entirely new denominations (see Table 2). Selfidentified Anglicans and Baptists constituted 66 percent of the missionary workforce in 1982, with the remainder mostly Brethren (10%), Presbyterian, Pentecostal or Methodist. Even with the transformation of the mission workforce by short terms, Baptists and Anglicans still supplied 50 percent of missionaries in 1998. By that time, 25 percent identified themselves as coming from “new churches,” either independent evangelical churches or ethnically based evangelical denominations.20

260

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The top ten countries receiving missionaries also changed, with France, Spain, and the USA added as sites of short-term mission work and, in the case of the USA, Bible translation work. As career missionaries were expelled from India, mission societies turned their attention to Nepal, and work in Brazil and Papua New Guinea represented attempts to reach unreached peoples, many of them in tiny besieged communities in the Amazon basin. In their efforts to reach unreached peoples, evangelicals demonstrated that it was impossible to transcend or ignore the complex relationship between missions and imperialism even in a post-colonial age. Defenders of the continuing importance of religion in a world often seen as increasingly secular have strongly emphasized the surging rate of church growth in the late twentieth century, which is obviously driving a resurgence of Christianity in Africa, the Americas, and parts of Asia, if not Europe. The reasons for the contrast between a secular Europe and the rest of the world remain under dispute,21 but the pattern of church growth affects the missionary point of view in a more precise way. The strongest critique of the missionary enterprise in the twentieth century has been focused on its imperial character, that is either it is associated with the advance of colonial power, or it has represented an even more insidious form of cultural imperialism, colonizing the hearts and minds of non-western peoples with a fundamentally western form of religion. If missionaries, however, are simply “detonators” for indigenous non-western forms of religion freely chosen by, and transformed by, non-western peoples, the imperial taint of missions then disappears. The relationship between missions and imperialism is not so easily dispatched, though, even in a post-colonial age. The relationship between missionaries and non-western Christians continues to be a dialectical one, with many western elements of Christianity finding their way into even the most indigenous of non-western Christian manifestations. Furthermore, in the new age of mission focus on responsive and unreached peoples, the relationship between any kind of western missionary going to a non-Christian people inherently involves inequality of power and influence. Even if medical and educational institutions are dispensed with, as McGavran recommends, the missionary, even a shortterm one, has superior knowledge. Who has more power than a translator? As Edward Said and many others have reminded us, access to knowledge is a form of power. In his recommendations for a mission strategy, McGavran suggests a focus on training indigenous agents. The missionary initially provides pastoral leadership for the work of indigenous agents, who do everything else and eventually take over an indigenous church. But how is this pastoral leadership to be provided? McGavran describes an ideal missionary, asking him about his duties:

EVANGELICALS AND UNREACHED PEOPLES

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261

I collect the offerings, add the mission grant, pay the men, visit the congregations with the greatest problems, discuss relocations with the village pastors who must be moved, and leaders in their congregations, examine candidates for baptism, see about the building and repair of new chapels, administer the sacraments, write our headquarters, chair the various councils and try to implement their minutes and actions.22 There are no schools or hospitals, it is true, but aside from that this description of the duties of a missionary could be taken from an arch-paternalist Victorian supervising village churches in colonial Rhodesia. A missionary relationship like this is bound to generate conflict with the village pastors, who are in the position of the classic catechist, that is subordinates, and the great issues of dependency worked on by Henry Venn are inevitably repeated over and over. The imperial issue of the relationship between western civilization and Christianity in missions becomes particularly acute when missionaries approach unreached tribes, particularly when in the Amazon basin or Papua New Guinea the missionaries are the first westerners to arrive. Missionaries defend themselves by placing a large emphasis upon respect for indigenous culture, which they say can only be preserved in the face of the onslaught of western civilization by preserving a previously unknown language in the form of a Bible. As far back as Carey, western missionaries regarded themselves as in something of a foot race with the wrong sort of westerner in the onslaught of western civilization, hoping to get to non-western peoples before they are corrupted by immoral military men, unscrupulous traders, brutal white settlers, and oppressive colonial governments. The pattern appears again in the rush to evangelize unreached peoples. In the second half of the twentieth century missionaries have been the subject of impassioned critiques from writers and anthropologists for their role, not in preserving indigenous culture, but in acting hand in hand with western corporations and non-western governments who have financial interests in governing or removing altogether indigenous peoples from the path of global corporate progress. One of the biggest hits of the London stage in 1974 was Christopher Hampton’s Savages, with its scathing attack on the destruction of indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin. Savages treats the genocide of the Brazilian government and the missionary campaign to promote a work ethic among indigenous peoples as two sides of the same exterminationist coin. Norman Lewis published his caustic The Missionaries in 1988 because I encountered so many abuses and saw so much damage to the human environment inflicted behind a pseudo-religious front,

262

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POST-COLONIAL MISSIONS SINCE 1945

I found it impossible to remain silent. In the space of a mere thirty years so much has been swept away. The great human tragedy of the missionary conquest of the Pacific is being repeated now in all ‘untouched’ parts of the world. In another thirty years no trace of aboriginal life anywhere will have survived.23 The end of formal colonialism did not bring an end to anti-imperialist attacks on the missionary enterprise. How the history of late twentieth- and twenty-first-century missions will be written in relationship to aboriginal peoples remains to be seen. It is, though, in some respects a new chapter in an old story that has been going on for several centuries, and it is unlikely that the twenty-first century will see any easy resolution of the conflicts between faith and power, between civilization and religion, between love and domination, that have characterized three centuries of British missionary work. Defenders of missions have persuasive arguments when they refer to the voluntary and enthusiastic embrace of Christianity by many non-western peoples, who can hardly be dismissed as victims of false consciousness unless one believes that all religion is a form of false consciousness. The end of the twentieth century did mark in some ways the end of a distinctive period of British missionary history. Great Britain was the largest sending nation of Protestant missionaries in the nineteenth century, and the second largest throughout most of the twentieth century. By the end of the century, though, it had been surpassed by Korea. Furthermore, the shift in the balance of ecclesiastical power toward non-Western Christianity received a dramatic public display in 2005 when the Archbishop of Nigeria, which is home to more Anglicans than Europe and North America combined, succeeded in having the American Episcopal Church excluded, at least temporarily, from the counsels of the Anglican world communion over issues of gay and lesbian status in the church. Whether Henry Venn would see this as the ultimate vindication of his plan to create self-governing, self-supporting, and selfextending churches is anyone’s guess, but there can be no doubt that in ecclesiastical terms the empire has struck back in an unintended way. There is every reason to believe that British women and men will continue to do Christian work beyond the borders of their home country, but the nature of the work in the future as in the past will depend both on what happens to Christian institutions in Britain, and on the nature of Britain’s relationship to the rest of the world.

APPENDIX

Church Missionary Society income 180,000 160,000 140,000 Total

120,000 Pounds

1111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1

100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000

Associations

20,000 0 1802

1812

1822

1832

1842

1852

Year

Figure 1 Church Missionary Society income, 1812–1872 Source: Church Missionary Atlas, London: Church Missionary Society, 1873.

1862

1872

264

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APPENDIX t. income

1802 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837

373 566 611 1,682 2,460 1,974 1,849 2,331 2,467 2,476 2,401 3,046 10,793 16,643 17,072 19,643 21,616 27,704 30,062 31,149 32,975 32,226 37,043 43,492 43,528 44,131 42,094 54,010 47,391 47,839 41,839 48,315 51,207 66,909 65,732 69,266

assoc. income

7,321 9,942 9,464 15,423 18,862 24,174 25,684 28,158 28,135 30,400 32,571 34,612 38,861 36,972 37,633 45,184 41,639 39,661 34,815 41,087 40,862 47,759 52,093 54,210

1838 1839 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873

t. income

assoc. income

80,288 67,771 96,481 86,536 84,377 110,343 94,243 94,445 91,746 106,398 91,980 144,720 94,400 101,896 107,699 101,148 113,298 107,743 115,208 123,174 155,484 146,376 145,629 129,182 139,481 131,217 134,247 147,176 146,208 150,356 157,288 155,194 141,828 165,918 153,697 156,440

61,871 58,522 81,687 69,242 71,698 78,628 75,301 74,642 74,337 77,923 75,353 76,201 74,355 80,753 79,173 84,478 86,952 85,748 90,321 95,971 101,744 115,219 109,249 103,983 106,485 99,607 103,677 104,529 113,899 116,037 121,299 118,570 114,916 121,692 133,661 125,580

Figure 1 continued Source: Church Missionary Society Atlas, London: Church Missionary Society, 1873.

APPENDIX

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265

British missionary income by denominational category, 1872

Scottish Protestant 12%

Irish Protestant 5% UK Roman Catholic 1%

Anglican 42%

Nonconformist 40%

Anglican Nonconformist Scottish Protestant Irish Protestant UK Roman Catholic

Anglican Noncon ScotsProt IrishProt UK RC Total

£429,573 £413,216 £126,451 £52,594 £5,517 £1,027,351

41.8% 40.2% 12.3% 5.1% 0.5%

Figure 2 British missionary income by denominational category, 1872 Source: W. B. Boyce, Statistics of the Protestant Missionary Societies 1872–73 London: William Nichols, 1874.

266

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APPENDIX

Global mission income, 1872

European Roman Catholic 12.2%

British Protestant American Protestant Continental Protestant European Roman Catholic

Continental Protestant 8.1%

British Protestant 55.9% American Protestant 23.8%

British Protestant American Protestant Cont. Protestant European RC

£1,021,834 £434,615 £148,713 £224,015

Total

£1,829,177

56% 24% 8% 12%

Figure 3 Global mission income, 1872 Source: W. B. Boyce, Statistics of the Protestant Missionary Societies 1872–73, London: William Nichols, 1874.

APPENDIX

267

British Protestant missionaries abroad 10,000 Series2 9,000 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 1889

1916

1925

1938

1980

1991

2001

Estimated British Protestant Missionaries Overseas 1889 1916 1925 1938 1980 1991 2001

4,232 7,693 8,699 8,533 5,913 5,865 5,700

Figure 4 British Protestant missionaries abroad Note: 1938 excludes the China Island Mission; 2001 from Johnstone, Operation World, 2003 ed. Source: See Table 1.

268

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APPENDIX British and American Protestant missionaries by region, 1916

70% American British

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

Latin America

West Indies

Latin West America Indies (%) (%) American 63 British 20

60 25

East Asia

Southeast Asia

Islamic World

South Asia

Africa

South Pacific

Africa

East Asia (%)

South- Islamic east Asia World (%) (%)

South Asia (%)

(%)

South Pacific (%)

56 33

46 9

38 47

19 33

12 15

45 35

Figure 5 British and American Protestant missionaries by region, 1916 Note: The percentages are based on a total workforce which includes not only missionaries from Great Britain and the United States, but also those from Europe, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and indigenous missionary societies in the South Pacific and West Indies. Source: Beach, World Statistics of Christian Missions, 1916.

