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The Unexpected Impact by J.M.R.Owens - Wesley Historical Society

The Unexpected Impact




I. The Disputed Impact

II. The Expected Impact

III. The Social Context of Impact

IV. Missionary Options in Relation to Social Change

V. Ways of Influencing Social Change

(a) Social Detachment

(b) Social Involvement

(c) Indirect Involvement

VI. The Unexpected Impact

(a) The Family and Social Impact

(b) Inadequate Impact

(c) Uncontrolled Impact

(d) The Missionary as Secularizer

(e) A Generally Unexpected Impact

(f) The Impact of Maoris on Missionaries

VII. From Mediating "Civilization" to Mediating Maori Culture

VIII. Conclusion



It is a great pleasure to write a foreword for this informative lecture by Dr. J.M.R. Owens, Reader in History, Massey University, Palmerston North. He speaks with a wide knowledge of his subject, having gained the Ph.D. degree of Victoria University of Wellington with a thesis entitled "The Wesleyan Mission to New Zealand, 1819-1840." In preparing the thesis, he conducted research in London, Canberra and Sydney and in libraries throughout New Zealand.

It is heart-warming to find a professional historian who has resisted the tendency, all too common in these days, to decry all 19th century missionary endeavour as either useless or harmful, and who so ably argues for a much more balanced and sympathetic view. Harmful changes in the Maori pattern of life, often blamed on missionary activity, are seen as arising from complex causes, often quite outside missionary influence and control.

The Methodist 150th Anniversary Committee was gratified when Dr Owens consented to give the 1972 Conference Lecture. Its choice is now seen to be well justified, since it has resulted in the production of this thoughtful pamphlet which assesses so admirably, the abiding value of the missionary contribution to the development of our nation's life.

L.R.M. Gilmore

Secretary, Wesley Historical Society (N.Z.) Box 255,

Morrinsville, N.Z.