British Protestant Missions and the Conversion of Europe, 1600–1900  book cover
1st Edition

British Protestant Missions and the Conversion of Europe, 1600–1900

ISBN 9780367198510
Published September 15, 2020 by Routledge
302 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book is the first account of British Protestant conversion initiatives directed towards continental Europe between 1600 and 1900.

Continental Europe was considered a missionary land—another periphery of the world, whose centre was imperial Britain. British missions to Europe were informed by religious experiments in America, Africa, and Asia, rendering these offensives against Europe a true form of "imaginary colonialism". British Protestant missionaries often understood themselves to be at the forefront of a civilising project directed at Catholics (and sometimes even at other Protestants). Their mission was further reinforced by Britain becoming a land of compassionate refuge for European dissenters and exiles. This book engages with the myth of International Protestantism, questioning its early origins and its narrative of transnational belonging, while also interrogating Britain as an imagined Protestant land of hope and glory.

In the history of western Christianities, "converting Europe" had a role that has not been adequately investigated. This is the story of the attempted, and ultimately failed, effort to convert a continent.

Table of Contents


Section I. Missionary Models

1. ‘One World is not enough’: the ‘myth’ of Roman Catholicism as a ‘World Religion’

Simon Ditchfield

2. The Jesuits have shed much blood for Christ’: Early Modern Protestants and the Problem of Catholic Overseas Missions

John Coffey

Section II. The Origins of Global Protestantism

3. (Re)making Ireland British: Conversion and Civility in a Neglected 1643 Treatise

Joan Redmond

4. Charting the ‘Progress of Truth’: Quaker Missions and the Topography of Dissent in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Europe

Sünne Juterczenka

5. The English and the Italian Bible

Simone Maghenzani

Section III. Missions and Church Unifications in the Age of the Enlightenment

6. "True Catholic Unity": The Church of England and the Project for Gallican Union, 1717-1719

Catherine Arnold

7. "Promoting the Common Interest of Christ" H.W. Ludolf’s ‘impartial’ Projects and the Beginnings of the SPCK

Adelisa Malena

8. Between Anti-popery and European Missions: The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and its Networks

Sugiko Nishikawa

Section IV. A British Missionary Land

9. The Evangelical Transformation of British Protestantism for Mission

David Bebbington

10. The London Jews’ Society and the Roots of Premillenialism, 1809-1829

Brent S. Sirota

11. Missions on the Fringes of Europe: British Protestants and the Orthodox Churches, c. 1800-1850

Gareth Atkins

Section V. Making Propaganda, Making Nations

12. Sermons in Stone: Architecture and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts within the Diocese of Gibraltar, c.1842-1882

G. Alex Bremner

13. The Land of Calvin and Voltaire: British Missionaries in Nineteenth-century Paris

Michael Ledger-Lomas

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Simone Maghenzani is Dame Marilyn Strathern Lecturer in History, and a Fellow and Director of Studies at Girton College, University of Cambridge.

Stefano Villani is Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.