APPENDIX

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269

Women as a percentage of British missionary workforce by region, 1916 80% Series1 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Islamic World

South Asia

East Asia

British South East South Grand Total Asia Pacific

Latin America

Africa

West Indies

Female (%) Islamic World South Asia East Asia British grand total South East Asia South Pacific Latin America Africa West Indies

67 62 60 58 57 51 50 46 27

Figure 6 Women as a percentage of British missionary workforce by region, 1916 Source: Beach, World Statistics of British Missions, 1916.

7,693

8,699

9,881

8,533

5,913

5,865

6,678

5,700

1916

1925

1938a

1938b

1980

1991

2001a

2001b

3,352

3,866

3,347

3,264

1,945

1,994

2,356

2,351

1,960

1,167

Female married

3,133

3,605

3,001

2,469

1,120

Female unmarried

5,127

5,961

5,352

4,429

2,287

Female total

51

60

60

62

58

54

Female (%)

66,822 89

42,880 85

1,688

757

1,249

1,386

NonRoman western Catholic staff (%)

22,422 84

Nonwestern staff

813

998

1,428

4,283

3,346

3,058

Anglican InterSoc denom Soc

9,792

Continental

47,334

11,289 3,546

13,829

9,619 3,188

1,942 1,054

Personnel USA (total home and abroad)

10,695

South Korea

Sources: S. G. (Samuel Gosnell) Green, The Missionary Year-Book for 1889, Containing Historical and Statistical Accounts of the Principal Protestant Missionary Societies in Great Britain, the Continent of Europe, and America (London: Religious Tract Society, 1889). Harlan P. Beach and Burton St. John, eds., World Statistics of Christian Missions, Containing a Directory of Missionary Societies, a Classified Summary of Statistics, and an Index of Mission Stations Throughout the World (New York: The committee of reference and counsel of the Foreign missions conference of North America, 1916). Harlan P. Beach and Charles H. Fahs, eds., World Missionary Atlas (London: Edinburgh House, 1925). Joseph Irving, Interpretative Statistical Survey of the World Mission of the Christian Church. Summary and Detailed Statistics of Churches and Missionary Societies, Interpretative Articles, and Indices., ed. Joseph Irving Parker (New York London: International missionary council, 1938). P. W. Brierley, comp., UK Protestant Missions Handbook (London: Evangelical Missionary Alliance, 1977). UK Christian Handbook, Religious Trends 2000/2001 (Eltham, London: Christian Research, 2003). Patrick Johnstone, Operation World (2003 ed.).

Notes: 1889 married women estimated; 1938a including China Inland Mission; 1938b excluding China Inland Mission; 2001a UK Christian Handbook, Religious Trends 2000/2001, 2003; 2001b Johnstone, Operation World, 2003.

4,232

1889

Missionaries Male (Protestant)

Table 1 Estimated number of British missionaries overseas, 1889–2001

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Table 2 Largest British Protestant Missionary Societies, 1889–2000

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1889 SPG CMS China Inland Mission LMS (inc. Ladies Committee) Salvation Army SPG Ladies Association WMMS BMS Free Church of Scotland CEZMS

1938 600 365 276 184 175 165 152 118 117 105

1977 USPG CMS WEC Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) Methodist Church Salvation Army BMS SAMS SUM Church of Scotland

1980 428 358 305 301

USPG CMS OMF WEC

369 369 279 238

270 239 217 145 143 126

Salvation Army BMS Bible Medical & Missionary Fellowship Wycliffe Methodist Church Church of Scotland

213 191 156 154 149 146

2001 Youth with a Mission Operation Mobilisation WEC International Wycliffe Bible Translator OMF International SIM UK BMS CMS Intercontinental Church Society Navigators USPG Assemblies of God Crosslinks (BCMS)

China Inland Mission 1,675 CMS 1,169 MMS 1,014 Brethren 801 Church of Scotland 757 BMS 453 SPG 441 LMS 404 CEZMS 244 UMCA 242 Sudan Interior Mission 211 Bible Churchmen’s Missionary Society 176 (BCMS) Africa Inland Mission 143 Worldwide Evangelization Crusade 117 (WEC) Presb Ch Ireland 103

Anglican & Baptist % of workforce 486 407 290 284 266 191 187 161 153 146 124 119 110

Anglican Baptist Brethren Presbyterian Pentecostal Methodist Other

1982 40 26 10 9 6 5 4

1998 34 16 7 7 5 6 25

Sources: S. G. (Samuel Gosnell) Green, The Missionary Year-Book for 1889, Containing Historical and Statistical Accounts of the Principal Protestant Missionary Societies in Great Britain, the Continent of Europe, and America (London: Religious Tract Society, 1889). Joseph Irving, Interpretative Statistical Survey of the World Mission of the Christian Church. Summary and Detailed Statistics of Churches and Missionary Societies, Interpretative Articles, and Indices., ed. Joseph Irving Parker (New York London: International missionary council, 1938). P. W. Brierley, comp., UK Protestant Missions Handbook (London: Evangelical Missionary Alliance, 1977). UK Christian Handbook, Religious Trends 2000/2001 (Eltham, London: Christian Research, 2003).

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F UR T H E R R E A D I N G

Anderson, Gerald H., ed. Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans, 1998. Ayandele, Emmanuel Ayankanmi. The Missionary Impact on Modern Nigeria, 1842–1914: A Political and Social Analysis. London: Longmans, 1966. Barrett, David, ed. World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World, A.D. 1900–2000. Nairobi; New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. Barrett, David, George T. Kurian, and Todd M. Johnson, eds. World Christian Encyclopedia : A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Bays, Daniel H. Christianity in China from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Edited by Daniel H. Bays. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996. Beidelman, Thomas O. Colonial Evangelism: A Socio-Historical Study of an East African Mission at the Grassroots. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1982. Bickers, Robert A., and Rosemary Seton, eds. Missionary Encounters: Sources and Issues. Richmond: Curzon Press, 1996. Bowie, Fiona, Deborah Kirkwood, and Shirley Ardener. Women and Missions: Past and Present: Anthropological and Historical Perceptions. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women, vol. 11. Providence, RI: Berg, 1993. Brunner, Daniel L. Halle Pietists in England: Anthony William Boehm and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Arbeiten Zur Geschichte Des Pietismus. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993. Christensen, Torben, and William R. Hutchison. Missionary Ideologies in the Imperialist Era, 1880–1920. Aros, 1982. Cnattingius, Hans. Bishops and Societies. A Study of Anglican Colonial and Missionary Expansion 1698–1850. Published for the Church Historical Society. London: SPCK, 1952. Comaroff, Jean and John. Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa. 2 Vol. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. Cox, Jeffrey. Imperial Fault Lines: Christianity and Colonial Power in India, 1818–1940. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002.

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FURTHER READING

Dube, Saurabh. Untouchable Pasts: Religion, Identity, and Power Among a Central Indian Community, 1780–1950. SUNY Series in Hindu Studies. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998. Elbourne, Elizabeth. Blood Ground: Colonialism, Missions, and the Contest for Christianity in the Cape Colony and Britain, 1799–1853. Toronto: McGill-Queens University Press, 2002. Elphick, Richard., and T. R. H. Davenport. Christianity in South Africa: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. Edited by Richard. Elphick. Perspectives on Southern Africa. Berkeley Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997. Etherington, Norman. Preachers, Peasants, and Politics in Southeast Africa, 1835–1880: African Christian Communities in Natal, Pondoland, and Zululand; Further. Royal Historical Society Studies in History, no. 12. London: Royal Historical Society, 1978. Flemming, Leslie A., ed. Women’s Work for Women: Missionaries and Social Change in Asia. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989. Gibbs, M. E. The Anglican Church in India 1600–1970. Delhi: Indian Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, 1972. Goodall, Norman. A History of the London Missionary Society, 1895–1945. London New York: Oxford University Press, 1954. Gray, Richard. Black Christians and White Missionaries. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Gunson, Niel. Messengers of Grace: Evangelical Missionaries in the South Seas 1797–1860. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1978. Guy, Jeff. The Heretic: A Study of the Life of John William Colenso, 1814–1883. Johannesburg: Ravan Press; Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1983. Hall, Catherine. Civilising Subjects. Colony and Metropole in the English Imagination, 1830–1867. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002. Harper, Susan Billington. In the Shadow of the Mahatma : Bishop V.S. Azariah and the Travails of Christianity in British India. Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.; Richmond, UK: Curzon Press, 2000. Hastings, Adrian. The Church in Africa: 1450–1950. The Oxford History of the Christian Church. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Helly, Dorothy O. Livingstone’s Legacy: Horace Waller and Victorian Mythmaking. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1987. Hewat, Elizabeth G. K. Vision and Achievement 1796–1956: A History of the Foreign Missions of the Churches United in the Church of Scotland. Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1960. Hewitt, Gordon. The Problems of Success: A History of the Church Missionary Society, 1918–1942. Volume I: In Tropical Africa, the Middle East, at Home. London: SCM Press, 1971. Hewitt, Gordon. The Problems of Success: A History of the Church Missionary Society, 1918–1942. Volume II. Asia, Overseas Partners. London: SCM Press, 1977. Hutchison, William, and Torben Christensen, eds. Missionary Ideologies in the Imperialist Era, 1880–1920. Aros, 1982.

FURTHER READING

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Isichei, Elizabeth Allo. A History of Christianity in Africa from Antiquity to the Present. Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. Lawrenceville, NJ: Africa World Press, 1995. Jayawardena, Kumari. The White Woman’s other Burden: Western Women and South Asia during British Colonial Rule. New York: Routledge, 1995. Johnston, Anna. Missionary Writing and Empire, 1800–1860. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Jones, Kenneth W. Socio-Religious Reform Movements in British India. The New Cambridge History of India. 1 III. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Kent, Eliza F. Converting Women. Gender and Protestant Christianity in Colonial South India. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Lewis, Donald M. Christianity Reborn: The Global Expansion of Evangelicalism in the Twentieth Century. Edited by Donald M. Lewis. Studies in the History of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Pub., 2004. Martin, David. Tongues of Fire. The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America. Oxford, UK Cambridge, MA: B. Blackwell, 1990. Martin, David. Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002. Mason, J. C. S. The Moravian Church and the Missionary Awakening in England, 1760–1800. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Royal Historical Society, Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2001. McCracken, John. Politics and Christianity in Malawi, 1875–1940: The Impact of the Livingstonia Mission in the Northern Province. Blantyre, Malawi: Christian Literature Association in Malawi, 2000. McGrandle, Piers. Trevor Huddleston: Turbulent Priest. London: Continuum, 2004. Melman, Billie. Women’s Orients: English Women and the Middle East, 1718– 1918: Sexuality, Religion and Work. 2nd edn. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995. Neill, Stephen. A History of Christian Missions. The Pelican History of the Church, vol. 6. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1964. O’Connor, Daniel. Gospel, Raj, and Swaraj: The Missionary Years of C.F. Andrews, 1904–14. Studien Zur Interkulturellen Geschichte Des Christentums. Bd. 62. Frankfurt am Main; New York: P. Lang, 1990. Obeyesekere, Gananath. The Apotheosis of Captain Cook. European Mythmaking in the Pacific, with a New Afterword by the Author. 1992. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. O’Connor, Daniel, et al. Three Centuries of Mission. The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 1701–2000. London and New York: Continuum, 2000. Peel, J. D. Y. Religious Encounter and the Making of the Yoruba. African Systems of Thought. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2000. Pettifer, Julian, and Richard Bradley. Missionaries. London: BBC Books, 1990. Philip, John. Researches in South Africa, Illustrating the Civil, Moral, and Religious Conditions of the Native Tribes: Including Journals of the Authors travels in the Interior. London: J. Duncan, 1828.

