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Title: The development and influence of the British missionary movement's attitudes towards India, 1786-1883
Author: Davidson, Allan Kenneth
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1973
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This study describes and analyses the development and influence of the British Missionary Movement's attitudes towards India over a period of nearly fifty years. It is concerned with the early genesis and growth of the missionary cause among evangelicals and the interest which they showed in India as a field for missionary operations. An attempt has been made to trace their response to India, her peoples, cultures, religions and ways of life by giving an account of their writings. These have been set against the general context of the British discovery and interpretation of India's religious and literary heritage. In an attempt to judge the contemporary influence and respective merits of these representations, attention has been given to the reviews which the various publications received in the religious and literary periodicals of the day. A further indication of the importance and influence of the missionary attitudes has been sought by examining the growth of the missionary societies and their active participation in India. For this reason the study commences in 1786 with the beginning 6f evangelical missionary interest in India, and terminates in 18 30 when the first missionary of the Church of Scotland arrived in India. Between these two dates all the major missionary societies and both established churches in Britain commenced missionary activity and made India a major field for their work. The concern shown by missionary supporters to promote Christianity in India was closely related to their understanding of and attitudes towards India. Attention has therefore been given to the approaches which they made to the missionary societies, the government and the East India Company in an attempt to defend, extend and gain approval for missionary activity. In particular, the missionary controversy 1807-09 and the renewal of the East India Company's Charter in 1813 have been examined in some detail. As far as possible the views of the individuals who shaped the missionary attitudes towards India have been expressed by giving extensive quotations from their own writings. Although this has led to some repetition of the ideas and images which the missionary publicists used, this in itself is an indication of the way in which missionary propaganda reinforced the stereotypes which were basic to its portrayal of India. Particular interest has been shown in the publicity devices employed by the missionary societies and individuals to propagate their attitudes. The use of sermons, annual meetings, religious periodicals, missionary papers, itinerating preachers, children's stories, missionary auxiliaries, pamphlets, missionary publications and university prizes were all part of the missionary propaganda. These have been examined and discussed mainly in terms of the way they described India.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available