Friday, March 11, 2016

Charting the Evolution of New Zealand’s Protestant Missions

In the late 19th Century and early 20th Centuries New Zealand churches were heavily invested in missionary work: by 1939, when our population was at 1.5 million, over 1000 Protestants were or had been involved in missionary activity in other parts of the world.

Pushing Boundaries is the first book-length account of the evolution of overseas missionary activity by New Zealand’s Protestant churches up to World War II.

‘Supporting and becoming involved in overseas missions were integral facets of settler Protestant Christianity,’ says author Hugh Morrison.

Prior to the age of international travel overseas missions were a significant form of contact between different cultures. Yet missionary activity has often been subject to negative stereotyping or, on the other hand, to uncritical adulation.

Pushing Boundaries examines the theological and social reasons churches supported missions, how their ideas were shaped, and what motivated individual New Zealanders to undertake overseas missionary work.

‘Looking at how and why missions became important broadens our understanding of religious history in New Zealand and further enriches our appreciation of the ways in which both local and global influences have shaped our society,’ says Hugh Morrison.

This book illuminates the New Zealand missionary experience within an international context, connecting our local story to larger historical themes such as gender, culture,

Pushing Boundaries
New Zealand Protestants and
overseas missions 1827-1939
By Hugh Morrison
ISBN 978-1-927322-17-8, $45

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