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FURTHER READING

Piggin, F. Stuart. Making Evangelical Missionaries, 1789–1858: The Social Background, Motives and Training of British Protestant Missionaries to India. Evangelicals & Society from 1750. 2. Sutton Courtney Press, 1984. Pollock, J. C. Shadows Fall Apart. The Story of the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1958. Porter, A. N. Religion Versus Empire? British Protestant Missionaries and Overseas Expansion, 1700–1914. Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press, 2004. Porter, Andrew, ed. Atlas of British Overseas Expansion. London: Routledge, 1991. Porter, Andrew, ed. The Imperial Horizons of British Protestant Missions, 1880–1914. Studies in the History of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: W. B. Eerdmans, 2003. Powell, Avril A. Muslims and Missionaries in Pre-Mutiny India. London Studies on South Asia No. 7. Richmond, UK: Curzon Press, 1993. Ross, Andrew (Andrew C.). John Philip, 1775–1851: Missions, Race, and Politics in South Africa. Aberdeen University Press, 1986. Ross, Andrew C. David Livingstone: Mission and Empire. London & New York: Hambledon, 2002. Sanneh, Lamin O. Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture. American Society of Missiology Series. No. 13. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989. Sanneh, Lamin O. Encountering the West: Christianity and the Global Cultural Process: The African Dimension. World Christian Theology Series. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993. Scott, Jamie S., and Gareth Griffiths. Mixed Messages: Materiality, Textuality, Missions. Edited by Jamie S. Scott. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Semple, Rhonda Anne. Missionary Women: Gender, Professionalism, and the Victorian Idea of Christian Mission. Woodbridge, UK; Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2003. Shenk, Wilbert R. Henry Venn, Missionary Statesman. American Society of Missiology Series, No. 6. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1983. Shourie, Arun. Harvesting Our Souls: Missionaries, Their Design, Their Claims. New Delhi: ASA Publications, 2000. Singh, Brijraj. The First Protestant Missionary to India. Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg (1683–1719). New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999. Stanley, Brian. The Bible and the Flag: Protestant Missions and British Imperialism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Leicester, England: Apollos, 1990. Stanley, Brian. The History of the Baptist Missionary Society, 1792–1992. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992. Studdert-Kennedy, Gerald. Providence and the Raj: Imperial Mission and Missionary Imperialism. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1998. Sundkler, Bengt, and Christopher Steed. A History of the Church in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Thorne, Susan. Congregational Missions and the Making of an Imperial Culture in Nineteenth-Century England. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999.

FURTHER READING

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Thorogood, Bernard. Gales of Change: Responding to a Shifting Missionary Context: The Story of the London Missionary Society, 1945–1977. Geneva, Switzerland: Published for CWM by WCC Publications, 1994. Turner, Mary. Slaves and Missionaries. The Disintegration of Jamaican Slave Society, 1787–1834. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1982. Ustorf, Werner, and Aasulv Lande, eds. Mission in a Pluralist World. Studies in the Intercultural History of Christianity 97. Frankfurt-am-Main, 1996. Veer, Peter van der. Conversion to Modernities. The Globalization of Christianity. Zones of Religion. New York: Routledge, 1996. Veer, Peter van der. Imperial Encounters Religion and Modernity in India and Britain. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001. Viswanathan, Gauri. Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998. Walls, Andrew F. The Missionary Movement in Christian History. Studies in the Transmission of Faith. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1996. Ward, Kevin and Brian Stanley, eds., The Church Mission Society and World Christianity, 1799–1999, Studies in the History of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans; Richmond, UK: Curzon Press Ltd., 2000. Ward, W. R. The Protestant Evangelical Awakening. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Williams, C. Peter. The Ideal of the Self-Governing Church: A Study in Victorian Missionary Strategy. Studies in Christian Mission, vol. 1. Leiden; New York: E. J. Brill, 1990. Yates, Timothy E. Venn and Victorian Bishops Abroad: The Missionary Policies of Henry Venn and Their Repercussions Upon the Anglican Episcopate of the Colonial Period 1841–1872. Studia Missionalia Upsaliensia. 33. Uppsala: Swedish inst. of missionary research, Sv. inst. for missionsforskning, 1978. Yates, Timothy. Christian Mission in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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N OT E S

1 Introduction: religion and empire in the modern world 1 Callum G. Brown, The Death of Christian Britain. Understanding Secularisation 1800–2000, Christianity and Society in the Modern World (London and New York: Routledge, 2001). 2 Sydney Smith, “Indian Missions,” Edinburgh Review 12 (April 1808): 151–81. 3 Julian Pettifer and Richard Bradley, Missionaries (London: BBC Books, 1990), 7. 4 Jean and John Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa. 2 Vol. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991); T. O. (Thomas O.) Beidelman, Colonial Evangelism: A Socio-Historical Study of an East African Mission at the Grassroots (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982); Gananath Obeyesekere, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook. European Mythmaking in the Pacific, with a New Afterword by the Author, reprint, 1992 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997); J. D. Y. Peel, Religious Encounter and the Making of the Yoruba, African Systems of Thought (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2000). 5 Catherine Hall, Civilising Subjects. Colony and Metropole in the English Imagination, 1830–1867 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002); A. N. Porter, Religion Versus Empire? British Protestant Missionaries and Overseas Expansion, 1700–1914 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, distributed in the USA by Palgrave, 2004). 6 Antoinette M. Burton, Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865–1915 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1994); Antoinette M. Burton, At the Heart of the Empire. Indians and the Colonial Encounter in Late-Victorian Britain (Berkeley, CA, London: University of California Press, 1998); Mrinalini Sinha, Colonial Masculinity: The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the ‘Effeminate Bengali’ in the Late Nineteenth Century, Studies in Imperialism (Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press; St. Martin’s Press, 1995). 7 Homi K. Bhabha, “Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions of Ambivalence and Authority Under a Tree Outside Delhi, May 1817,” Critical Inquiry 12 (Autumn 1985): 144–65; Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes. Travel Writing and Transculturation (London and New York: Routledge, 1992).

NOTES

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8 Owen Chadwick, Victorian Church, An Ecclesiastical History of England, 5 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966); Callum G. Brown, Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain, Religion, Politics, and Society in Britain (Harlow, England; New York: Pearson Longman, 2006). 9 Jeffrey Cox, The English Churches in a Secular Society: Lambeth, 1870–1930 (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982). 10 Stephen Neill, A History of Christian Missions, The Pelican History of the Church, vol. 6 (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1964); Brian Stanley, The Bible and the Flag: Protestant Missions and British Imperialism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Leicester, England: Apollos, 1990). 11 Neill, A History of Christian Missions, 9. 12 Ernest A. Payne, The Growth of the World Church. The Story of the Modern Missionary Movement (London: Edinburgh House Press, 1955). 13 Ainslie T. Embree, “Christianity and the State in Victorian India: Confrontation and Collaboration,” in Religion and Irreligion in Victorian Society: Essays in Honor of R. K. Webb, ed. R. W. Davis and R. J. Helmstadter (London: Routledge, 1992), cited, p.151. 14 I am using the word “voluntarist” in a different sense from two related meanings. One is the philosophical term which denotes a commitment to the primacy of will. The other is a variant of the nineteenth-century term “voluntaryist,” implying a commitment to the separation of church and state. For this use of the term see J. P. Ellens, Religious Routes to Gladstonian Liberalism (State University, PA, 1994). 15 Alfred Clair Underwood, A History of the English Baptists. (London: Baptist Union Publ. Dept., 1947), cited on page 42. 16 William Carey, An Enquiry Into the Obligations of Christians, to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens in Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of the World, the Success of Former Undertakings, and the Practicability of Further Undertakings, Are Considered (Leicester, 1792), 79. 17 Edward W. Said, Orientalism, 1st edn. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978), 204. 18 Elizabeth G. K. Hewat, Vision and Achievement 1796–1956. A History of the Foreign Missions of the Churches United in the Church of Scotland (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1960), 1. 19 Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa. 2 Vol., vol. 1, 32. 20 Hans Cnattingius, Bishops and Societies. A Study of Anglican Colonial and Missionary Expansion 1698–1850, Published for the Church Historical Society (London: SPCK, 1952), 52, citing SPCK Report, 1791 (London, 1792), 110. 21 Carey, An Enquiry, 74. 22 Rhonda Anne Semple, Missionary Women: Gender, Professionalism, and the Victorian Idea of Christian Mission (Woodbridge, UK, Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2003). 23 Lahore Missionary Conference, Report of the Punjab Missionary Conference Held at Lahore in December and January, 1862–63. (Ludhiana: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1863).

280 NOTES

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24 Missionary Conference, Report of the Punjab Missionary Conference Held at Lahore in December and January, 1862–63, 166–67. 25 C. Peter Williams, “British Religion and the Wider World Mission: Mission and Empire, 1800–1940,” in A History of Religion in Britain. Practice and Belief from Pre-Roman Times to the Present, ed. Sheridan Gilley and W. J. Sheils (Cambridge (USA) & Oxford: Blackwell, 1994), cited p. 400. 26 Lamin O. Sanneh, Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West (Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans, 2003); Robert Eric Frykenberg, A History of Christianity in India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

2 Confessional improvisation 1 Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, attrib., An Answer to Dr. Mayhew’s Observations on the Charter and Conduct of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (London: R. & S. Draper, 1764). 2 Secker, An Answer to Dr. Mayhew’s Observations, 33. 3 Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, in Three Volumes (London: Church Missionary Society, 1899), Vol. I, 21. 4 W. R. Ward, The Protestant Evangelical Awakening (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). 5 Clive Field, “A Godly People? Aspects of Religious Practice in the Diocese of Oxford, 1738–1936,” Southern History. A Review of the History of Southern England 14 (1992): 50, 52. 6 26 May 2004, The Times, p. 6. 7 Thomas Bray, An Essay to Shew the Incompetent Provision There is in Many Parishes, Through a Great Part of the Kingdom, to Enable the Parochial Clergy to Instruct the People (London: J. Brudenell, 1703), n.p. 8 Daniel L. Brunner, Halle Pietists in England: Anthony William Boehm and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Arbeiten Zur Geschichte Des Pietismus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993), 73. 9 Ward, The Protestant Evangelical Awakening, 317. 10 John Gillies, A Supplement to Two Volumes (Published in 1754) of Historical Collections, Chiefly Containing Late Remarkable Instance of Faith Working by Love, published from the manuscript (Edinburgh: Archibald Constable, 1796), 31. 11 Jeffrey Cox, “Master Narratives of Long Term Religious Change,” in The Decline of Christendom in Western Europe, 1750–2000, ed. Hugh McLeod and Werner Ustorf (Cambridge, UK, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 201–17. 12 C. F. Pascoe, Two Hundred Years of the S.P.G.: An Historical Account of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1701–1900 (London: SPG, 1901), cited 178. 13 W. K. Lowther Clarke, A History of the S.P.C.K., with epilogue by F. N. Davey (London: SPCK, 1959), 11.

