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Violence and Atonement

The Missionary Experiences of Mohandas Gandhi, Samuel Stokes and Verrier Elwin in India before 1935


William W. Emilsen

Following the violence of Amritsar in 1919, Gandhi emerged as the leader of the Indian nationalist movement, and the missionary situation in India changed forever. Whilst most European missionaries lamented the loss of a friendly spirit between Englishman and Indian, a few took up Gandhi's challenge to make atonement for the wrongs of British imperialism. An American, Samuel Stokes, became a leading figure in the Indian National Congress and was imprisoned because of his pro-Gandhian activities. An Englishman, Verrier Elwin rankled officialdom with anti-British activities and was deported. This study repatriates Stokes and Elwin. It observes a continuity between their earlier missionary activities and their later careers as horticulturist and anthropologist respectively. It discerns in Stokes and Elwin and in other missionaries such as C.F. Andrews, Edward Thompson and Jack Winslow, a distinct strand of missionary thought and practice in the troubled inter-war years.
Contents: World Missionary Conference (1910) - Fulfilment theology - Christian ashrams in India - Gandhi and Christian missions - Ghandhi's challenge to western civilisation - Amritsar massacre, 1919 - Forced labour in India - Synthesis of Eastern and Western thought - Mission as atonement - Indian Nationalist Movement - Conversion to Hinduism - Tribals in India - The British in India - Franciscanism in India.