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Title: British women missionaries in India, c.1917-1950
Author: Pass, Andrea Rose
ISNI:       0000 0003 7531 2896
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Although by 1900, over 60% of the British missionary workforce in South Asia was female, women’s role in mission has often been overlooked. This thesis focuses upon women of the two leading Anglican societies – the high-Church Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) and the evangelical Church Missionary Society (CMS) – during a particularly underexplored and eventful period in mission history. It uses primary material from the archives of SPG at Rhodes House, Oxford, CMS at the University of Birmingham, St Stephen’s Community, Delhi, and the United Theological College, Bangalore, to extend previous research on the beginnings of women’s service in the late-nineteenth century, exploring the ways in which women missionaries responded to unprecedented upheaval in Britain, India, and the worldwide Anglican Communion in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. In so doing, it contributes to multiple overlapping historiographies: not simply to the history of Church and mission, but also to that of gender, the British Empire, Indian nationalism, and decolonisation. Women missionaries were products of the expansion of female education, professional opportunities, and philanthropic activity in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Britain. Their vocation was tested by living conditions in India, as well as by contradictory calls to marriage, career advancement, familial duties, or the Religious Life. Their educational, medical, and evangelistic work altered considerably between 1917 and 1950 owing to ‘Indianisation’ and ‘Diocesanisation,’ which sought to establish a self-governing ‘native’ Church. Women’s absorption in local affairs meant they were usually uninterested in imperial, nationalist, and Anglican politics, and sometimes became estranged from the home Church. Their service was far more than an attempt to ‘colonise’ Indian hearts and minds and propagate Western ideology. In reality, women missionaries’ engagement with India and Indians had a far more profound impact upon them than upon the Indians they came to serve.
Supervisor: Brown, Judith Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; History of Asia & Far East ; History of Britain and Europe ; International,imperial and global history ; Church history ; religion ; missions ; British history - 20th century ; Anglican communion ; women ; India