“All We Hope is a Generous Revival”: The Evangelization of the Ottoman Christians in Western Anatolia in the Nineteenth Century
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This article examines the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions’ activities in the 1870s and 80s at the Manisa and Smyrna/İzmir stations in an attempt to evangelize Greeks and Armenians living in the region. The main body of sources used in this study are the letters of the missionary Rev. Marcellus Bowen (1874-1880) sent from Manisa to the headquarters of the ABCFM in Boston, and the letters of Rev. George Constantine (1880-1889) sent from İzmir to the same destination. These first-person narratives provide us with extremely rich material, due to the fact that they comment on phenomena and events directly and immediately. This article investigates a variety of themes, such as the efforts of the American missionaries to adapt their missionary work to Smyrna’s multicultural and multinational society; the missionaries’ decisions and arguments regarding which language to use in their preachings or at religious services for the Greeks and Armenians of the region; the means of persecution or opposition employed by the Greek Orthodox high-ranked clergy in Smyrna/İzmir against the Protestant missionaries; and the conditions under which foreigners could sell religious books or open / build schools and churches in the Ottoman lands, and which intermediaries the missionaries appealed to when they were challenged by the Ottoman authorities.
SourceOsmanlı Araştırmaları Dergisi
- Sayı 55