Mission policies of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP), 1901-1980: their contribution to the regional character of the Church

Ngaya-an, Ben B. (2016) Mission policies of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP), 1901-1980: their contribution to the regional character of the Church. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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This study demonstrates the extensive contribution of successive mission policies from 1901 to 1980 to the regional character of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP). The policy of concentration from 1901 to 1919, which focused church’s work in certain areas of Luzon and Mindanao, continued to impact the development of its mission in spite of the adoption of new policies in the succeeding years. This is because it was primarily developed in relation to the issue of marginality in Philippine society, a factor that remained vital to new policies although it was not always explicitly acknowledged.

Although the policy of consolidation from 1920 to 1940 aimed at strengthening the initial mission work, it also allowed expansion for the sake of marginalized people like the Tiruray in Upi, Maguindanao. After World War II to 1962, the church adopted policies of centralization - gathering key institutions in one centre - and expansion of influence - bringing church’s influence to the mainstream of Philippine society. However, when the church pursued its expansion to the lowland Filipinos in partnership with the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), the concentration of its work amongst the marginalized people in the Cordillera and Mindanao was further enhanced. From 1962 to 1980, the church adopted parallel policies of devolution – Filipinization of leadership - and decentralization – division of the district into dioceses. However, since the policy of decentralization was developed not only for efficient administration of the church but also for its regional expansion, it further contributed to concentration of work in places where the church has been previously working.

The framework of ‘mission history after the “world-Christian turn” ’ employed in this study made it possible to arrive at the above conclusions in spite of relying on sources that are predominantly colonial, because it demands reconceiving mission history in the light of World Christianity. In particular, this mission history articulates Filipino voices that have been muted and yet can be detected in the way missionaries dealt with issues like marginality. The capacity to highlight local context and local voices in this framework is partly due to the identification of the double role of mission policies - mediating and synthesizing - in the dialogical relationship between theory (theology, theories, ideals) and practice (expediencies or what is happening on the ground) in the work of Christian mission. This study contributes to the broadening of mission history as well as demonstrating the importance of mission history in the continuous growth and evolution of World Christianity as an area of study.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
Item ID: 21641
Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2017 15:38
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:48
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/21641

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