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14 Daniel O’Connor et al., Three Centuries of Mission. The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 1701–2000 (London and New York: Continuum, 2000), 26. 15 Stanley Schlenther, “Religious Faith and Commercial Empire,” in The Oxford History of the British Empire. Volume II. The Eighteenth Century, P. J. Marshall (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 131. 16 G. M. Ditchfield, “Ecclesiastical Policy Under Lord North,” in The Church of England c.1689–c.1833. From Toleration to Tractarianism, ed. John Walsh, Colin Haydon, and Stephen Taylor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 241. 17 Secker, An Answer to Dr. Mayhew’s Observations, 33. 18 O’Connor et al., Three Centuries of Mission, cited p. 20. 19 See Dictionary of National Biography, VI, 607. 20 Gillies, A Supplement to Two Volumes (Published in 1754) of Historical Collections, Chiefly Containing Late Remarkable Instance of Faith Working by Love, passim. 21 Owanah Anderson, “Anglican Mission Among the Mohawk,” in Three Centuries of Mission. The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 1701–2000, Daniel O’Connor et al.(London and New York: Continuum, 2000), 237. 22 Secker, An Answer to Dr. Mayhew’s Observations, 35. 23 Schlenther, “Religious Faith and Commercial Empire,” 129–30. 24 Secker, An Answer to Dr. Mayhew’s Observations, 41. 25 Noel Titus, “Concurrence Without Compliance: SPG and the Barbadian Plantations, 1710–1834,” in Three Centuries of Mission. The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 1701–2000, Daniel O’Connor et al. (London and New York: Continuum, 2000), 249–61. 26 O’Connor et al., Three Centuries of Mission, 34–35. 27 Schlenther, “Religious Faith and Commercial Empire,” 131. 28 Much of my account is based on Margaret Priestley, “Philip Quaque of Cape Coast,” in Africa Remembered: Narratives by West Africans from the Era of the Slave Trade, ed. Philip D. Curtin (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1967), 99–139 and F. L. Bartels, “Philip Quaque, 1741–1816,” Transactions of the Gold Coast and Togoland Historical Society 1, no. V (1955): 153–77. 29 Bartels, “Philip Quaque, 1741–1816,” 155. 30 Bartels, “Philip Quaque, 1741–1816,” 169. 31 Caryl Phillips, The Atlantic Sound (London: Faber, 2000), p.179. 32 Priestley, “Philip Quaque of Cape Coast,” 139. 33 Hans Cnattingius, Bishops and Societies. A Study of Anglican Colonial and Missionary Expansion 1698–1850, Published for the Church Historical Society (London: SPCK, 1952), 75. 34 On this interesting enterprise see Brijraj Singh, The First Protestant Missionary to India. Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg (1683–1719) (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999). 35 John Gillies, Historical Collections Relating to Remarkable Periods of the Success of the Gospel and Eminent Instruments Employed in Promoting It, two volumes (Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis, 1754), I, 413.

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NOTES

36 See the account in Brunner, Halle Pietists in England: Anthony William Boehm and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 112. 37 For more on this interesting story see Brunner, Halle Pietists in England: Anthony William Boehm and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. 38 Cnattingius, Bishops and Societies. A Study of Anglican Colonial and Missionary Expansion 1698–1850, p. 52, citing S.P.C.K. Report, 1791 (London, 1792), p. 110. 39 “The modern missionary movement is an autumnal child of the Evangelical Revival.” Andrew Walls, “The Evangelical Revival, the Missionary Movement, and Africa,” in Evangelicalism. Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in North America, the British Isles, and Beyond, 1700–1990, ed. Mark A. Noll, David W. Bebbington, and George A. Rawlyk (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 310. 40 G. G. Findlay and W. W. Holdsworth, The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, in Five Volumes (London: Epworth Press, 1921), I, 16–17.

3 Voluntarist improvisation 1 Philip Doddridge, The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul (London: J. Waugh, 1745), 2. 2 Philip Doddridge, The Evil and Danger of Neglecting the Souls of Men (London, 1742), vii-ix. 3 J. E. Hutton, A History of Moravian Missions (London: Moravian Publication Office, 1922), cited p. 20. 4 Colin Podmore, The Moravian Church in England, 1728–60, Oxford Historical Monographs (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998); J. C. S. Mason, The Moravian Church and the Missionary Awakening in England, 1760–1800 (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Royal Historical Society; Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2001). 5 Hutton, A History of Moravian Missions, 199. 6 For more on this story see Mason, The Moravian Church and the Missionary Awakening in England, 1760–1800. 7 John Gillies, Historical Collections Relating to Remarkable Periods of the Success of the Gospel and Eminent Instruments Employed in Promoting It, 2 volumes (Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis, 1754), II, 415. 8 Gillies, Historical Collections Relating to Remarkable Periods of the Success of the Gospel and Eminent Instruments Employed in Promoting It, II, 431. 9 Gillies, Historical Collections Relating to Remarkable Periods of the Success of the Gospel and Eminent Instruments Employed in Promoting It, II, 445. 10 Gerald H. Anderson, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions (Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans, 1998), 85. 11 Ernest A. Payne, “Doddridge and the Missionary Enterprise,” in Philip Doddridge, 1702–1751. His Contribution to English Religion, ed. Geoffrey F. Nuttall (London: Independent Press, 1951), 99, citing Correspondence, V, 195. 12 David Hempton, Methodism. Empire of the Spirit (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).

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13 I owe a great deal to W. R. Ward, The Protestant Evangelical Awakening (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). 14 For a discussion of who said what when, see the Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, Volume XLII, part 5, September 1980, p. 151, and Part 6, December 1980, p. 192. 15 Letter 6 Feb 1712, printed in Wesley’s Journals, iii.3, cited in Daniel L. Brunner, Halle Pietists in England: Anthony William Boehm and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Arbeiten Zur Geschichte Des Pietismus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993), 186. 16 Wesley’s Sermons 63, 17–18. 17 W.S. Caine, India as Seen by Mr. W. S. Caine, M.P. (Lucknow: O. P. Varma and Brothers Press, 1889), 479, citing John Wesley’s Journal, VI, 476. 18 Thomas Coke, An Address to the Pious and Benevolent, Proposing an Annual Subscription for the Support of Missionaries in the Highlands and Adjacent Islands of Scotland, the Isles of Jersey, Guernsey, and Newfoundland, the West Indies, and the Provinces of Nova Scotia and Quebec (London, 1786), 1. 19 David Hempton, The Religion of the People. Methodism and Popular Religion c. 1750–1900 (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), 103. 20 John Vickers, Thomas Coke. Apostle of Methodism (London: Epworth Press, 1969), 149. They are named in Anderson, Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, 241–42. 21 Thomas Coke, An Address to the Generous Subscribers and Contributors for the Support of the Missions Carried on by the Methodist Society Among the Negroes and the Caribbs of the West Indies (London, 1788), 2. 22 Vickers, Thomas Coke. Apostle of Methodism, 266, 172. 23 Vickers, Thomas Coke. Apostle of Methodism, cited 156. 24 Coke, An Address to the Generous Subscribers and Contributors for the Support of the Missions Carried on by the Methodist Society Among the Negroes and the Caribbs of the West Indies, 1. 25 Mary Turner, Slaves and Missionaries. The Disintegration of Jamaican Slave Society, 1787–1834 (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1982), 25. 26 Vickers, Thomas Coke. Apostle of Methodism, 288. 27 Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, in Three Volumes (London: Church Missionary Society, 1899), I, 94. 28 Eustace Carey, Memoir of William Carey, D.D. Late Missionary to Bengal; Professor of Oriental Languages in the College of Fort William, Calcutta (London: Jackson and Walford, 1836), 33. 29 Carey, Memoir of William Carey, D.D. Late Missionary to Bengal, 72. 30 John Clark Marshman, The Life and Times of Carey, Marshman, and Ward, Embracing the History of the Serampore Mission (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1859), I, 65. 31 William Carey, An Enquiry Into the Obligations of Christians, to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens in Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of the World, the Success of Former Undertakings, and the Practicability of Further Undertakings, Are Considered (Leicester, 1792), 79.

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NOTES

32 Gillies, Historical Collections Relating to Remarkable Periods of the Success of the Gospel and Eminent Instruments Employed in Promoting It; John Gillies, Appendix to the Historical Collections Relating to the Success of the Gospel (Glasgow: John Orr, 1761); John Gillies, A Supplement to Two Volumes (Published in 1754) of Historical Collections, Chiefly Containing Late Remarkable Instance of Faith Working by Love, published from the manuscript (Edinburgh: Archibald Constable, 1796). 33 Melville Horne, Letters on Missions, Addressed to the Protestant Ministers of the British Churches (Bristol: Bulgin and Rosser, 1794), reviewed in Evangelical Magazine (II, London, 1794) p. 476. 34 Max Warren’s comment in Henry Venn, To Apply the Gospel. Selections from the Writings of Henry Venn, Max Warren (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1971), 20.

4 “Little detachments of maniacs”: early failures 1 Sydney Smith, “Indian Missions,” Edinburgh Review 12 (April 1808): 172. Smith’s assault was the second of three essays on missions, including “Ingram on Methodism,” Edinburgh Review 11 (January 1808): 341–62; “Indian Missions”; and “Styles on Methodists and Missions,” Edinburgh Review 14 (April 1809): 40–50. 2 Smith, “Indian Missions,” 180. 3 Smith, “Indian Missions,” 170. 4 Papers Relating to East India Affairs (Mutiny at Vellore—Christians in Malabar— Roman Catholic Chapel—Temple of Jaggernaut; and Tax on Pilgrims. Missionaries in Bengal—Interior Government—Company’s Investment), Parliamentary Papers (London: House of Commons, 1813, 12 May), 3. 5 Smith, “Indian Missions,” 178–79. 6 See the account in John Clark Marshman, The Life and Times of Carey, Marshman, and Ward, Embracing the History of the Serampore Mission (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1859), I, 138. 7 Daniel O’Connor et al., Three Centuries of Mission. The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 1701–2000 (London and New York: Continuum, 2000), 21. Bray’s Missionalia (1727) suggested the appointment of “Artificers in the Quality of Catechists.” 8 Niel Gunson, Messengers of Grace. Evangelical Missionaries in the South Seas 1797–1860 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1978), quoted 37, 38. 9 Gunson, Messengers of Grace. Evangelical Missionaries in the South Seas 1797–1860, 59–60. 10 C. Silvester Horne, The Story of the L.M.S., with an Appendix Bringing the Story up to the Year 1904 (London: London Missionary Society, 1908), 23. 11 Thomas Haweis in Evangelical Magazine III, 1795, pp. 261–70 cited in Alan Argent, “The Founding of the London Missionary Society and the West Midlands,” in Protestant Nonconformists and the West Midlands of England, ed.

