Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Epitaph

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Contents

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pp. 6-8

List of Maps

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pp. 9-10

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Foreword

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pp. 11-12

This atlas has been designed to examine the origins, beginnings, growth, and worldwide spread and development of Christianity. With such a vast subject, the selection of topics has been of necessity somewhat limited. However, it is hoped all major topics and geographical areas have received attention. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 13-15

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth was put to death on a cross in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire. Today, the worldwide Christian faith has grown as never before, particularly in Africa, South-East Asia, and South America. ...

Part 1: The Early Christians

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pp. 16-17

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The Mission of the Twelve

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pp. 18-19

There are many – not necessarily reliable – traditions and legends about the missions of the twelve apostles, who travelled widely carrying the message of the risen Christ, suffering and often meeting violent deaths for their faith. One story claims that the apostles cast lots to decide who should go where. ...

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Jews and Christians in Palestine

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pp. 20-21

The Christian faith began in Palestine, regarded by the Jews as their ‘Promised Land’, but ruled by foreign powers for much of its history because of its favourable strategic location. Egypt and Assyria had fought over it for centuries, then Babylon conquered Assyria, and with it Palestine. The Persians allowed some Jews to return from exile to Palestine, ...

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Christianity by AD 100

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pp. 22-23

Paul and his fellow Jewish apostles carried the Christian message to regions beyond Palestine. With the express purpose of evangelizing Gentiles, they travelled extensively in Asia Minor and Greece, visiting synagogues in the Jewish Diaspora – where their teaching often provoked opposition – but also speaking with Gentiles in the marketplaces. ...

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Christianity by AD 300

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pp. 24-25

The second century, particularly the period following the Bar Kokhba revolt, saw a decisive split between Christianity and Judaism. The destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, the exile of the Jews from Judea after the revolt, and the appointment of a Gentile – Mark (or Mahalia) – rather than a Jew as Bishop of Jerusalem all helped widen the breach. ...

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Constantine the Great

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pp. 26-27

In AD 312 Constantine the Great (274–337) won the decisive battle of the Milvian Bridge, outside Rome, having invoked the ‘God of the Christians’ and having put the new Christian ‘chi-rho’ symbol on his shield. This victory put him on a path to supreme power. ...

Part 2: The Church under Siege

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pp. 28-29

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The Arian Challenge

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pp. 30-31

Around 318 a particularly divisive dispute flared between Arius (c. 250–c. 336), a presbyter in Alexandria, and the Patriarch Alexander (r. 313–26). Arius was teaching that, if the Son of God had been crucified, he suffered – as the supreme deity cannot do. He argued that Jesus Christ was therefore not eternal, but made by the Father to do his creative work. ...

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Monophysite Christianity

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pp. 32-33

From the outset, Christians were people with certain beliefs – especially about Jesus Christ – seen as fundamental to the existence of the church. The fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries were marked by lengthy controversies – particularly in the Eastern Church – about how Christ, the Son of God, was himself God (the doctrine of the Trinity); ...

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The Nestorian Church

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pp. 34-37

In 428 Nestorius (c. 381–c. 451), a native of Syria and student at Antioch, was invited by the Eastern Emperor to become Patriarch of Constantinople. Both a popular preacher and reformer – and opponent of Arianism – Nestorius campaigned to defend the full humanity of Jesus, but in doing do seemed to suggest there are two separate Persons in the Incarnate Christ, one divine and the other human. ...

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The Church in the West

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pp. 38-39

From the third century onwards, Goths were raiding the Danube frontier of the Roman Empire. In the fourth century the Visigoths advanced west of the River Dniester and the Ostrogoths east of the Dniester. In about 350 the Goth Wulfila (Ulfilas, c. 311–83) converted most of his people to Arian Christianity. ...

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The First Monks

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pp. 40-43

Most religions include people who take their beliefs more literally, more seriously, or more exactingly than the rest. Sometimes this means rejecting things that other people consider normal and good – for example marriage and sex. Sometimes it’s a matter of increased piety – more praying, at more inconvenient times. ...

