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Methodist missionaries in colonial and postcolonial Upper Burma, 1887–1966

The first British Methodist missionaries came to Upper Burma in 1887 and the last left in 1966. They were known as 'Wesleyans' before 1932 and afterwards as 'Methodists'. This book is a study of the ambitions, activities and achievements of Methodist missionaries in northern Burma from 1887-1966 and the expulsion of the last missionaries by Ne Win. Henry Venn, the impeccably evangelical Secretary of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), was the most distinguished and inspiring of nineteenth-century mission administrators. Wesleyan missionaries often found property development more congenial than saving souls. In Pakokku in December 1905, a 'weak' American missionary from Myingyan and a couple of Baptist Burman government officials began 'totally immersing' Wesleyans. Proselytism was officially frowned upon in the Indian Empire. The Wesley high schools were extraordinarily successful during the early years of the twentieth century. The Colonial Government was investing heavily in education. A bamboo curtain descended on Upper Burma in May 1942. Wesley Church Mandalay was gutted during the bombing raids of April 1942 and the Japanese requisitioned the Mission House and the Girls High School soon afterwards. General Ne Win was ruthlessly radical in 1962. By April 1964 Bishop was the last 'front-line' Methodist missionary in Upper Burma and the last European of any sort in Monywa. The book pulls together the themes of conflict, politics and proselytisation in to a fascinating study of great breadth.

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Maternal welfare and child health, 1920–40
Lindsey Earner-Byrne

and fear of the potential of the state and of modernity. It was believed that whoever controlled welfare, or at least whoever influenced welfare policy, controlled Ireland’s moral and spiritual future. In this respect, Catholicism, owing as much to its preponderance as to its war strategy, was dominant by the mid–1940s, but the previous decades were crucial. Poor Irish mothers: active agents or charity cases? The nineteenth-century legacy of the fear of proselytism lent itself comfortably to the growing conviction that the moral integrity of the country depended on

in Mother and child
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Andrew J. May

foregrounds broader political, scientific, racial and military ideologies that mobilised the hills into an interconnected vision of imperial control. Once arrived, the work of the first generation of missionaries is explored in the third section of the book in relation to language translation, education, proselytism and negotiation with native polity. It is here too that crises of authority in the mission are

in Welsh missionaries and British imperialism
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Michael D. Leigh

theological in nature. Politics of proselytism rather than religious differences lay behind most battles with secular and Buddhist leaders in Upper Burma. 48 Today, Baptists, Roman Catholics and Anglicans in Myanmar far outnumber Methodists. 49 Current statistics are extremely unreliable but Table 1 provides a rough estimate of current comparative membership figures. Six factors explain the disparity. First, the Wesleyan missionaries arrived later than their ‘rivals’ thus missing the golden age of foreign agency

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
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Michael D. Leigh

The Wesleyan missionaries eyed the world beyond their mission stations with profound suspicion, and neither colonialists nor Burmans knew quite what to make of the Wesleyans. Stephen Neill suggested that whatever their intentions, missionaries were ‘tools of governments’, and a young missionary in Kyaukse suspected that most Burmans assumed they were ‘part of the British Government’. 1 Proselytism was officially frowned upon in the Indian Empire. Conversion from one religion to another was highly political and

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
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Mervyn Busteed

, proselytism and the operation of such public institutions as the workhouse system. They concluded that significant numbers of the abandoned children living on the streets were from Catholic backgrounds, that they had no idea of the exact numbers involved or the extent of parental neglect and that the workings of the courts, prisons and workhouses (despite what was described as ‘the considerate and fair treatment of the Guardians’) meant many were lost to the faith. The priests of the diocese were contacted, and at a meeting in May 1886 it was concluded on the basis of MUP

in The Irish in Manchester c. 1750–1921
John Privilege

3 The university campaign The question The issue of university education in Ireland was a constant source of grievance for the bishops. The university system in Ireland was ‘at the centre of a network of proselytism and indifferentism which the hierarchy had come to regard as the characteristic of the Protestant constitution in Ireland’.1 The Roman Catholic Church demanded the same rights and recognition which the state extended to Protestants in terms of statefunded, denominational university education. The demand for national justice, however, masked other

in Michael Logue and the Catholic Church in Ireland, 1879–1925
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Sarah-Anne Buckley

, families in poverty and children placed in the myriad of institutions. The investigation of the industrial schools revealed that Catholic fears of Protestant proselytism and the capitation fee system for industrial schools created a situation in which ‘saving the souls’ of children was an active ‘spiritual’ and material endeavour. The continuation of this policy of institutionalisation by the State ignored the socio-economic reality for families, as institutionalisation was used as a poor alternative to welfare in the first instance, and the promotion of a just and equal

in The cruelty man
Jonathan Benthall

debate. 13 The vexed issues of proselytism and ‘re-Islamization’ have no relevance here (though Islamic Relief is totally committed to non-discrimination when it works in mixed religious areas). There is a problem with mosques near Rharous, since many of them – the most modest places of worship imaginable – are in serious need of repair and refurbishing. Unlike many other Islamic

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
Silvia Salvatici

’ forms of mobilisation, such as petitions or boycotts of products from the plantations. The religious movements played a crucial role in motivating and promoting the struggle against slavery. Far from their native countries, the missionaries joined the battle against the slave system with proselytism, which was, for them, their main aim, and with a combination of work in the fields of education, medical treatment and sanitary care. The intention was to respond to the moral duty to provide relief to others’ suffering not just by standing up against slavery but also by

in A history of humanitarianism, 1755–1989