The Kingdom of Character: The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, 1886-1926 (American Society of Missiology Dissertation Series)

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9780761810131: The Kingdom of Character: The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, 1886-1926 (American Society of Missiology Dissertation Series)

This book tells the story of the Student Volunteer Movement, which launched modern American Protestant missions. Between 1886 and 1926 the SVM was at the center of this movement and succeeded in recruiting at least half of the missionaries of the mainline Protestant churches. The leaders of this movement expressed ideas that run the gamut of American Protestant religious emphases, from premillennialism and revivalism to the Social Gospel and ecumenism. The SVM was also a product of late Victorian culture with its emphasis on 'manliness' and 'character formation'. The Kingdom of Character is an important book not only because it is the first scholarly study of the SVM, but because it is indispensable to understanding our Victorian past and for better understanding one of the greatest forces for modernity in this century, the American missionary movement.^R Co-published with the American Society of Missiology.

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About the Author:

Michael Parker teaches history at Nile Theological College in Sudan.

Review:

His thematic coverage is thorough and insightful, with balanced attention paid to the spiritual grounding of the movement, women and minorities... (Dana L. Robert, Boston University School of Theology International Bulletin Of Missionary Research)

Michael Parker has written an excellent study if the rise and fall of the SVM, rich in detail and interpretation and making accessible information that for decades has only been available to those able to spend time in the SVM archives at the Yale Divinity School library. . . . The Kingdom of Culture is a fine book, an it brings to life a powerful religious movement that will continue to be sudied for its impact on the church and the world at the dawn of the twentieth century. (Nathan D. Showalter Church History)

"Parker uses the notion of 'character' as an organizing concept for the SVM, illustrating how it promoted middle-class virtues, manliness, and a balance between piety and practical efficiency.

"His thematic coverage is thorough and insightful, with balanced attention paid to the spiritual grounding of the movement, women and minorities..." (Dana L. Robert, Boston University School of Theology International Bulletin Of Missionary Research)

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