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Justinian I

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pp. 44-45

After Constantine I moved the capital of the empire to Constantinople (formerly Byzantium) in AD 330, Rome and the rest of Italy came increasingly under the influence and control of the Bishop of Rome. The Latin Catholic Church of the Roman West and the Eastern Orthodox Church of the East increasingly took on separate identities as the political division of the Roman Empire into East and West became permanent. ...

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The Rise of Islam

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pp. 46-47

Muhammad was born in Mecca in AD 570. In 610, he claimed the angel Gabriel had told him that he had been chosen to turn people from the prevalent paganism, polytheism, immorality, and materialism to worship the one true God – Allah – whose prophet he was. However, when Muhammad gained only 40 followers in a hostile Mecca, ...

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The Eastern Church after 451

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pp. 48-49

From the time of the Council of Chalcedon (451), two increasingly different Christian traditions were developing, one centred on Rome, the other on Constantinople. With diverging emphases, the Western and Eastern churches gradually grew apart, with the East developing its own traditions of spirituality, worship, and church life. ...

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Celtic Monks and Missionaries

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pp. 50-51

For much of earlier Christian history, the pattern of Christian conversion was familial and tribal. Following military defeat or political subjugation, chiefs and leaders accepted baptism and their people followed. Missionary work could be perilous, especially if tribal religion involved ritual human sacrifice, ...

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Charlemagne

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pp. 52-53

The Pope and Western Emperor struggled for power time and again. When the leaders of the Christian community in the West were not trying to stem the Muslim tide or absorb barbarian invasions from the East, they were battling with great temporal leaders such as Charlemagne (‘Charles the Great’, r. 800–14) for control of the church. ...

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The Anglo-Saxon Church

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pp. 54-55

For generations England was first plundered, then settled by raiding tribes from Scandinavia and Germany. During the late 5th century Saxon invaders destroyed many of the old centres of Christianity, and descendants of the original inhabitants were pushed into outlying areas. ...

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Byzantium to 1000

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pp. 56-57

From the late 630s the Eastern Empire struggled for survival against Arab Islamic forces that dwarfed it both militarily and economically. The Arab conquests of the seventh century rapidly reduced the East Roman Empire to a core in Anatolia. The imperial authorities faced almost annual Arab raids into their remaining territories,...

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The Making of the Russian Church

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pp. 58-59

According to tradition, the Russian church was founded by the Apostle Andrew, said to have visited Scythia and Greek colonies on the Black Sea during the first century ad. As we know, between 863 and 869 Eastern Orthodox missionaries – Cyril and Methodius – travelled to eastern Europe and translated parts of the Bible into the Old Slavonic language for the first time – ...

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The Great Schism

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pp. 60-61

Division between East and West can arguably be traced to the early 3rd century, when Latin became the language of theological discourse in the West. The two wings of the church continued to drift apart after the Council of Nicaea in 325, ...

Part 3: The Middle Ages

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pp. 62-63

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Monasteries Reformed: Cluny

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pp. 64-65

During the centuries of barbarian invasion and political disorder, the monasteries became centres of learning much valued for their libraries. Their prestige began to be derived from cultural achievement rather than the original ideals of piety and self-denial. ...

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The Cistercians

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pp. 66-67

Some monastic leaders believed the Cluniac reforms did not go far enough. A much more austere form of monastery was founded by Robert of Molesme (c. 1029–1111) at Cîteaux, near Dijon, Burgundy, in 1098. This rapidly gave rise to the new order of Cistercian monks, who reverted to a strict observance of the Benedictine Rule. ...

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The Crusades

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pp. 68-72

In the 11th century the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), parts of which had been Christian since the missions of the Apostle Paul. The Byzantine Empire was now reduced to little more than the area of modern Greece. In 1095 the Eastern Emperor, Alexius I Comnenus (1081–1118), pleaded for aid from the Christian West, as the Turks were now threatening Constantinople, ...

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The Jews Oppressed

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p. 73

Under Muslim rule, Jews were generally free to practise their own religion. As a result, the Jews of Spain tended to welcome the Islamic conquest of the Arian Christian Visigothic Kingdom. By 950 Cordoba had become a major centre of Jewish scholarship. ...

