By the 1740s reports of Protestant mission efforts in southeast India, the West Indies, and North America had circulated for a generation, and those who followed such accounts recognized the need for a clear self-understanding in the face of non-Christian populations and Catholic missionary successes, hi the end, however, the indifference of many of the established church leaders combined with the renewed zeal of believers and reformers for experiential religion to create the opportunity of making susceptible recruits to successive waves of religious renewal. The position paper on the problem, however, was quashed in favor of undenominational Christianity that in fact, served the purposes of empire, even while partially vindicating evangelical refusal to be trapped in never-ending quarrels about episcopacy and the stillborn attempts at confessional trans-cooperation.69 The infancy of a confessionally blurred Protestantism that greeted itinerant ministers and a laity devoted to "an experience of conversion that expanded the possibilities for self-fashioning" occurred during the 1740s because of the transoceanic birth pangs whose discomfort we have followed.70 The unraveling of the earlier selfunderstanding had been provoked by the transoceanic journeys of Gradin, Zinzendorf. the Wesley brothers, and European Protestant clerics in the Ottoman Empire, Europe, North America, and India.
The Waters of Rebirth: The Eighteenth Century and Transoceanic Protestant Chr... A G Roeber Church History
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