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November 17 , 2007

George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878)

Theological Formation, Life and Work


The conventional portrayal of George Augustus Selwyn, the first Anglican bishop of New Zealand, focuses upon his significance as a missionary bishop who pioneered synodical government in New Zealand and acted as a mediator between settlers and Maori.

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George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878) focuses on Selwyn’s theological formation, which places him in the context of the world of traditional high churchmanship, rather than the Oxford Movement narrowly conceived. It argues that his distinctiveness lay in the way in which he was able to transplant his vision of Anglicanism to the colonial context. Making use of Selwyn’s personal correspondence and papers, as well as his unpublished sermons, the book analyses his theological formation, his missionary policy, his role within the formation of the colonial episcopate, his attitude to conciliar authority and his impact upon the diocesan revival in England. The study places Selwyn alongside other likeminded high churchmen who shaped the framework for the transformation of Anglicanism from State Church to worldwide communion in the nineteenth century.

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