A Controversial Churchman

A Controversial Churchman

Essays on George Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand and Lichfield, and Sarah Selwyn

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New Zealand’s first Anglican bishop, George Selwyn, was a towering figure in the young colony. Denounced as a ‘turbulent priest’ for speaking out against Crown practices that dispossessed Māori, he brought a vigorous approach to Episcopal leadership. His wife Sarah Selwyn supported all her husband’s activities, in a life characterised as one of ‘hardship and anxiety’. She expressed independently her sense of outrage over the Waitara dispute.

Selwyn promoted participatory church government, founded the innovative Melanesian Mission, and developed a distinctive style of colonial church architecture. More controversially, he battled with the Church Missionary Society, and was caught up in the bitter maelstrom of settler and Māori politics. His personal links with colonial and ecclesiastical networks gave him access to the heart of empire.

These essays offer new insights into Selwyn’s role in developing pan-Anglicanism, strengthening links between the Church of England and the Episcopal and Anglican Churches in North America, and his time as Bishop of Lichfield (1868–78). His place in Treaty history, as a political commentator and a valuable source of historical information, is recognised.

George Selwyn left a large imprint on New Zealand church and society. This collection both honours and critiques a controversial bishop.

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Ken Booth
Judith Bright
Terry M. Brown
Janet E. Crawford
Allan K. Davidson
Bruce Kaye
Warren E. Limbrick
Jonathan Mane-Wheoki
Grant Phillipson
John Stenhouse
Rowan Strong

Table of contents

Foreword Rt Revd Sir Paul Reeves
Introduction - Allan K. Davidson

I. The Selwyns and New Zealand
1. George Selwyn as Bishop of New Zealand: Recovering Apostolicity in a Colonial Church - Warren E. Limbrick
2. Selwyn as Missionary and Colonial Bishop - Allan K. Davidson
3. Sarah Selwyn: ‘A Help not a Hindrance’ - Janet E. Crawford
4. Selwyn Through Settler Eyes - John Stenhouse
5. ‘High and even holy purposes’: Selwyn in Treaty History - Grant Phillipson
II. Selwyn and Colonial Anglicanism
6. Selwyn the Ecclesiologist – in Theory and in Practice - Jonathan Mane-Wheoki
7. Selwyn and the Australasian Conference of Bishops, 1850 - Bruce Kaye
8. Bishop Selwyn and the British Empire: Imperial Networks and Colonial Outcomes - Rowan Strong
9. Bishop George Augustus Selwyn in North America: Missionary Hero and Ecclesiastical Diplomat - Terry M. Brown
III. Selwyn in England
10. Selwyn as Bishop of Lichfield - Ken Booth
IV. Selwyn the Writer
11. Episcopal Epistles: Selwyn’s Correspondence - Judith Bright

Print publication:
Ebook publication: Dec 2018
Pages: 292
RRP: $49.99
ISBN: 9781877242519
ISTC: A022012000021028
DOI: 10.7810/9781877242519

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Listen to the book's editor, Allan Davidson, talk about the book to Chris Laidlaw on Radio New Zealand's Sunday Morning.