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Christian Pilgrimage

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pp. 74-75

Pilgrimages to Christian holy sites had been undertaken ever since the 4th century, but became more common in the medieval period, when they offered the possibility of gaining God’s grace – and even eternal life. Pilgrimage could replace public penance as an act to absolve sin, and from the 11th century journeys to holy sites were organized as a major enterprise. ...

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The Rise of Learning

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pp. 76-77

During the age of Charlemagne and the 10th and 11th centuries, education in Christian Europe was based mainly in monasteries and cathedral schools – largely the former until the 11th century. A learned monk would teach novices (new monks), and if he were well known adult monks from other houses would also come to study under him. ...

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The Rise of the Friars

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pp. 78-79

The Italian Francis of Assisi (1181/2–1226) rejected his family fortune in obedience to Christ’s words in the Gospels, and took up a wandering life, followed by a few friends. They begged from the rich, gave to the poor, tended the sick, and preached to anyone they met. ...

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Missions to the Mongols

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pp. 80-81

An extraordinary achievement of the Franciscans and Dominicans was their missions outside Christendom. The Mongol invasions had opened up the road to the East, and by 1239 Dominicans had penetrated east of the middle Volga. Ten years later Andrew of Longjumeau reached Tabriz, in modern north-west Iran. ...

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Medieval Heresy

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pp. 82-83

The reforming monastic orders’ new emphasis on poverty encouraged some to challenge affluent clergy and corrupt monasteries. Peter Valdes (or Waldo, d. c. 1210), a rich merchant from Lyons, sold all he possessed, translated the New Testament into the vernacular, and preached without authorization. ...

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Christian Muscovy: 1221–1510

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pp. 84-85

In the mid-13th century the Mongols invaded the Rus’ and had by 1240 captured Kiev. Although Aleksandr Nevskii (1221–63) attempted to stem the tide, by 1262 the Mongols controlled all the lands of the Rus’. Yet this was not a unqualified disaster for Christianity; the Mongol Kipchak Khanate, ...

Part 4: The Reformations and After

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pp. 86-87

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The West in 1500

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pp. 88-89

Throughout the Middle Ages pope and emperor had been engaged in a contest for supremacy, a conflict that generally resulted in victory for the papacy, but created bitter antagonism between Rome and the Holy Roman Empire. Such antagonism increased in the 14th and 15th centuries as national feelings grew – particularly in German-speaking countries. ...

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Charles V

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pp. 90-91

As a descendant of Ferdinand of Aragon (r. 1479–1516) and Isabella of Castile (r. 1474–1504), Charles inherited the Spanish crown in 1516, taking the title Charles I. He also ruled Sardinia, Sicily, the Kingdom of Naples, and the Balearic Islands, while the newly colonized Spanish territories in the New World poured wealth into his treasury. ...

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Christian Europe: 1560

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pp. 92-93

In 1517 Martin Luther (1483–1546) posted his 95 Theses at Wittenberg. Huldreich Zwingli of Zurich (1484–1531) also revolted against Rome, and the Frenchman John Calvin (1509–64) later became convinced he should restore the church to its original purity. ...

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The Counter Reformation

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pp. 94-95

Revival in the Roman Catholic Church, the ‘Catholic Reformation’, was in part a response to the rise of Protestantism. But reform of the Catholic religious orders had already begun independently as early as the 1520s. ...

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The Thirty Years’ War

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pp. 96-97

The Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) was a disaster for central Europe. Rival armies marched across the region, sometimes fighting, constantly plundering. Great military leaders appeared, flourished, and fell again. After lengthy negotiations, compromise finally prevailed, and the Peace of Westphalia was signed in October 1648. ...

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Catholic Missions

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pp. 98-101

Portugal colonized Brazil, while the remainder of South America fell within the Spanish sphere of influence, as agreed in the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494). The Pope instructed both colonial powers to take missionaries to the New World and set up new bishoprics in a network of dioceses. ...