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12 13 14 15 16 17

285

Alan P. F. Sell, Studies in Protestant Nonconformity (Keele: Keele University Press, 1996), 31. Ainslie Thomas Embree, Charles Grant and British Rule in India (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1962), 248. Eustace Carey, Memoir of William Carey, D.D. Late Missionary to Bengal; Professor of Oriental Languages in the College of Fort William, Calcutta (London: Jackson and Walford, 1836), 144. Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, in Three Volumes (London: Church Missionary Society, 1899), I, 83. John Wolffe, “Wilberforce, William (1759–1833),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, online ed. 2006). David Hempton, The Religion of the People. Methodism and Popular Religion c. 1750–1900 (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), 110, citing Pellew, Life and Correspondence of Sidmouth, vol 3, p. 41. Hempton, The Religion of the People. Methodism and Popular Religion c. 1750–1900, 110 citing Hansard, 1st series, XIX, 113.

5 The home base: networks and societies 1 David Hempton, The Religion of the People. Methodism and Popular Religion c. 1750–1900 (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), 103–04. 2 Hempton, The Religion of the People. Methodism and Popular Religion c. 1750–1900, 103–04, citing Bunting, Life of Bunting, 411–12. 3 Hempton, The Religion of the People. Methodism and Popular Religion c. 1750–1900, 110. 4 Alan D. Gilbert, Religion and Society in Industrial England. Church, Chapel, and Social Change, 1740–1914 (London New York: Longman, 1976); Robert Currie, Alan D. Gilbert, and Lee Horsley, Churches and Churchgoers: Patterns of Church Growth in the British Isles Since 1700 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977). 5 Frank Prochaska, “‘Little Vessels’: Children in the Nineteenth Century English Missionary Movement,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History VI, no. 2 (January 1978): 103–18. 6 Eugene Stock, My Recollections (London: Church Missionary Society, 1909), 54, 315. 7 Data taken from Church Missionary Atlas (London: Church Missionary Society, 1873). 8 C. F. Pascoe, Two Hundred Years of the S.P.G.: An Historical Account of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1701–1900 (London: S.P.G., 1901), 825. 9 Currie, Gilbert, and Horsley, Churches and Churchgoers: Patterns of Church Growth in the British Isles Since 1700, 214; Pascoe, Two Hundred Years of the S.P.G.: An Historical Account of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1701–1900, 828. 10 Frank M. Turner, John Henry Newman. The Challenge to Evangelical Religion. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002), 130–32.

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11 Eustace Carey, Memoir of William Carey, D.D. Late Missionary to Bengal; Professor of Oriental Languages in the College of Fort William, Calcutta (London: Jackson and Walford, 1836), 567. 12 Susan Thorne, Congregational Missions and the Making of an Imperial Culture in Nineteenth-Century England (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), 133. 13 Brian Stanley, The History of the Baptist Missionary Society, 1792–1992 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992), 214. 14 Statistics are drawn from W. B. B. (William Bennington Boyce), Statistics of the Protestant Missionary Societies 1872–73 (London: William Nichols, 1874). 15 Taken from W. B. B. (William Bennington Boyce), Statistics of the Protestant Missionary Societies 1872–73. 16 C. P. Williams, “ ‘Not Quite Gentlemen’: An Examination of ‘Middling Class’ Protestant Missionaries from Britain, 1850–1900,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 31, no. 3 (July 1980). 17 William Carey, An Enquiry Into the Obligations of Christians, to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens in Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of the World, the Success of Former Undertakings, and the Practicability of Further Undertakings, Are Considered (Leicester, 1792), 72. 18 Account of a Society for Mission to Africa and the East Instituted by Members of the Established Church. (London, 1799), 8. 19 Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, in Three Volumes (London: Church Missionary Society, 1899), 258, 264. 20 Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, reprint, 1847 (New York: Bantam Books, 1981), 353. 21 Brontë, Jane Eyre, 375. 22 William Carey, An Enquiry, 74. 23 Richard Lovett, The History of the London Missionary Society 1795–1895, in Two Volumes (London: Henry Frowde, 1899), I, 127. 24 Elizabeth Elbourne, “African Missionary Wives in the London Missionary Society in Nineteenth-Century Southern Africa: Negotiating Race and Gender,” conference presentation, North American Conference on British Studies (Baltimore, 2002). 25 Niel Gunson, Messengers of Grace. Evangelical Missionaries in the South Seas 1797–1860 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1978), 152–53.

6 Missionary literature: the defamation of the other 1 Anna Johnston, Missionary Writing and Empire, 1800–1860 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). 2 G. G. Findlay and W. W. Holdsworth, The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, in Five Volumes (London: Epworth Press, 1921), I, 77. 3 Compiled by Terry Barringer, David Seton, and Rosemary Seton, the Missionary Periodicals Database may be accessed electronically through the

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7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

22

23

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web site of the Yale University Divinity School Library. http://www.library. yale.edu/div/divhome.htm Findlay and Holdsworth, The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, in Five Volumes, I, 106. W. B. B. (William Bennington Boyce), Statistics of the Protestant Missionary Societies 1872–73 (London: William Nichols, 1874). Thomas Coke, A History of the West Indies, Containing the Natural, Civil, and Ecclesiastical History of Each Island: With an Account of the Missions Instituted in Those Islands, from the Commencement of Their Civilization; but More Especially of the Missions Which Have Been Established in That Archipelago by the Society Late in Connexion with the Rev. John Wesley, in three volumes (Liverpool: Nuttall, Fisher, and Dixon, 1808–11), I, 86. Coke, A History of the West Indies, I, 85. Coke, A History of the West Indies, I, 22. Coke, A History of the West Indies, I, 77. Coke, A History of the West Indies, I, 23. The Evangelical Magazine 3 (1795), 263 Coke, A History of the West Indies, I, 38. Coke, A History of the West Indies, I, 28. Coke, A History of the West Indies, II, 441. Coke, A History of the West Indies, III, 50. Coke, A History of the West Indies, I, viii. Coke, A History of the West Indies, II, 455. Eustace Carey, Memoir of William Carey, D.D. Late Missionary to Bengal; Professor of Oriental Languages in the College of Fort William, Calcutta (London: Jackson and Walford, 1836), 63–64. Carey, Memoir of William Carey, D.D. Late Missionary to Bengal; Professor of Oriental Languages in the College of Fort William, Calcutta, 404. Carey, Memoir of William Carey, D.D. Late Missionary to Bengal; Professor of Oriental Languages in the College of Fort William, Calcutta, 230. Charles Grant, Observations on the State of Society Among the Asiatic Subjects of Great Britain, Particularly with Respect to Morals; and on the Means of Improving It—Written Chiefly in the Year 1792, parliamentary papers (London: House of Commons, 1813). Thomas Twining, A Letter to the Chairman of the East India Company on the Danger of Interfering in the Religious Opinions of the Natives of India; and on the Views of the British and Foreign Bible Society as Directed to India (London: J. Ridgway, 1807); Scott Waring, Observations on the Present State of the East India Company (London: James Ridgway, 1808 (4th edn)); Charles Stuart, A Bengal Officer, Vindication of the Hindoos from the Aspersions of the Reverend Claudius Buchanan, M.A. (London: R. & J. Rodwell, 1808). Andrew Fuller, An Apology for the Late Christian Missions to India: Part the First (London: Burditt and Button, 1808); Andrew Fuller, An Apology for the Late Christian Missions to India: Part the Second (London: Burditt and Button, 1808); John Shore, Baron Teignmouth, Considerations on the Practicability, Policy, and

288

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24

25 26 27 28 29

30 31 32 33

34

35

36 37

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Obligation of Communicating to the Natives of India the Knowledge of Christianity (London: John Hatchard, 1808); J. W. Cunningham, Christianity in India. An Essay on the Duty, Means, and Consequences of Introducing the Christian Religion Among the Native Inhabitants of the British Dominions in the East (London: J. Hatchard, 1808). Sydney Smith, “Ingram on Methodism,” Edinburgh Review 11 (January 1808): 341–62; Sydney Smith, “Indian Missions,” Edinburgh Review 12 (April 1808): 151–81; Sydney Smith, “Styles on Methodists and Missions,” Edinburgh Review 14 (April 1809): 40–50. Twining, A Letter to the Chairman of the East India Company on the Danger of Interfering in the Religious Opinions of the Natives of India, 4. Fuller, An Apology for the Late Christian Missions to India: Part the First, 4. Fuller, An Apology for the Late Christian Missions to India: Part the First, 78. Fuller, An Apology for the Late Christian Missions to India: Part the Second, 40. Claudius Buchanan, Memoir of the Expediency of an Ecclesiastical Establishment for British India; Both as the Means of Perpetuating the Christian Religion Among Our Own Countrymen; and as a Foundation for the Ultimate Civilization of the Natives (London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1805), 111. Johnston, Missionary Writing and Empire, 1800–1860, 199, and Part Four passim. W. (William) Ward, Account of the Writings, Religion, and Manners, of the Hindoos: Including Translations from Their Principal Works, in Four Volumes (Serampore: Mission Press, 1811), xv, & Ch. 3. Ward, Account of the Writings, Religion, and Manners of the Hindoos, I, xxii. W. (William) Ward, A View of the History, Literature and Religion of the Hindoos: Including a Minute Description of their Manners and Customs, and Translations from their Principal Works. The Third Edition, Carefully Abridged and Greatly Improved. In Two Volumes. (London: Black, Parbury and Allen, 1817), I, xlvi. W. (William) Ward, A View of the History, Literature and Religion of the Hindoos: Including a Minute Description of Their Manners and Customs, and Translations from Their Principal Works. The Third Edition, Carefully Abridged and Greatly Improved. In Four Volumes. (London: Black, Kingsbury, Parbury and Allen, 1820), III, liv This edition was of volumes III and IV only. W. (William) Ward, A View of the History, Literature and Religion of the Hindoos: Including a Minute Description of Their Manners and Customs, and Translations from Their Principal Works. In Three Volumes. (London: Kingsbury, Parbury and Allen, 1822), I, xlv. Arun Shourie, Missionaries in India. Continuities, Changes, Dilemmas (New Delhi: ASA Publications, 1994); Arun Shourie, Harvesting Our Souls– Missionaries, their Design, their Claims (New Delhi: ASA Publications, 2000). William Ellis, Polynesian Researches, During a Residence of Nearly Six Years in the South Sea Islands; Including Descriptions of the Natural History and Scenery of the Islands—with Remarks on the History, Mythology, Traditions, Government, Arts, Manners, and Customs of the Inhabitants, in Two Volumes (London: Fisher, Son, and Jackson, 1829); John Williams, A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the

