This block course introduces the global movement of Presbyterian Christianity during the 19th century from the formation of the London Missionary Society in 1796 to the creation of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand in 1901. Religious revival, confidence in education and reason, the opportunities of trade, colonialism and empire, and the technologies and economics of industrial revolution contributed to the spread of British Presbyterianism through missionaries, settlers, colonial administrators migrants and refugees. In New Zealand it was largely a movement of British migrants and economic refugees for whom participatory church governance and education gave space for an aspirational faith which appeared capable of facing the challenges of Catholic superstition, pagan ignorance, Anglican arrogance and empty ritualism. In the course of a century a movement associated with Calvin, the Dutch and the Scots, could celebrate its presence around the world in America, in the British Empire, in the Caribbean, Africa, China and parts of Latin America. But by so often defining itself against the sins of others and in terms of the memories of past struggles, political and religious, it also revealed a fragile spirituality whose weaknesses were about to be exposed by its own success. A century later it was discovering there were things be learnt from other traditions which were essential for its future, but that is another story.
This course provides an opportunity to engage with resources which can help you choose a workable research topic, find and manage useful written and oral material, and write a thesis that will explain to others what you have done. It is no substitute for your own curiosity, self-discipline and persistence, but it may save you time.
Resources may be found on: http://roxborogh.com/pgresearch/default.htm