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Christianity in the Philippines

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pp. 102-103

A Spanish expedition from America, which included five Augustinian friars, seized the Philippines in 1561–62. Other religious orders soon followed, and at the Synod of Manila (1580) the Jesuits, Augustinians, Dominicans, and Franciscans divided up the islands between them for proselytization. ...

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The Great Migration

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pp. 104-105

Early in the seventeenth century Protestants began to colonize North America, starting with settlements on the Atlantic coast. The pioneer colonists sometimes combined commercial motives with missionary zeal and a desire for freedom of worship. In 1607 a community was set up at Jamestown, Virginia, with Robert Hunt (c. 1568–1608) acting as Anglican chaplain. ...

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Christian Europe: 1700

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pp. 106-107

By 1700 Europe had settled into broad religious divisions. The north of Europe was predominantly Protestant, countries to the south and east of Europe were predominantly Roman Catholic, whilst Russia and the Baltic nations were largely Orthodox Christian. At this period, the Balkan countries formed part of the Muslim Ottoman Empire: ...

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Christianity in South America

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pp. 108-109

After 1650 Spain – weakened militarily and financially – continued as a major colonial power, but lost her ability to compete with her northern neighbours. Portugal’s population was too small, the grip on her colonies too weak, and the colonies too spread out to protect them successfully. ...

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Pietism

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pp. 110-111

In the early 17th century German Lutherans continued Philipp Melanchthon’s efforts to construct a distinctive systematic theology, with many scholars displaying a tendency to sterile dogmatic debate. Advocates of a more personal, devotional form of Christianity – such as the mystic Jakob Boehme (1575–1624) and author Johann Arndt (1555–1621), ...

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The British Colonies: 1750

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pp. 112-113

In its early years the 1607 Jamestown, Virginia, settlement looked unlikely to survive; yet it overcame unrest, starvation, Indian uprising, and economic collapse to become England’s most populous North American colony. The Church of England was given official status there as early as 1619, and by the middle of the 18th century Virginia boasted some 100 Anglican churches. ...

Part 5: The Modern Church

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pp. 114-115

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The Great Awakening

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pp. 116-117

The Great Awakening, America’s first major revival, was possibly the most momentous religious occurrence of the colonial period. It arose out of Pietist beliefs that German, Scottish, and Scotch-Irish migrants brought with them across the Atlantic between the 1680s and 1730s. ...

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The Second Awakening

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pp. 118-119

Between the 1790s and the 1830s a further series of nationwide religious revivals, known as the ‘Second Great Awakening’, made revivalism an enduring feature of American Christianity. This phenomenon was closely linked to the westward expansion of the newly independent nation ...

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African Christianity

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pp. 120-121

Christianity had been strongly established in North Africa in Roman times, but during the 7th century it all but disappeared, following the Arab invasions and spread of Islam. However substantial Christian minorities of ancient churches that had resisted Byzantine and Roman control – Copts, Jacobites, and Nestorians – persisted despite the Muslim conquest. ...

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The First U.S. Missions

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pp. 122-123

The American Board of Commissioners P for Foreign Missions (A.B.C.F.M.), formed in 1810 as a result of the Great Awakening, was the earliest American missionary society. In 1806 a group of students at Williams College, Massachusetts, committed to foreign missions and organized a ‘Society of Brethren’. Some went on to Andover Seminary, Newton, Massachusetts, where they made more recruits, notably the pioneer missionary to Burma, Adoniram Judson (1788–1850). ...

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Modern Missions to Africa

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pp. 124-125

By 1790, missionary activity in Africa had reached a low point. The earliest new attempts to spread Christianity among Africans began at the Cape of Good Hope, where there had been white settlers since the mid-17th century. In 1792 the Moravians revived their mission at Baviaanskloof (Genadendal), Western Cape, followed by the Nederlandsche Zendinggenootschap at Bethelsdorp, ...

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Missions to India and Asia

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pp. 126-127

In the 18th century, European nations with trading and colonial interests targeted the Indian sub-continent, the British eventually emerging dominant. A century of religious unrest and war between Moguls, Hindus, and Sikhs helped open up the way for colonial control. ...