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38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55

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South Seas Islands; with Remarks Upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Languages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1837). Christopher Herbert, Culture and Anomie. Ethnographic Imagination in the Nineteenth Century (Chicago & London: University of Chicago, 1991), 173. William Ellis, Polynesian Researches, During a Residence of Nearly Eight Years in the Society and Sandwich Islands. Second Edition, Enlarged and Improved, in Four Volumes (London: Fisher, Son, and Jackson, 1832), I, 128. John Clark Marshman, The Life and Times of Carey, Marshman, and Ward, Embracing the History of the Serampore Mission (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1859), I, 18. Williams, A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises, 408. Williams, A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises, 237. Williams, A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises, 373. Williams, A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises, 184. Williams, A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises, 189. Niel Gunson, Messengers of Grace. Evangelical Missionaries in the South Seas 1797–1860 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1978), George Stallworthy, cited 278. Gunson, Messengers of Grace. Evangelical Missionaries in the South Seas 1797–1860, George Platt, cited p. 61. The Encyclopedia Britannica. Eleventh Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910), I, 325. Robert Moffat, Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa, reprint, 1842 (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1852), iii. Moffat, Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa, 168. Moffat, Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa, 168. Moffat, Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa, 125. Moffat, Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa, 29. Moffat, Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa, 38–39. Moffat, Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa, 332.

7 The missionary hero and missionary institutions 1 David Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa: Including a Sketch of Sixteen Years’ Residence in the Interior of Africa, and a Journey from the Cape of Good Hope to Loanda on the West Coast; Thence Across the Continent, Down the River Zambesi, to the Eastern Ocean (London: J. Murray, 1857). 2 National Portrait Gallery (Great Britain) and Scottish National Portrait Gallery, David Livingstone and the Victorian Encounter with Africa (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1996), 37. 3 John Campbell, Travels in South Africa Undertaken at the Request of the London Missionary Society, Being a Narrative of a Second Journey in the Interior of that Country, reprint, 1822 (London: London Missionary Society, Johnson Reprint Corp., New York, 1967).

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4 William Carey, An Enquiry Into the Obligations of Christians, to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens in Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of the World, the Success of Former Undertakings, and the Practicability of Further Undertakings, Are Considered (Leicester, 1792), 79. 5 National Portrait Gallery (Great Britain) and Scottish National Portrait Gallery. David Livingstone and the Victorian Encounter with Africa, cited p. 41, citing W. G. Blaikie, The Personal Life of David Livingstone, London, 1880, p. 190. 6 John Smith Moffat, The Lives of Robert and Mary Moffat (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1885). 7 Dorothy O. Helly, Livingstone’s Legacy: Horace Waller and Victorian Mythmaking (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1987). 8 Andrew Porter, “ ‘Christianity and Commerce’: The Rise and Fall of a Nineteenth-Century Missionary Slogan,” Historical Journal 28, no. 3 (1985): 597–621. 9 Henry Venn, To Apply the Gospel. Selections from the Writings of Henry Venn, Max Warren (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1971), 63. 10 C. Peter Williams, The Ideal of the Self-Governing Church: A Study in Victorian Missionary Strategy, Studies in Christian Mission, vol. 1 (Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill, 1990); Wilbert R. Shenk, “Rufus Anderson and Henry Venn: A Special Relationship,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 1981 October 1981, 168–72; Wilbert R. Shenk, Henry Venn, Missionary Statesman, American Society of Missiology Series, No. 6 (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1983). 11 Niel Gunson, Messengers of Grace. Evangelical Missionaries in the South Seas 1797–1860 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1978), 344–64. 12 Harvey Newcomb, A Cyclopedia of Missions, Containing a Comprehensive View of Misisonary Operations Throughout the World; with Geographical Descriptions, and Accounts of the Social, Moral, and Religious Condition of the People (New York: Charles Scribner, 1855 revised edition), 105. 13 Newcomb, Cyclopedia of Missions, 775. 14 Catherine Hall, Civilising Subjects. Colony and Metropole in the English Imagination, 1830–1867 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002). 15 Jean and John Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa. 2 Vol. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991). 16 Lahore Missionary Conference, Report of the Punjab Missionary Conference Held at Lahore in December and January, 1862–63 (Ludhiana: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1863), 166–67. 17 Henry Venn, The Missionary Life and Labours of Francis Xavier, Taken from his Own Correspondence: With a Sketch of the General Results of Roman Catholic Missions among the Heathen (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Robert, & Green, 1862). 18 Venn, Missionary Life and Labours of Francis Xavier, iii. 19 Venn, Missionary Life and Labours of Francis Xavier, 210, original italics. 20 Venn, Missionary Life and Labours of Francis Xavier, 319.

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21 William Knight, The Missionary Secretariat of Henry Venn, B.D. (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1880), 109. 22 Knight, The Missionary Secretariat of Henry Venn, B.D., 135. 23 Gauri Viswanathan, Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India, The Social Foundations of Aesthetic Forms Series (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989). 24 Kenneth W. Jones, Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-Century Punjab (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976); David Lelyveld, Aligarh’s First Generation: Muslim Solidarity in British India (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978); Gail Minault, Secluded Scholars. Women’s Education and Muslim Social Reform in Colonial India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998). 25 Venn, To Apply the Gospel. Selections from the Writings of Henry Venn, 218. 26 Hans Cnattingius, Bishops and Societies. A Study of Anglican Colonial and Missionary Expansion 1698–1850, Published for the Church Historical Society (London: SPCK, 1952), cited 201. 27 Charlotte Mary Yonge, Life of John Coleridge Patteson, Missionary Bishop of the Melanesian Islands, in Two Volumes (London: Macmillan, 1874). 28 Venn, To Apply the Gospel. Selections from the Writings of Henry Venn, 66–68, CMS Minute of 1861 on the Organization of Native Churches. 29 Venn, To Apply the Gospel. Selections from the Writings of Henry Venn, 124. 30 Richard Burton, Wanderings in West Africa (New York, 1991), 207.

8 The growth of mission institutions before the Great War 1 Brian Stanley, The History of the Baptist Missionary Society, 1792–1992 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992), 200–03. 2 James Johnston, ed., Report of the Centenary Conference on the Protestant Missions of the World Held in Exeter Hall, London, 1888 (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1889),Vol. I, 146. 3 Roland Allen, Missionary Methods. St. Paul’s or Ours? reprint, 1912 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1956). 4 Alfred Barry, The Ecclesiastical Expansion of England in the Growth of the Anglican Communion (London: Macmillan and Co., 1895), 107. 5 Barry, The Ecclesiastical Expansion of England, 168. 6 Henry Hutchinson Montgomery, Foreign Missions, Handbooks for the Clergy (New York: Longmans, Green, and co., 1902), 30. 7 Montgomery, Foreign Missions, 34. 8 Montgomery, Foreign Missions, 35. 9 Montgomery, Foreign Missions, 38. 10 Avril A. (Avril Ann) Powell, Muslims and Missionaries in Pre-Mutiny India, London Studies on South Asia, no. 7 (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1993). 11 Montgomery, Foreign Missions, 84, 93. 12 Montgomery, Foreign Missions, 85. 13 Montgomery, Foreign Missions, 112.

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14 Montgomery, Foreign Missions, 162–63. 15 Chris Brooks and Peter Faulkner, The White Man’s Burdens. An Anthology of British Poetry of the Empire, ed. Chris. Brooks (Exeter, Devon: University of Exeter Press, 1996) 276–77. 16 Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, in Three Volumes (London: Church Missionary Society, 1899); Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society, Supplementary Volume, the Fourth (London: Church Missionary Society, 1916). 17 Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society . . . in Three Volumes, III, 818. 18 Mary Heimann, Catholic Devotion in Victorian England, Oxford Historical Monographs (Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). 19 S. G. (Samuel Gosnell) Green, The Missionary Year-Book for 1889, Containing Historical and Statistical Accounts of the Principal Protestant Missionary Societies in Great Britain, the Continent of Europe, and America (London: Religious Tract Society, 1889). 20 Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society . . . in Three Volumes, III, 697. 21 Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society . . . in Three Volumes, III, 74–75. 22 Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society . . . in Three Volumes, III, 705–06. 23 Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society . . . in Three Volumes, III, 797. 24 Jeffrey Cox, “Independent English Women in Delhi and Lahore,” in Religion and Irreligion in Victorian Society. Essays in Honor of R. K. Webb, R. W. Davis and R. J. Helmstadter (London: Routledge, 1992), pp.166–85. 25 Ernest A. Payne, The Growth of the World Church. The Story of the Modern Missionary Movement (London: Edinburgh House Press, 1955), 117. 26 Anna Johnston, Missionary Writing and Empire, 1800–1860 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 21. 27 James S. Dennis, Centennial Survey of Foreign Missions. A Statistical Supplement to “Christian Missions and Social Progress,” Being a Conspectus of the Achievements and Results of Evangelical Missions in All Lands at the Close of the Nineteenth Century (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1902), 257. 28 Jeffrey Cox, Imperial Fault Lines. Christianity and Colonial Power in India, 1818–1940 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002), 74–75. 29 Eugene Stock, My Recollections (London: Church Missionary Society, 1909), 54, 315. 30 Jeffrey Cox, The English Churches in a Secular Society: Lambeth, 1870–1930 (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 41. 31 Cox, The English Churches in a Secular Society: Lambeth, 1870–1930, 42. 32 SPG Committee on Women’s Work, Annual Report, 1908. 33 Cox, “Independent English Women in Delhi and Lahore.”; Modupe Labode, “From Heathen Kraal to Christian Home: Anglican Mission Education and

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African Christian Girls, 1850–1900,” in Women and Missions: Past and Present. Anthropological and Historical Perceptions, eds Fiona Bowie, Deborah Kirkwood and Shirley Ardener (Providence and Oxford: Berg, 1993),126–44.

