8. Mangan Christ and the Imperial Games Fields

8. Mangan Christ and the Imperial Games Fields - C HRIST A...

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/. \tl 7 \ / '1:91 \,J \ /, ". ~ ~y\ CHRIST AND THE IMPERIAL /~'~.') > .• \l.~r ") GAMES FIELDS ~ \" 'i l., c;r Evangelical Athletes oj the Empire ~V _1iOi> Christianity, Buddhism and Islam have in common the missionary imperative, yet only Christianity has become a universal religion, 1 largely as a consequence of a combination of nineteenth-century circumstances. The nineteenth century was 'pre-eminently the European century in world history, the period in which Europe was able to impose its will and its ideas on the whole of the inhabited world'. 2 "With the European conquerors of Africa and Asia went the religIon of Europe -> Christianity. Earlier cOll<il.!est had similarly carried it to the New World .. By, the 'lw~~Ji~ili century the universality of Christianity was an accompl,ished fact. .,- The imposition of the will of Europe on the rest of the world was the consequence of 1~cllno~ogy - maritime, rnilit~ry ~nd )ndustrial. European explorers;triders, soldiers and missionarIes, not always in that order or in those exclusive categories, trans- ported and sustained by the power of the industrial revolution, . spread throughout the world. Even the penguins of Antarctica were not immune. , It was not inevitable, of course, that Christianity was the travelling companion of curiosity, commerce and aggrandisement. Again the force of circumstance played its part: 'the economic and imperial upsurge of Europe was accompanied by an unforeseen religious awakening which affected almost every Christian denom- ination in every country of the west. '3 A revitalized Roman Catholic Papacy, a newly confident Orthodox Church freed from the Turkish yoke, and the reinvigorated Protestant Churches r68 CHRIST AND THE IMPERIAL GAMES FIELDS stimulated by the Evangelical Revival, celebrated their respective metamorphoses with a committed missionary zeal. In Britain this zeal was in the hands of voluntary societies: the English Baptists (1792), the London Missionary Society (1795), the Church Missionary Society (r799), 'the British and Foreign Bible Society (r804), and ultimately many others. By the early twentieth century, in an article entitle&'Imperial Christianity', Sir Arthur Hi~tzel4 could remark wearily of a plethora of societies: 'Oxford Missions, Cambridge Missions, Dublin Missions, Uni- versities Missions, even Archbishop of Canterbury's Missions'. 5 In Europe and America the/same phenomenon was apparent: ,~!3x the eng of the century every nominally Christian country. a1?-d almost e~~~y denominationi' had' begun' to take its .. share in the support of the missionary cause, '6 and only anandful of countries . and isolated regions were untouched by the missionary effort. The Bible, in part or whole, had been translated into over 400 languages!7 . The Christian missionaries symbolized God in action. Their skills were practical as well as spiritual: medicine, agriculture, handicrafts and printing were typical accomplishments, but teach- ing was a special commitment linked closely, as it is, to preaching. This teaching often reflected a narrow ethnocentricity. Neill finds
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This note was uploaded on 05/25/2011 for the course HIST 303 taught by Professor Salesa during the Fall '10 term at University of Michigan.

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8. Mangan Christ and the Imperial Games Fields - C HRIST A...

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