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Missions to China and Japan

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pp. 128-129

Within China, the expansion of Christianity became possible only after Britain’s acquisition of Hong Kong, the Treaties of Nanking (1842) and Tientsin (1858), and after the Peking Convention (1860) allowed missionaries into the interior. Within 30 years the number of Protestant missionaries shot up from 81 to 1,269, and doubled again to 2,818 by 1900. ...

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Catholicism in the U.S.A.

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pp. 130-131

Roman Catholics had long been feared and disfranchised in many of the British North American colonies. The first mass immigration of Roman Catholics occurred as families fled the Irish Potato Famine of 1847, many settling as day labourers in Eastern cities. ...

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New Religious Movements

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pp. 132-133

During the first half of the 19th century, many American frontier regions were settled by a variety of religious communities and communes seeking the freedom and space to practise their beliefs. People roused to commitment to a new life by the revivalists often moved on to one or other of these new movements: Oneida, the Shakers, or the Mormons – ...

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The Rise of Pentecostalism

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pp. 134-135

Pentecostalism in America arose out of the holiness movement, and appeared in holiness churches and camp meetings from the mid-1860s onwards. As the 20th century approached, there were increasing numbers of incidences of people speaking in tongues and other physical signs of the Holy Spirit’s powers. The first Pentecostal churches started before 1901, ...

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African-American Churches

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pp. 136-137

The first independent black churches arose in response to the indignities suffered by black Christians in white congregations. These new churches often borrowed the denominational name of the church they left. Richard Allen (1760–1831) led his people out of a white Methodist church to found the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) church in Philadelphia in 1794. ...

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Christianity in Australasia

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pp. 138-139

In the South Seas, missionary activity progressed generally from east to west. Hearing favourable reports about Tahiti, Western Protestant missionaries journeyed there first, moving on later to the more hostile Melanesian Islands in the west. Missionaries with the London Missionary Society were the first to reach the Society Islands; from there they progressed to the western islands of Polynesia: Tonga, Western Samoa, and Fiji. ...

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The Latin American Church

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pp. 140-141

During the 19th century Protestant missionaries began to come to Latin America from the USA. North American Protestantism proved attractive to the middle-class liberals who had led the Latin American republics’ fight for political independence. Roman Catholic missions had been ejected, and a shortage of priests in South America brought about a decline in the faith. ...

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Missions Worldwide

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pp. 142-143

By 1938 two-thirds of missionaries worldwide were sent out by the Free Churches. Most of those from established churches had either a Pietist (German, Swiss, Dutch, or Scandinavian) or Wesleyan background. During the ‘Great Century of Christian Missions’ (1792–1914), the base of Christian outreach shifted from the patronage of Christian rulers – its foundation for centuries – to a new basis: the voluntary donations of millions of ordinary Christians, and the recruitment of thousands of lay people as missionaries. ...

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The Ecumenical Movement

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pp. 144-145

In 1895 the interdenominational Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), founded in 1844 by the Englishman George Williams (1821–1905), gave birth to the World Student Christian Federation (W.S.C.F.), which, together with the Student Volunteer Movement – a major mission organization – produced some of the great prophets of Christian unity. ...

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The Church in the U.S.A.

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pp. 146-147

Different geographical areas of the United States have historically been characterized by distinctive religious traditions. In the English colonies, Puritan Congregationalism was concentrated in New England; Anglicanism (later, Episcopalianism) in Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Connecticut; Presbyterianism in the backcountry; Quakerism in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley; ...

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Christianity in Russia since 1917

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pp. 148-150

From its outset the Russian Revolution of 1917 was hostile to Christianity. In a series of decrees Vladimir Lenin (1870– 1924) enforced the separation of church and state, which entailed the church losing all its property and most of its rights. Lenin also launched a campaign to free Russian peasants and workers from the remains of ‘superstition’ (that is, religion). ...

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Worldwide Christianity Today

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pp. 151-153

Although Christianity has greatly declined in Western Europe, in some other regions of the world it has flourished. The demographic centre of gravity has moved south, particularly to Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific. ...

A Chronology of Christian History

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pp. 154-161

Further reading

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p. 162

Gazetteer

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pp. 163-174

Index

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pp. 175-176

Back Cover

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