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Title: Charles Simeon and the Evangelical Anglican Missionary Movement : a study of voluntaryism and church-mission tensions
Author: Bennett, John C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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The historical reputation associated with Charles Simeon [1759-1836] is one of evangelicalism and churchmanship. As the vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge, and a Fellow of King's College, Simeon was the foremost evangelical clergyman in the Church of England during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Simeon also became known for his efforts to call evangelicals in the Established Church to observe the discipline and order of the Church. Simultaneous with his emphasis on proper Anglican churchmanship, Simeon also contributed significantly to the development of the nineteenth century British missionary movement, a markedly voluntary phenomenon. While Simeon's involvement in the missionary movement was compatible with his evangelical theology, the voluntaryism of the evangelical missionary societies conflicted with his dedication to regular Anglican churchmanship. The paradox in Simeon's missionary agenda becomes apparent when his role in the formation of the Society for Missions to Africa and the East [later the Church Missionary Society] is considered. These tensions -- between Simeon's evangelicalism and his churchmanship -- are resolved through an understanding of his world-view. His evangelicalism predisposed Simeon in favour of the missionary movement, thus he affirmed the validity of missionary voluntaryism within the context of the Established Church. He reconciled his voluntary activities with his churchmanship through a commitment to general order in society, of which ecclesiastical order was a subset. If voluntary activity was carried on in a way that did not produce social disorder, and -- for Anglicans -- did not violate Church order unnecessarily, then voluntary activity was not harmful. Through the application of these values Charles Simeon was able to play a major role in the founding of the Church Missionary Society [CMS] in 1799.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available