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Intersections of Hindu Knowledge and Love in Nineteenth Century Bengal
Author: Ankur Barua
In The Brahmo Samaj and its Vaiṣṇava Milieus: Intersections of Knowledge and Love in Nineteenth Century Bengal, Ankur Barua offers an intellectual history of the motif of religious universalism in the writings of some intellectuals associated with the Brahmo Samaj (founded in 1828). They constructed Hindu worldviews that were simultaneously rooted in some ancient Sanskritic materials and orientated towards contemporary universalist visions with western hues. These constructions were shaped by their dialectical engagements with three groups: members of the Bengali middle classes with sceptical standpoints (‘Young Bengal’), Christian missionaries, and Hindu Vaiṣṇava thinkers. In this genealogy of religious universalisms, Barua indicates how certain post-1900 formulations of the universalist compass of Hinduism were being enunciated across Brahmo circles from the 1820s.
New Perspectives on the History of Modern Chinese Scientific and Technical Lexicon
Author: Gabriele Tola
In John Fryer and The Translator’s Vade-mecum, Tola offers for the first time a comprehensive study of the collection of scientific and technical glossaries, with English-Chinese parallel translation, compiled by the English scholar John Fryer (1839–1928). Other than contributing to the history of modern Chinese lexicon and translation in late Qing China, Tola analyses the role of The Translator’s Vade-mecum in the diffusion of ideas and terms between China and the West, at the same time providing new insights on the connection between religious efforts by missionaries in late Qing China and their secular attitude towards translation. The great number of resources presented also show a new perspective on the transcultural flows of knowledge, China’s modernisation process in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the history of nineteenth-century Protestant missions in China.
Editor: Alexandre Papas
This volume describes the social and practical aspects of Islamic mysticism (Sufism) across centuries and geographical regions. Its authors seek to transcend ethereal, essentialist and “spiritualizing” approaches to Sufism, on the one hand, and purely pragmatic and materialistic explanations of its origins and history, on the other. Covering five topics (Sufism’s economy, social role of Sufis, Sufi spaces, politics, and organization), the volume shows that mystics have been active socio-religious agents who could skillfully adjust to the conditions of their time and place, while also managing to forge an alternative way of living, worshiping and thinking.

Basing themselves on the most recent research on Sufi institutions, the contributors to this volume substantially expand our understanding of the vicissitudes of Sufism by paying special attention to its organizational and economic dimensions, as well as complex and often ambivalent relations between Sufis and the societies in which they played a wide variety of important and sometimes critical roles.

Contributors are Mehran Afshari, Ismail Fajrie Alatas, Semih Ceyhan, Rachida Chih, Nathalie Clayer, David Cook, Stéphane A. Dudoignon, Daphna Ephrat, Peyvand Firouzeh, Nathan Hofer, Hussain Ahmad Khan, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Richard McGregor, Ahmet Yaşar Ocak, Alexandre Papas, Luca Patrizi, Paulo G. Pinto, Adam Sabra, Mark Sedgwick, Jean-Jacques Thibon, Knut S. Vikør and Neguin Yavari
‘Ecumenism’ and ‘independency’ suggest two distinct impulses in the history of Christianity: the desire for unity, co-operation, connectivity, and shared belief and practice, and the impulse for distinction, plurality, and contextual translation. Yet ecumenism and independency are better understood as existing in critical tension with one another. They provide a way of examining changes in World Christianity. Taking their lead from the internationally acclaimed research of Brian Stanley, in whose honour this book is published, contributors examine the entangled nature of ecumenism and independency in the modern global history of Christianity. They show how the scrutiny afforded by the attention to local, contextual approaches to Christianity outside the western world, may inform and enrich the attention to transnational connectivity.
Author: Mark Noll

Abstract

This paper surveys thirteen events that took place in various locations around the world in 1899 and 1900 keyed, not to historiographical traditions featuring Europe and North America, but anticipating the de-centered and pan-global histories that Brian Stanley has so capably promoted and exemplified. A few of the events taking place at the turn of the century do, in fact, fit easily into a traditional framework (the first Latin American Bishops’ Plenary Council, the New York City Ecumenical Missionary Conference, the publication of Adolf von Harnack’s What Is Christianity?). But from the perspective of the twenty-first century, and reflecting the new situation for world Christianity that came into existence during the twentieth century, many other signal events during those axial years foresaw a different kind of history. This alternative history will come into view through brief examination of Catholic and Protestant missions in Oceania, activities leading to the founding of the Gideons and the Indian Missionary Society of Tinnevelly, the appointment of William Wadé Harris as an official interpreter in Liberia, Dora Yu’s return to Korea for further missionary service, the opening of Mukti Sadan by Pandita Ramabai at Khedgaon southeast of Bombay, and similar apparently out-of-the-way occurrences. By underscoring the importance of initiatives that led on to the great expansion of ecclesiastical independence in the Christian world, along with other initiatives anticipating hitherto unknown forms of ecumenical cooperation, this stereoptic survey pays tribute to Brian Stanley for leading the way, while also indicating something about the developing character of the new world history of Christianity.

In: Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity

Abstract

This chapter examines the many independent activities by tenacious Pentecostal missionaries that resulted in the formation of Chinese Pentecostal Churches. It reveals the individual, and often obscure, stories of western and Chinese Christians in the early twentieth century who were united in their commitment to evangelism. Pentecostal mission flourished in northern and inland China through a shared expectation of revival and, increasingly, a recognition of the necessity of organisational structures to sustain missionary activities.

In: Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity
In: Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity
Author: Ian Randall

Abstract

From early in the twentieth century there was a Baptist Students’ Society in Cambridge University, entitled the Robert Hall Society. A prime mover in the formation of the Baptist Society was T.R. Glover, who became Public Orator in the University, and a best-selling scm (Student Christian Movement) author. In the period I will examine, from the 1920s to the 1940s, there were issues in the Robert Hall Society connected with the relationship between Baptist denominational convictions and ecumenical dimensions, especially represented by scm. The Robert Hall Society had a significant influence on Cambridge students who became involved in it and who went on to take various roles in Baptist and wider Christian life. International aspects are also involved, mostly through the Baptist Missionary Society, whose representatives came to speak in Robert Hall meetings, and through Baptist students who later went overseas. In the 1940s the Robert Hall Society felt the impact of the new evangelical movement of the time and I will explore that. The archives of the Robert Hall Society are held in Cambridge. They provide a full picture and they have not been utilised before.

In: Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity
In: Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity

Abstract

This chapter recognises Professor Stanley’s global perspectives and pathbreaking work on the Enlightenment and missions by offering an account of Chinese influences in the making of the European Enlightenment. Europe’s growing awareness of Chinese moral thought and culture, as conveyed through the translations and commentaries of the Jesuit missionaries, played a significant role in shaping the European Enlightenment. Many early modern thinkers came to admire China as an ancient, orderly, stable and humane society, but with a social ethic that had developed independently of Christian influence. For centuries, Europeans had believed that Christianity formed the only truly sound basis for individual and social morality. But the growing European knowledge about China’s ancient culture suggested there were other possibilities and this helped to open up new religious and ethical perspectives, including an appreciation for other world faiths and for what world religions shared in common. Some European thinkers became convinced that China’s ancient social ethics could provide a model for Europe, a notion that profoundly influenced the emerging European Enlightenment. The chapter explores China and the European Enlightenment with particular attention to recent scholarly interpretations of the mainstream religious Enlightenment – a religious Enlightenment which, as Professor Stanley has shown, would have an important role in shaping the nineteenth-century Christian mission movement.

In: Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity