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Title: The history of the Free Church of Scotland's mission to the Jews in Budapest and its impact on the Hungarian Reformed Church, 1841-1914
Author: Kovács, Ábrahám
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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In the absence of a thorough historical study of the Church of Scotland's mission to the Jews in Budapest - mainly under the auspices of the Free Church of Scotland - this thesis presents a comprehensive analysis of the Mission's history in terms its dealings with the Hungarian Jews and the Hungarian Reformed Church. The thesis describes the encounter between the Scottish Evangelical-Pietist missionaries and the Jewish community of Hungary, particularly in the capital city of Pest, and explores the impact that the missionaries had on the development of Home Mission movement of the Hungarian Reformed Church. It will be demonstrated that, from the inception of its Mission to the Hungarian Jews, the intention of the Church of Scotland was both to convert the Jews and to revive the Hungarian Reformed Church with a view to its participating in the work of Jewish evangelism. The study begins in 1841, the year in which the Pest Mission Station was created, and continues to 1914 when the outbreak of the First World War forced the Scottish missionaries to withdraw, by which time - as the thesis will show - the Hungarian Reformed Church was sufficiently strong to continue the Home Mission movement independently of the Church of Scotland. Being a Hungarian himself, the author of the thesis has been particularly concerned to clarify the contextual framework in which the thinking and activities of the Scottish Mission need to be read. Chapter 1 introduces the three main constituents of the history: the Hungarian Reformed Church that, in the 19th century, was struggling to express itself under the pressure of the Catholic Habsburg Empire; the Jewish community that was gaining significance with the growth of Pest as the Hungarian capital; and the genesis of the Scottish missionary commitment to the Jews. Chapters 2 to 8 are written on the basis of primary documents. Chapter 2 examines how the Scottish Mission took root in Hungary in the initial period of its work, prior to expulsion in 1852. Chapters 3 and 4 examine the re-establishment of the Mission in 1857, and the development of its principal agencies: school, congregation, hospital, colportage, and the bursary programme that enabled Hungarian Reformed students to study in Edinburgh. Chapter 5 deals with the emergence of home mission organisations in Pest, the impact of the bursary programme, and the contribution of Alexander Somerville to the evangelisation of both Jews and Gentiles in Hungary; while this material has been previously examined by Hungarian scholars, this thesis brings original insights through the incorporation of archival evidence from the Free Church of Scotland. Chapter 6 moves the focus of the thesis to the first decades of the 20th century, and demonstrates how the Scottishinitiated home missionary organisations were adopted on a national scale by the Hungarian Reformed Church. The final chapters, 7 and 8, are of a thematic nature, that examine selected issues relating to the evangelisation of the Jews, and the major forces effecting the work of the Scottish Mission.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available