Typescript notes of evidence heard at the World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh, 1910, by Commission IV. This Commission was chaired by David S. Cairns, (1862 - 1946), Principal of the United Free Church College, Aberdeen (later, Christ's College), 1923 - 1935; and its evidence was subsequently published as The Missionary Message in Relation to the Non-Christian Religions. The notes described here were collated by Cairns, for this purpose. He was assisted in the task by W.P. Paterson.
Records of the World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh, 1910
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The World Missionary Conference, held in Edinburgh, 14 - 23 June 1910, followed earlier international missionary conferences in Liverpool, 1860, London, 1885, and New York, 1900. More representative than its predecessors, it served as an important stimulus to the twentieth century ecumenical movement, for where previous conferences had been non-ecumenical, and largely evangelical, participants at the Edinburgh conference represented missionary societies across most of the Protestant spectrum (Roman Catholic and Orthodox societies were still notably absent). The majority came from Britain and North America, though 40 societies from other European countries and 12 from South Africa and Australasia were also present. The conference met in the United Free Church Assembly Hall (now Church of Scotland) adjacent to New College, with separate meetings for schoolchildren hosted in the Church of Scotland Assembly Hall (latterly, Highland Tolbooth Church), and a short supplementary programme during 20 - 21 June focused on medical aspects of missionary work. The planning committee, which was predominantly Scottish, engaged eight international commissions to prepare reports on the conference, which were subsequently published in full (see Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology, ed. by Nigel M. de S. Cameron (Edinburgh: T and T Clark Ltd., 1993), p 894 for details). The work of the committee and commissions also resulted in the publication of A Statistical Atlas of Christian Missions (Edinburgh, 1910), which contains a detailed directory of missionary societies at this time, and the International Review of Missions, ed. J.H. Oldham, 1- (1912-). The conference, itself, provided stimulus for several co-operative enterprises, not least The International Missionary Council (est. 1921), which united the network of national and regional councils that were formed after 1910 (including the Conference of Missionary Societies, established 1911 - 12); and the Faith and Order Movement, established in Lausanne, 1927.
For more details, and further points of reference see Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology, ed. by Nigel M. de S. Cameron (Edinburgh: T and T Clark Ltd., 1993) , pp 893 - 894.
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Deposited in the University in Nov 1987, by Rev. Dr H.R. Sefton, Master of Christ's College, Aberdeen.
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The records were acquired by the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, under the directorship of Professor Andrew Walls, Department of Divinity, University of Aberdeen. They were transferred to Special Libraries and Archives when the Centre moved to Edinburgh c 1987, together with the papers of Robert Laws of Livingstonia (GB 231 MS 3290), and the papers of Alexander Caseby, missionary GB 231 MS 3290)
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World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910, Reports of Commissions(Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1910).
This material is original