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Origins of Anglo-Catholic Missions: Fr Richard Benson and the initial missions of the Society of St John the Evangelist, 1869–1882

Strong, R. (2015) Origins of Anglo-Catholic Missions: Fr Richard Benson and the initial missions of the Society of St John the Evangelist, 1869–1882. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 66 (1). pp. 90-115.

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Abstract

This paper investigates the origins of Anglican Anglo-Catholic missions, through the missionary theology and practice of the founder of the Society of St John the Evangelist, Fr Richard Benson, and an exploration of its initial missionary endeavours: the Twelve-Day Mission to London in 1869, and two missions in India from 1874. The Indian missions comprised an institutional mission at Bombay and Pune, and a unique ascetic enculturated mission at Indore by Fr Samuel Wilberforce O'Neill ssje. It is argued that Benson was a major figure in the inauguration of Anglo-Catholic missions; that his ritualist moderation was instrumental in the initial public success of Anglo-Catholic domestic mission; and that in overseas missions he had a clear theological preference for disconnecting evangelism from Europeanising. Benson's approach, more radical than was normal in the second half of the nineteenth century, was a consequence of envisaging mission's being undertaken by a religious order, an entirely new phenomenon for Anglican missions.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © 2015 Cambridge University Press
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/25113
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