9 Conflict and consensus in mission institutions 1 S. G. (Samuel Gosnell) Green, The Missionary Year-Book for 1889, Containing Historical and Statistical Accounts of the Principal Protestant Missionary Societies in Great Britain, the Continent of Europe, and America (London: Religious Tract Society, 1889). 2 Harlan P. Beach and Burton St. John, eds, World Statistics of Christian Missions, Containing a Directory of Missionary Societies, a Classified Summary of Statistics, and an Index of Mission Stations Throughout the World (New York: The committee of reference and counsel of the Foreign missions conference of North America, 1916). 3 Green, The Missionary Year-Book for 1889, 33. 4 Eliza F. Kent, Converting Women. Gender and Protestant Christianity in Colonial South India (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), a fine recent treatment of Bible women in South India. 5 Leslie A. Flemming, ed., Women’s Work for Women: Missionaries and Social Change in Asia (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989). 6 Norman Goodall, A History of the London Missionary Society, 1895–1945. (London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1954), 498. 7 Beach and St. John, World Statistics of Christians Missions, 59. The precise number was 109,099. 8 Beach and St. John, World Statistics of Christians Missions, 59–61. 9 Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, The Missionary Controversy. Discussion, Evidence and Reports, 1890. (London: Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1890). 10 Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, The Missionary Controversy. Discussion, Evidence and Reports, 1890, 88. 11 Robert Needham Cust, Essay on the Prevailing Methods of the Evangelization of the Non-Christian World (London: Luzac & Co., 1894), 205. 12 Cust, Essay on the Prevailing Methods, 222. 13 Alice Maud (Sorabji) Pennell, Mrs, Pennell of the Afghan Frontier: The Life of Theodore Leighton Pennell, 1st edn, introd. by Earl Roberts (Lahore: Sang-eMeel Publications, 1978). 14 Cust, Essay on the Prevailing Methods, 213. 15 Rhonda Anne Semple, Missionary Women: Gender, Professionalism, and the Victorian Idea of Christian Mission (Woodbridge, UK Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2003). 16 Emmanuel Ayankanmi Ayandele, The Missionary Impact on Modern Nigeria, 1842–1914: A Political and Social Analysis (London: Longmans, 1966); Andrew Porter, “Cambridge, Keswick and Late-Nineteenth-Century Attitudes to Africa,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 5, no. 1 (1976): 23–46; Andrew Porter, “Evangelical Enthusiasm, Missionary Motivation and West

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17 18 19 20

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Africa in the Late Nineteenth Century: The Career of G. W. Brooke,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 6, no. 1 (1977): 5–34. Cust, Essay on the Prevailing Methods, 188. Ayandele, The Missionary Impact on Modern Nigeria, 1842–1914: A Political and Social Analysis, 245, n. 11. J. D. Y. Peel, Religious Encounter and the Making of the Yoruba, African Systems of Thought (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2000), 11. Henry Whitehead, “The Progress of Christianity in India and Mission Strategy,” East and West V (1907): 26.

10 Ecclesiastical sprawl: the triumph of bricks and mortar 1 Harlan P. Beach, A Geography and Atlas of Protestant Missions: Their Environment, Forces, Distribution, Methods, Problems, Results and Prospects at the Opening of the Twentieth Century (New York, Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, 1901–03); World Missionary Conference, Statistical Atlas of Christian Missions (Edinburgh: The Conference, 1910); Student Volunteer Movement, World Atlas of Christian Missions (New York: Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, 1911); Harlan P. Beach and Charles H. Fahs, eds, World Missionary Atlas (London: Edinburgh House, 1925); Joseph Irving Parker, ed., Interpretative Statistical Survey of the World Mission of the Christian Church. Summary and Detailed Statistics of Churches and Missionary Societies, Interpretative Articles, and Indices. (New York London: International Missionary Council, 1938). 2 The Encyclopedia Britannica. Eleventh Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910), Vol. xvii, p. 598; Harlan P. Beach and Burton St. John, eds., World Statistics of Christian Missions, Containing a Directory of Missionary Societies, a Classified Summary of Statistics, and an Index of Mission Stations Throughout the World (New York: The committee of reference and counsel of the Foreign missions conference of North America, 1916). 3 Beach and St. John, World Statistics of Christians Missions, 54. 4 Beach and Fahs, World Missionary Atlas, 95–96. 5 Beach and Fahs, World Missionary Atlas, 79. 6 Martha Vicinus, Independent Women. Work and Community for Single Women 1850–1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1985), 28–29. 7 Beach and Fahs, World Missionary Atlas, 79. 8 Beach and Fahs, World Missionary Atlas, 59. 9 Commission on Christian Higher Education in India. Report of the Commission on Christian Higher Education in India. An Enquiry Into the Place of the Christian College in Modern India. (London: Oxford University Press, 1931). 10 Commission on Christian Higher Education in India. Report of the Commission on Christian Higher Education in India, 119. 11 Beach and Fahs, World Missionary Atlas, 59. 12 Baptist Missionary Society, Annual Reports, being a continuation of the Periodical Accounts relative to the Society (London: Baptist Missionary Society, 1809–98), 1892, p. 64.

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13 Baptist Missionary Society, Annual Reports, 1901, pp. 81–82. 14 Henry Hutchinson Montgomery, The Life and Letters of George Alfred Lefroy D. D., Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1920), I, 20. 15 Charles Freer Andrews, North India (Oxford: Mowbray, 1908), 190. 16 Daniel O’Connor, ed., The Testimony of C. F. Andrews, Confessing the Faith in India Series, no. 10 (Madras: Published for the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, Bangalore, by Christian Literature Society, 1974), 227. 17 O’Connor, The Testimony of C. F. Andrews, 103. 18 W. H. T. Gairdner, The Reproach of Islam (London: Church Missionary Society, 1909); W. H. T. Gairdner, The Rebuke of Islam (London: United Council for Missionary Education, 1920). 19 World Missionary Conference, Report of Commission (Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1910); International Missionary Council, The Jerusalem Meeting of the International Missionary Council, March 24–April 8, 1928. (New York: International Missionary Council, 1928); International Missionary Council, John Merle Davis, and Kenneth G. Grubb, “The Madras Series” (New York London: International Missionary Council, 1939). 20 W. H. T. Gairdner, “Edinburgh 1910.” An Account and Interpretation of the World Missionary Conference (Edinburgh, London: O. Anderson & Ferrier, 1910), 10. 21 Gairdner, “Edinburgh 1910.” An Account and Interpretation of the World Missionary Conference, 133. 22 Gairdner, “Edinburgh 1910.” An Account and Interpretation of the World Missionary Conference, 10. 23 Gairdner, “Edinburgh 1910.” An Account and Interpretation of the World Missionary Conference, 138. 24 Gairdner, “Edinburgh 1910.” An Account and Interpretation of the World Missionary Conference, 125. 25 Gairdner, “Edinburgh 1910.” An Account and Interpretation of the World Missionary Conference, 109–10. 26 Gairdner, “Edinburgh 1910.” An Account and Interpretation of the World Missionary Conference, 110, words of Azariah in italics. 27 Gordon Hewitt, The Problems of Success: A History of the Church Missionary Society, 1918–1942. Volume I: In Tropical Africa, the Middle East, at Home (London: SCM Press, 1971), 429ff. 28 Norman Goodall, A History of the London Missionary Society, 1895–1945 (London New York: Oxford University Press, 1954), 551. 29 Brian Stanley, The History of the Baptist Missionary Society, 1792–1992 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992), 381. 30 Ernest A. Payne, The Growth of the World Church. The Story of the Modern Missionary Movement (London: Edinburgh House Press, 1955), 145. 31 Goodall, A History of the London Missionary Society, 1895–1945, 272. 32 J. D. Y. Peel, Religious Encounter and the Making of the Yoruba, African Systems of Thought (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2000); Saurabh Dube,

296 NOTES

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Untouchable Pasts: Religion, Identity, and Power Among a Central Indian Community, 1780–1950, SUNY Series in Hindu Studies (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998). 33 Norman Etherington, “Missionaries and the Intellectual History of Africa: A Historical Survey,” Itinerario 7 (1983): 116–43; Lamin O. Sanneh, Whose Religion is Christianity? the Gospel Beyond the West (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003); Lamin O. Sanneh, Encountering the West: Christianity and the Global Cultural Process: The African Dimension, World Christian Theology Series (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993). 34 Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York: Random House, 1993), 40. 35 Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day (New York, 1980), 124–25.

11 Evangelicals and unreached peoples 1 Stanley, The History of the Baptist Missionary Society, 1792–1992, 395. 2 Sundkler, Bengt, and Christopher Steed. A History of the Church in Africa, p.988. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 3 Stanley, The History of the Baptist Missionary Society, 1792–1992, 395. 4 Sundkler, Bengt. Bantu Prophets in South Africa. 1948, cited 1028. London, New York: Published for the International African Institute by Oxford University Press, 1961. 5 McGavran, Donald Anderson. How Churches Grow. The New Frontiers of Mission. London: World Dominion Press, 1959, 79. 6 Martin, David. Tongues of Fire. The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America. Oxford, UK Cambridge, MA: B. Blackwell, 1990. 7 Peel, Religious Encounter and the Making of the Yoruba; Ranger, Terence. “Missionaries, Migrants, and the Manyika.” In The Creation of Tribalism in Southern Africa, edited by Leroy Vail. 1989, 118–50. Berkeley, CA: University of California, 1991. 8 Etherington, Norman. Preachers, Peasants, and Politics in Southeast Africa, 1835–1880: African Christian Communities in Natal, Pondoland, and Zululand. Royal Historical Society Studies in History, no. 12. London: Royal Historical Society, 1978; Sundkler, and Christopher Steed, A History of the Church in Africa. 9 Sundkler, and Christopher Steed, A History of the Church in Africa, 846ff. 10 Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa. 2 vols. 11 Achebe, Chinhua. Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann, 1958. 12 Sundkler, and Christopher Steed, A History of the Church in Africa, 3. 13 McGavran, Donald Anderson. The Bridges of God: A Study in the Strategy of Missions. London: World Dominion Press, 1955; McGavran, How Churches Grow: The New Frontiers of Mission. (London: World Dominion Press, 1959). 14 Grubb, Kenneth G. The Lowland Indians of Amazonia: A Survey of the Location and Religious Condition of the Indians of Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. London: World Dominion Press, 1927. 15 McGavran, How Churches Grow: The New Frontiers of Mission, 182.

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16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

McGavran, Bridges of God, 53. McGavran, Bridges of God, 56. McGavran, Bridges of God, 57. Brown, The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularisation 1800–2000; McLeod, Hugh. The Religious Crisis of the 1960s. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Brierley, Peter and Heather Wright, eds. UK Christian Handbook, 3.5. London: HarperCollins Religious, 2000/2001, no. 2. McLeod, Hugh, and Werner Ustorf, eds. The Decline of Christendom in Western Europe, 1750–2000. Cambridge, UK, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. McGavran, How Churches Grow. The New Frontiers of Mission, 164. Lewis, Norman. The Missionaries. London: Vintage, 1988, 7.

