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“World Missionary Conference” Book Report


Introduction

The book highlights what transpired in a protestant-organised convention held in Edinburgh. The delegates created a highly disjointed atmosphere due to inability to build consensus on majority of the issues. Though chaotic, the convention has shaped the protestant history by recognizing the small emerging churches from various continents. The participant contemplated union with Roman Catholics who were absent at the gathering. The gathering attempted to foster unity among various denominations.

Ecumenical movements sprouted after hosting a conference in Scotland, which established multiple commissions, to make findings that related to the protestant denomination. Written by Stanley, after far-reaching research on the Edinburgh convection, the book aims at elaborating the events that transpired at the convention.

The book lays emphasis on the importance of the convention, ecumenism, re-union and the path for the Protestants. The review aims at highlighting the importance of the “World Missionary Conference” in 1910, the finding of the various commissions and the convention’s legacy1.

Significance of the 1910 gathering

Even though there were prior conventions, this gathering seems to be the most important due the magnitude of preparation. First, the convention was a revelation of willingness of various clergymen in the protestant denomination to create a forum for discussion of issues pertaining to protestant.

The convention received delegates from Asia, which was an indication of the extent of Christianity. Evidently, the absence of Africans at the gathering led to their dismissal by the clerics since they were termed as uncivilised. The delegates discussed on the need to ensure that Christianity spreads out.

Participants witnessed the establishment of multiple commissions with specific mandate, which included the modalities of corporation with other religions2. Presence of the Asian delegation was significant step as it allowed the participation of the small churches that were emerging in continents other than Europe and North America.

Moreover, it resulted in the rise of Christian religious studies in Asia that was largely Buddhist3. In the first and second chapters where there were extensive deliberations during the conference, the author, Stanley provides elaborate details of the preparations and an estimate of the attendance. The meeting of many protestant clerics helped enforce the ideologies of this denomination among the delegates.

Various commissions established

To obtain the findings of the many commission established, the author made extensive research, facilitating widespread use of commissions ‘recommendations in the book.The preface further reveals the depth of research conducted and how it assisted in achievement of the overall objective of the book, which was to vividly account for the events that transpired at the conference.

The commission created had different mandates and a period of two years within which they ought to have completed d and presented their findings4. The findings by the task forces are widely discussed in the fifth to the last chapter. The finding related to many issue like colonialism, missionary work, education and relations to other religions. The commissions’ outcome elicited many reactions in the conferences as the issue discussed subsequently came to dominate world politics.

Tabling of the finding by the commissions did not only provide the conference with an agenda but provided a framework within which the Protestants would work. Some of the finding established Christianity as the superior religion thus the need to spread it (Stanley 2009, 17).

Moreover, the findings set out that missionary work should be an appeal to non-Christians rather than a brutal conversion. Around the time of this conference various European governments were entangled in the scramble for colonies thus the importance of findings of commission seven that discussed relations of the protestants with various European governments.

Legacy of the gathering

Stanley, the author succeeds by chronologically exemplify the events of the World missionary conference that brought together many protestants. Extensive research that helped unearth material that relate to the convention facilitated the accomplishment5. Other than giving an account of the events at the gathering, Stanley identifies two views among the delegates, one of unlimited hopefulness and another that highlighted the existent crisis.

The first voice died after “world war one” that was perpetrated by Christian nations6. The second voice emerged as one that was critical and practical by acknowledging the shift of religious balance in favour of the south hemisphere. Despite the above voices, the author sees the division of the conference as Christians against non-Christians.

The book makes incredible contribution to disciplines that relate to historical studies of Christianity. It exposes rare information that resulted from the commissions that made various findings. While narrating the events of the conference, the author gradually bring out the chronological worth of the gathering.

Conclusion

In 1910, protestant held a conference in Edinburgh, Scotland7. The conference, for the first time had delegates from Asia. This was a significant development as it symbolised the spread of this religion. In absence of the Catholics, the conference addressed various important issues that pertained to Protestants.

The gathering though showing division managed to deliberate on a few things. The convention discussed various findings submitted after two years of researching that provided guidelines on relation with non –Christians, governments and missionary work. The conference was very imperative as it helped in instilling of Christian doctrines in the young churches.

The author narration of the conference has contributed greatly to the world of history that relates to the spread and doctrine of Christianity. The extensive research conducted has revealed the writers endeavour to unearth unknown information that is credible. Moreover, Stanley set a brilliant example of what should precede writing of a book, which is research.

Bibliography

Stanley, Brian. The world missionary conference, Edinburgh 1910. Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009.

Footnotes

1 Stanley, Brian. The world missionary conference, Edinburgh 1910. (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009) 28.

2 Stanley, Brian. The world missionary conference, Edinburgh 1910. (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009) 35.

3 Stanley, Brian. The world missionary conference, Edinburgh 1910. (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009) 28.

4 Stanley, Brian. The world missionary conference, Edinburgh 1910. (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009) 10.

5 Stanley, Brian. The world missionary conference, Edinburgh 1910. (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009) 306.

6 Stanley, Brian. The world missionary conference, Edinburgh 1910. (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009) 16.

7 Stanley, Brian. The world missionary conference, Edinburgh 1910. (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009) 7.

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IvyPanda. "“World Missionary Conference” Book." October 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/world-missionary-conference-book/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "“World Missionary Conference” Book." October 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/world-missionary-conference-book/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) '“World Missionary Conference” Book'. 1 October.

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