Protestant Missionaries in Spain, 1869-1936

Protestant Missionaries in Spain, 1869-1936 : "Shall the Papists Prevail?"

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Protestant Missionaries in Spain, 1869-1936: "Shall the Papists Prevail?" examines the history of the Protestant denominations, especially the Plymouth Brethren, throughout Europe that attempted to bring their churches to Spain just prior to Spain's First Republic (1873-1874) when religious liberty briefly existed. Protestant groups labored feverishly, establishing churches and schools designed to gain converts and thereby prove the supremacy of their theology in Spain as the foremost Roman Catholic country. Religious liberty was reintroduced in the 1930s during the Second Republic, but failed when General Francisco Franco won the Spanish Civil War and unified the culturally and linguistically diverse nation through the doctrine of religious uniformity. Equally important is the question of why the Roman Catholic Church felt compelled to expel them from Spain. After the First Vatican Council (1869-1870), Spain became the battlefield between Protestants and Catholics, each vying to demonstrate their preeminence. Using primary sources from Spain and the UK, this book recreates the story of these missionaries' struggles and examines their motivations for making significant sacrifices.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 382 pages
  • 161 x 235 x 34mm | 667g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1 tables
  • 0739194097
  • 9780739194096

About Kent Eaton

Kent Eaton is provost and professor of historical theology at the Houston Graduate School of Theology.show more

Review quote

There is, as yet, little scholarly work on Spain's small protestant minority, and this first full-length study of British missionaries is therefore to be welcomed...The book provides many insights. There is a welcome acknowledgement of Protestantism's association with the working class and the poor in Spain, which the author associates with limiting the missions' impact, given the failure to penetrate the elites. There are also illuminating discussions of the women who were involved in mission work...One of the most attractive, if unconventional, features of the book is a sense of dialogue between the author and his sources, which reflects his insider position. He takes his protagonists seriously, treats their thoughts and feelings with respect, and fully recognizes the extent of their pastoral task...This is, in short, an interesting and thoughtful...contribution to the understudied field of Spanish Protestantism. European History Quarterly This solidly researched study covers the period between the revolution of 1868, the most progressive and democratic of Spain's nineteenth-century political upheavals, and the outbreak of the Civil War in July 1936. The author has used a rich variety of sources, including church archives, the letters and diaries of missionaries, as well as the Spanish and British press, both religious and secular. One merit of this study is that it is placed within the wider context of the cultural and religious milieu of Victorian Britain... This study examines in depth many important themes-the identities of the missionaries, the evolution of their pastoral strategies, the areas where they were most successful (Madrid, Barcelona, and rural Galicia), and the social composition of their converts-largely the poor. In the end, the efforts of the Brethren proved disappointing, but the personal stories in this volume make abundantly clear that the missionaries were undaunted in their religious quest. The author also offers a convincing explanation of some of the reasons behind the meager results of the Brethren's work, particularly the failure to develop native missionaries and a lack of appreciation for aspects of Spanish popular culture... [T]his study makes a major contribution the religious history of modern Spain. The Catholic Historical Review Kent Eaton's account of Protestant missionaries in Spain provides a unique account of a much-neglected field of study. Eaton's carefully documented historical research underlines the importance of the Brethren Pietistic Dispensational Theology on all Spanish Protestant groups, although most today are unaware of this history. His penetrating but sympathetic analysis of a community that he knows well illustrates the importance of bringing historical and theological insights together if we wish to understand why some religious groups flourish, while others struggle to reach hearts and minds. -- Fiona Bowie, King's College Londonshow more

Table of contents

Part One: The Protestant Preoccupation with Spain Chapter One: The Fellowship of Dissent Chapter Two: The Development of Dispensational Missiology Chapter Three: The Awakening of Protestant Interest in Spain as a Mission Field Part Two: The First Republic and the Protestant Experience Chapter Four: Spain and Religious Freedom, 1868-1875 Chapter Five: Missionary Methodology in Spain Part Three: A Precarious Foundation Chapter Six: Uncertainty and Advances, 1875-1898 Chapter Seven: From Darkness to Light, 1898-1933 Part Four: The Calm Before the Storm Chapter Eight: The Protestant Experience during the Second Spanish Republic Chapter Nine: The Lasting Legacyshow more