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INDEX

Achebe, Chinua 251 African Americans 22, 36–37, 39, 53, 65–66 Aggrey, J. E. K. 237 Allen, Roland 211 Andrews, C. F. 221, 224 Anglican Church Canada, 3 global expansion, 92 India, 92 Nigeria, 3 Australia 89 Azariah, V. S. 19, 230–31 Baptist Missionary Society 71–72 Barbados 38–39 Barrett, David 248 Barry, Alfred 174–75 BBC 5 Bengal 82 Beza, Theodore 53 Bogue, David 74, 83 Böhme, Anton Wilhelm 45 Bombay 163 Book of Common Prayer 24 Boxer Rebellion 172 Brainerd, David 57–59, 73 Brant, Joseph 34 Bray, Thomas 27–28, 30, 32 British and Foreign Bible Society 90 Brown, Callum 7 Brown, David 50–51, 86 Buchanan, Claudius 87, 127 Bunting, Jabez 94

Burton, Richard 152 Buxton, Thomas Fowell 149 Calcutta 44, 50, 162 Cambridge Seven 185 cannibalism 118 Carey, Dorothy 71–72, 82 Carey, Eustace 124 Carey, William 11–12, 16, 70–72, 81–82, 86, 126, 147, 253–54 caste 48 China Inland Mission 184, 206–8 Church Missionary Society 75, 85–88, 90 Church of Scotland 13, 74, 135, 162 Clapham Sect 68, 85, 90 Clark, Ernest H. 238 Codrington College 39 Codrington Estates 38–39 Coke, Thomas 51, 64–69, 73, 117 Comaroff, Jean and John 13, 251 confessionalism 25, 44, 49 translation, 45 contact zones 6, 17 conversions 48, 82, 138, 211 Africa, 249 Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion 62 Crowther, Samuel 160, 168, 209 Cust, Robert 204–5, 209 denominations competition, 25, 174 Desai, Anita 239

312

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INDEX

Dissenters 25, 52 see also Nonconformists Doddridge, Philip 52–54, 60 Duff, Alexander 117 East India Company 44, 48 chaplains, 50–51, 86, 90 charter revision, 91 Edinburgh Missionary Conference 1910 19, 174, 226–31 Edwards, Jonathan 59 Elbourne, Elizabeth 107 Eliot, John 15, 32–33 Ellis, William 117, 132–36 Episcopal Church USA, 3 Evangelicals 50, 68, 75, 85, 259 Forster, E. M. 19 Francke, August Herman 45 Free Church of Scotland 162 Fuller, Andrew 71, 127 Gairdner, W. H. T. 225, 227, 231 Gillies, John 73 Grant, Charles 50, 86, 127, 131–32 Grubb, Kenneth 253 Gunson, Neil 84, 154 Hall, Catherine 7, 155 Halle 44–46 Hampton, Christopher 261 Haweis, Thomas 73 Horne, Melville 73 Horton, Robin 249 hybridity 6, 158 Indian Mutiny 10, 18 indigenous agency 66 Bible women, 201 catechists, 157, 210, 251 educators, 237 episcopal, 168, 209, 231 female, 65 independent congregations, 67, 210 mission staff, 200, 202, 209, 230 South Pacific, 138, 154 Ireland 10, 29

Johnson, James 210 Jones, Griffith 28 Kendall, Thomas 89 Keswick Convention 186 Knibb, William 124, 155 Korea 20 Lahore Missionary Conference 1862 18 Latourette, Kenneth Scott 7 Latrobe, Christian Ignatius 57, 88 Lee, Samuel 89 Lewis, Norman 261 Lindsay, A. D. 219 Livingstone, David 4–5, 14, 21, 145–46, 148, 151–52 Livingstone, Mary 151 London Missionary Society 74, 82–83, 156 Lutheranism 11, 44 Macaulay, Zachary 68, 86 Mackenzie, Charles Frederick 151, 166 Maoris 89 marriage celibacy, 206 interracial, 93, 107–9 eugenics, 179 and racism, 110 Marsden, Samuel 13, 88–89 Marshman, Joshua 82 Martyn, Henry 87 Mason, J. C. S. 56 McGavran, Donald 248, 253–57, 260 Medhurst, Walter Henry 117 Methodism 69 Middleton, Thomas 44 Mill Hill Fathers 183 Mill, James 132 mission practice 35 see also indigenous agency; conversions; social reform anti-westernization, 138 clothing, 135–36, 143 dependency, 156, 247

INDEX

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education, 43 day schools, 201 higher, 218–20, 223 for women, 220 fundraising, 101 going native, 142–43, 205–8 and government, 208 institution building, 35, 191, 194–95, 211, 216 mass conversions, 211 medical missions, 217–18 paternalism, 238 political power, 137 sisterhoods, 194 translation, 28, 32, 34, 89 zenana visitation, 188, 194 mission theory 63, 68, 72, 91, 117, 120 see also opposition to missions anti-imperialism, 246 anti-racism, 152, 180, 204 artisans, 83, 89 bishops, 165 church growth, 248, 253–57, 260 Latin America, 249 civilization, 13, 53, 120, 135–36, 175 hierarchies, 176, 178 commerce, 148–49, 160 conversions Africa, 249 dependency, 46, 153, 157 double vision, 177 education and government, 164 higher, 161–63, 224 elitism, 48, 217, 222, 224 empire, 159 providence, 72, 171–72 establishment, 167 ethnocentrism, 121 eugenics, 179 faith missions, 184, 206 fulfillment theology, 229 geo-religious, 173, 228 holiness, 185 imperialist, 64, 126, 174–75 Indian nationalism, 224 individual conversion, 55 Islam, 225

313

liberal theology, 236 millenarian, 181 non-Christian religions, 228 other cultures Africa, 68, 139–43 African-American, 22, 36–37, 39, 53, 65–66 China, 172 Hinduism, 91, 116, 125, 127–32 Islam, 177 Native American, 15, 22, 31–35, 53, 58–59, 66, 119–20 sexual practices, 119, 128 South Pacific, 118, 121, 132–36 West Indies, 117, 120 providence, 147, 182 racism, 175–78 scientific, 179 Roman Empire, 157 settled communities, 34–35, 69 social Christianity, 220–21, 225 translation, 34, 81, 250 unity of humanity, 121 missionary see also women anti-racism, 122, 168, 204–5, 207, 209 conferences, 174, 221, 226, 232 egalitarianism, 98–99 heroes, 106, 112 male, 112 hymns, 180 martyrs, 105, 139, 166 motives, 61, 195 pacifism, 99 periodicals, 116 publications annual reports, 114 books, 117 for children, 184 newspapers, 164 periodicals, 115–16, 184, 200 racism, 209 institutional, 199 recruitment, 50, 88 families, 187 female, 187, 191 girls’ secondary schools, 188 and ordination, 104

314

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INDEX

and social class, 104 students, 186 universities, 104, 185, 187 snobbery, 86 standard of living, 203 statistics, 213, 258 training, 41, 102 academies, 103 colleges, 105 medical, 146 women, 192, 195 wives, 71, 107, 110–12, 150, 196–97 missionary failures China, 236, 243 India, 211, 244–45 Pakistan, 245 South Pacific, 84 missionary societies American, 215 competition, 97–98 evangelical new, 259 female, 189–90 fundraising, 94, 193 children, 96 growth, 183, 186, 213–14 income, 101–2 non-denominational, 198 organization, 97–98 and denominations, 100 postcolonial, 259–60 redeployment, 258 retrenchment, 233–35 Roman Catholic, 183 female, 189 sisterhoods, 193 and social class, 99 university related, 186 Moffat, Mary 111 Moffat, Robert 117, 139–43 Mohawks 33–35 Montgomery, H. H. 174, 176, 178–80 Moravians 11, 54–57, 60, 62, 73 Mott, John R. 226 Nath, Golak 18–19, 158 Native Americans 15, 22, 31–35, 53, 58–59, 66

Neill, Stephen 7–8 New England 15, 32 New Zealand 13, 89, 166 Nonconformists 94–95, 221 see also Dissenters decline of, 234 Northampton 52 Oldham, J. H. 226 opposition to missions anti-imperialist, 261 Calvinist, 53 imperialist, 79–80 indigenous peoples, 261 racist, 152 ridicule, 79 Pal, Krishna 82 Patteson, John Coleridge 166 Payne, Ernest 8 Peel, John 210, 251 Pennefather, Catherine 192 Pennefather, William 185 Philip, John 140, 147 Pickett, J. Waskom 211, 254 Pietism 11, 44, 46 Podmore, Colin 56 Protestantism international, 24, 60 Quakers 30, 58, 183 Quaque, Philip 15–17, 40–43 race 14, 65, 109, 198, 230, 237 racism 40, 56, 152, 175–76, 209 and marriage, 109 scientific, 22 Richard, Timothy 221, 223 Roman Catholic Church 9, 22, 31, 63, 94–95, 183 Roman Empire 16 Said, Edward 5–6, 12 Salvation Army 207–8 Sanneh, Lamin 250 Sattaniaden 15–18, 48 Schwartz, Christian Friedrich 46, 48 Scotland 28–29

INDEX Scottish Missionary Society 74 Secker, Thomas 22, 24, 26, 31–34, 37, 40 Selwyn, George Augustus 166 Sharp, Granville 68 Sierra Leone 68–69, 155 slave trade 42 slavery 36–37, 39, 42, 56, 63, 67, 122 slaves parochial care, 37 Smith, Sydney 4, 79–80 social reform abolitionism, 91 anti-racism, 123 anti-slavery, 155 apartheid, 246 and Hinduism, 91 indigenous peoples, 140, 166 slavery, 67, 122–24, 149 Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge (Scotland) 29, 58, 60 Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) 8, 15, 27–28, 44–46, 60 Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) 8, 15, 27, 29, 33–35, 37, 40, 44, 60, 165 Codrington Estates, 38–39 and voluntarism, 97 St. Joseph’s Foreign Missionary Society 183 Stanley, Brian 7 Stock, Eugene 182 Stock, Geraldine 180 Student Volunteer Movement 186 Sunday Schools 100 Sundkler, Bengt 248, 252

Texas 166 Thomas, John 71 Thorne, Susan 7 Thornton, Henry 68 transculturation 6 Tutu, Desmond 4

Taylor, Isaac 177 Taylor, J. Hudson 184

Ziegenbalg, Bartholomeus 45 Zinzendorf, Nicolaus Ludwig 54–57

Universities Mission to Central Africa 151 Van der Kemp, Johannes Theodorus 108, 142 Vaughan, Herbert 183 Venn, Henry 153, 159–60, 167–68 Venn, John 75 voluntarism 25, 55, 59, 61, 72 Wales 28 Ward, William 82, 117, 129–31 Wesley, John 7, 51, 59–65 Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society 154 West Indies 30, 36, 38, 55, 65–66, 120 Whitefield, George 60, 62 Wilberforce, William 90–92 Wilkinson, Moses 69 Williams, John 117, 132–36, 138–39 Williams, Rowan 26 Wilson, John 162–63 women 16–17, 65, 71, 107, 150, 187, 189 World Evangelization Crusade 207 World War I 214 Wycliffe Bible Translators 259

315