I am happy to share with you all that volume 3 of the Oxford History of Anglicanism is now available. My own chapter is ‘Anglican Mission in the Middle East up to 1910’.
Volume 3 focuses on the partisan era and Anglicanism’s expansion into a global community up to 1910. Volume 4 concentrates on Anglicanism in the contemporary period and its history after the 1910 EdinburghWorld Missions Conference.
Some time ago Dr. Roger Dixon and I published an article/interview (me interviewing him) on his experience and work in Indonesia. This was published in the May 2014 issue of the Journal of Asian Mission (15:1). Here is a section on his experience of what are typically called ‘insider movements’:
DAM: One topic of great interest today are insider movements. Proponents of IM claim that these movements exist as a work of the Spirit and apart from the initiative of Western-based missions and missionaries. I have been looking everywhere for a ‘real’ insider movement, and can’t find one. Do you know of anything that matches up to the stories we hear of movements initiated by the Spirit without foreign involvement?
RD: I understand your concern for some verifiable facts. They are hard to find.
Either the foreigners who report these movements will not identify the persons involved, or if they do, ask that the researcher not contact them because it would insert a “foreign” element (whereas they have already been a foreign element themselves). My repeated statement/conclusion is that if these reports [of Insider Movements commenced by the Spirit independent of Western missions] cannot be verified by independent research, we can’t really accept them as confirmed results by the normal social-science standards.
None of those claiming great results will respond to this. They just claim that we have to accept the reports of these people who write under pseudonyms about unknown people groups in unknown countries. It is puzzling. I have not heard of any IM groups in Indonesia or elsewhere that were not started by foreigners—mainly Americans. Though there is a strong IM strain in Korea now and some reports coming from them. Again, I personally do not know of any successful insider movements.
This is not a categorical rejection that genuine IMs exist, of course, and I am grateful to Dr. Dixon for his precise choice of words.
Back in 2015 an article of mine on All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral in Cairo was published in Anglican and Episcopal History (Vol 84:1). I thought that with the rising interest of Christianity in the Middle East I should share it here.
The article begins with the note that in 1839 the Egyptian leader Muhammad Ali made a gift of land to the local Anglicans for the construction of a church. Also, the beginning of Anglican mission there was through the Church Mission Society (CMS) and the London Jews Society (today known as the Church’s Ministry among Jewish People) as far back as the early 1800s.
This is the last of six lectures I gave at Christ Church in San Antonio in Sep/Oct of 2016.
In this lecture I talk about how the church handled the transition from being a persecuted church of the martyrs to being a church with imperial permission and then imperial favor.
We explore how church leaders dealt with a large influx of converts whose motives were not always entirely sincere, and the initiative of St Antony of the Desert who asked, what would Jesus do? And then, he did it, imitating Jesus of Nazareth in poverty, chastity, and obedience.