Anglican Clergy in Australia, 1788-1850

February 2015
3 black and white illustrations
282 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
ISBN: 9780861933280
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Royal Historical Society
BISAC HIS004000, HIS037060, REL033000

Anglican Clergy in Australia, 1788-1850

Building a British World

Michael Gladwin

First full-length exploration of the role of the Anglican church in the development of colonial Australia.
Anglican clergymen in Britain's Australian colonies in their earliest years faced very particular challenges. Lacking relevant training, experience or pastoral theology, these pioneer religious professionals not only ministered to a convict population unique in the empire, but had also to engage with indigenous peoples and a free-settler population struggling with an often inhospitable environment. This was in the context of a settler empire that was being reshaped by mass migration, rapid expansion and a widespread decline in the political authority of religion and the confessional state, especially after the American Revolution.
Previous accounts have caricatured such clerics as lackeys of the imperial authorities: "moral policemen", "flogging parsons". Yet, while the clergy did make important contributions to colonial and imperial projects, this book offers a more wide-ranging picture. It reveals them at times vigorously asserting their independence in relation both to their religious duties and to humanitarian concern, and shows them playing an important part in the new colonies' social and economic development, making a vital contribution to the emergence of civil society and intellectual and cultural institutions and traditions within Australia. It is only possible to understand the distinctive role that the clergy played in the light of their social origins, intellectual formation and professional networks in an expanding British World, a subject explored systematically here for the first time.

Michael Gladwin is Lecturer in History at St Mark's National Theological Centre, Charles Sturt University, Canberra.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782044291), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

Anglican imperial designs? Funding, recruitment and national backgrounds
Gentility, manners and the ideal colonial clergyman
Social background, education and motivation
Ecclesiastical roles: rites of passage and public worship
Flogging parsons? Chaplaincy, the magistracy and civil roles
Clergy, culture and society
Clergy and indigenous peoples
The impact of voluntarism
Colonial quiverfuls: clerical family life
Clerical identity, laity and voluntarism


Well organized, and packed with the sort of detail that shows how thoroughly the author has been prepared to follow up every relevant question that occurs to him. AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF POLITICS & HISTORY

Michael Gladwin's excellent book offers robust correctives to some of the most entrenched stereotypes in Australian historiography...[It] is a model of how to reconstruct a particular milieu. STUDIES IN WORLD CHRISTIANITY

[This] deeply researched and judiciously revisionist a distinguished addition to [the] scholarly literature. CHURCH HISTORY & RELIGIOUS CULTURE

Offers valuable insights and resources for other scholars investigating the influence of Christianity in British colonial societies. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

[An] impressive volume - a model of empirically grounded critical history writing that deserves widespread and careful attention. It has major implications for our understanding of the character of the Church of England in early colonial Australia. AUSTRALIAN HISTORICAL STUDIES

Author Bio

Lecturer in History, St Mark's National Theological Centre, School of Theology, Charles Sturt University, Canberra

Also in Series

Related Titles