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The Church of the East and the Church of England

Posted: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 at 09:06 AM CT

The Church of the East and the Church of EnglandThe Church of the East and the Church of England: A History of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission
by J. F. Coakley

Format: Hardcover, 1st ed., 432pp.
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated Pub. Date: July 1992


From the Publisher
For some thirty years before the First World War, the Church of England maintained a mission of help to the Assyrian Church of the East (popularly known as the Nestorian church) in its then homeland, a corner of eastern Turkey and north-western Persia. The Mission had a controversial history. At home, not everyone could appreciate the rationale of a mission which was to aid an obscure and heretical body and which strictly forbade any conversions from this body to the Anglican church. In the field, the missionaries had to do battle with xenophobic governments, with rival American and French missions, and with the Assyrians themselves, whose confidence proved difficult to gain. In some respects the Mission was unsuccessful, but it had notable accomplishments, especially in scholarship and in ecumenical diplomacy. Besides being the history of a Victorian missionary society, the present study deals in some detail with the history of the Assyrians in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - both as the survival of an ancient church with hierarchy, liturgy, and theological formulas, and as an ethnic minority in the Middle East. Illustrations and maps enhance the value of the book as a source for the history of the time and place. This is the first study of the relations between the church of England and the Church of the East, and is based on largely unpublished documents in English and Syriac.


Table of Contents
List of Illustrations and Maps
Scope, aims, point of view 1
Terminology 4
Sources and scholarly apparatus 6

I First Acquaintance
The Church of the East in 1835 11
Earliest contacts with the Church of England 18
George Percy Badger 35
An interval 44

II Towards a Mission, 1868-1884
New petitions, new plans 55
E.L. Cutts and Christians under the Crescent 68
Rudolph Wahl, Archbishop Tait's missionary 76
The end of the beginning 86

III Archbishop Benson's Mission, 1884-1890
The re-foundation 98
The first four years in Urmia 108
In the mountains 123
Nestorianism and printing 134
Home organization 144

IV Growth and Development, 1890-1896
The Sisters of Bethany 150
Maclean and his successors 163
Anglican v. Catholic missions: Turkey 170
Anglican v. Catholic missions: Persia 179
The end of expansion 186
The Court of Mar Shimun 195
F.F. Irving 204

V Reverses and Recovery, 1896-1904
The murder of a bishop 209
The Russian crisis 216
Reduced circumstances in Persia 234
Wider work in Turkey, narrower means at home 250
Catholics and the Catholikos again 257

VI Last Initiatives, 1903-1915
Mar Shimun and the Malabar connection 270
The Old Church in Persia 279
Facing the doctrinal question 290
From Van to Amadia 300
After Browne 314
On sufferance 325

VII In Retirement, 1915-1938
The First World War 336
Wigram, the Mission, and the refugees 340
Unfinished business, 1922-1930 346
Disengagement 354
Notes 365
Select Bibliography 407
Index 414

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