Developing a Theory of Missions in Serampore

in Mission Studies
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Abstract

This paper explores the evolution of the mission theory of William Carey and his compatriots over the course of their careers and reevaluates the lasting impact that these changes had upon Protestant missions to India in the nineteenth century. During their first two decades in Serampore, Carey, Ward, and Marshman reevaluated and modified their understanding of what they considered to be the best "means for the conversion of the heathens." This article follows the development from Carey's early emphasis upon evangelism and translation work to the increasing emphasis that the trio placed upon education during the first decades of the nineteenth century. Struck by the realization that European efforts at preaching and translating were insufficient to accomplish the mammoth task of converting all of India to Christ, Carey and company turned to education as the best hope for the long-term success of their mission. An examination of efforts made by William Ward to elicit financial support for these new educational undertakings, however, reveals the difficulty they faced in trying to convince supporters in England and America to rethink their approach to missions. Despite recent revisionist critiques of the significance of the Serampore mission for missions theory, this paper concludes that the development of a broader understanding of"means" in Serampore laid an important foundation for all other missions to India that followed.

Developing a Theory of Missions in Serampore

in Mission Studies

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