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Benjamin Bailey and the CMS in the Ecclesiastical Development of Kerala

McKee, Gary Robert (2018) Benjamin Bailey and the CMS in the Ecclesiastical Development of Kerala. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract It was in 1816 that Benjamin Bailey arrived in Kerala as part of the ‘Mission of Help’ to the ancient Syrian Christian Church of that state. These Christians trace their heritage back to the labours of the Apostle Thomas and are therefore also known as Thomas Christians. The Mission of Help had as its main goal the reformation and revival of this ancient Christian Church. The CMS did not wish, they claimed, to establish the Anglican Church in Kerala. The thesis appraises this Mission of Help and why the Syrian Christians ultimately brought it to an end in 1836. Firstly, theological differences between the Anglican Evangelicals of the CMS and the Oriental Orthodox Syrian Christians are assessed. It is argued that these differences were seriously underestimated by Bailey and his colleagues. Secondly, the Mission of Help was politicised through the influence of the East India Company Resident of Travancore Col. John Munro who desired to see the Syrians brought into the Anglican Church. Munro believed such an ecclesiastical union would also foster deeper political ties in an era of nascent colonialism. The thesis will also look at the legacies of the Mission of Help subsequent to 1836 in the development of Anglicanism in Kerala and reform movements within the Syrian Church. It will be argued that indigenous movements also help to explain some of the developments which took place and Bailey cannot therefore be wholly praised or blamed for these occurrences. In conclusion, some lessons will be drawn from this episode for contemporary debates about mission and empire, mission and ecclesiology and the nature and scope of mission.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: This thesis throws a fascinating light on the links between Evangelical Mission and Empire. The main protaganist, Benjamin Bailey, was also a proud Yorkshireman, from Dewsbury.
Keywords: Benjamin Bailey, CMS, Kerala, Mission and Empire, History of Mission, Theology of Mission
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Leeds Trinity University
Depositing User: Dr Gary McKee
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2018 12:15
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2018 12:15
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22177

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