The Hidden History of How Protestantism Went Global

The story of Christianity’s global spread is usually told in two parts: first the conquistadores took Catholicism to the Americas and elsewhere in the 16th and 17th centuries; and then the global empires of the 19th and 20th centuries brought Protestant missionaries to most of the rest of the planet. 

This lecture series takes us into new research revealing the forgotten piece of the puzzle connecting those two stories: how Protestants and evangelicals laid the foundations for their global reach before the high imperial age.

These hesitant early missionary ventures did not win many converts, but they formed Europeans’ assumptions about ‘race’, ‘justice’, ‘civilisation’, ‘religion’ and the nature of Christianity itself. To see the world through those early missionaries’ eyes is to see not only why their ventures were so slow and stumbling, but how their experience primed the age of Christian expansion which followed, producing world-views which still underpin our own secular age.