Euthanasia Of A Mission

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Overview

Henry Venn, secretary of the London-based Church Missionary Society from 1840 to 1872, coined the term euthanasia of a mission to describe the vital process whereby a foreign mission becomes progressively indigenous and independent. His vision of church autonomy was first implemented in Sierra Leone, and the author examines this experiment in detail to uncover the nature of early efforts at constructing an African Christian identity separate from foreign influence and control. Through a detailed analysis of the crises and controversies evoked by African interpretation and appropriation of Venn's vision, the author illustrates the complex interaction of foreign missionary action, indigenous Christian response, and socioeconomic factors in the problematic transition from mission to national church.

Venn's ideas had far-reaching influence on the growth of African nationalism, political consciousness, and nation-building. His experiment led to local efforts to merge with the foreign missionary efforts and to an eventual takeover of leadership and mission responsibilities by native Africans. Hanciles chronicles the initial missionary efforts in Sierra Leone, the growth of the mission, the problems that arose, and the emergence of Ethiopianism, a movement which promoted the idea of African nationalism. The book argues that in the West African region, at least, Venn's experiment precipitated some of the most profound ecclesiastical crises of the 19th century and unleashed powerful forces of change that continue to this day. By focusing on the African factor in the intensely problematic transition from mission to national church, this work contributes to the ongoing reappraisal of the significance of African Christianity as a major stream of Christian history.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Revising his 1995 Ph.D. dissertation The Sierra Leone Native Pastorate Church 1850-1890 for the University of Edinburgh, Hanciles (mission history and globalization, Fuller Theological Seminary), draws on missiological analysis, historical inquiry, and perspectives typically associated with African studies, to investigate Henry Venn's Native Pastorate experiment and the reactions it inspired within the British colonial context. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275975708
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

JEHU HANCILES is Associate Professor of Mission History and Globalization, at the School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary. He has published widely in the areas of African Christianty and Missions.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 The Sierra Leone Mission: Survey of a Laboratory 5
Ch. 2 Henry Venn's Scheme and the Sierra Leone Option 23
Ch. 3 State of Transition 43
Ch. 4 Planting the Seed: An African Ministry 59
Ch. 5 The Formation of a Native Pastorate 83
Ch. 6 Problems of Growth 105
Ch. 7 Growing Problems 123
Ch. 8 Ethiopianism: A Counterquest for Identity and Independence 147
Ch. 9 The African Vision 173
Ch. 10 Managing the Euthanasia 197
Ch. 11 New Possibilities, Old Problems 209
Ch. 12 The Challenge of Independence 225
Summation 245
Appendix 259
Bibliography 265
Index 273
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