All Categories

    Alec Ryrie

    Professor Alec Ryrie: Why Protestant Missionaries in the Tudor and Stuart Period were More Common, and Less Successful, Than You Think

    Event Details

    Saturday 29 April, 3 - 4pm, OS.0.01, Michael Berry lecture theatre, Old Sessions House


    It’s often said that Christian missions to the non-Christian world in the 16th and 17th centuries were overwhelmingly a Catholic affair, in the Spanish and Portuguese empires. This lecture will show that from the beginning of English expansion across the oceans, there was a persistent Protestant missionary dimension to their imperial projects – above all in North America, but also in the Caribbean, in the Near East and elsewhere. Substantial resource and energy was ploughed into these ventures; but they bore very little fruit. The reasons for this pattern of missionary failure include structural problems, entanglements with the nascent slave trade and with the English conquests of Ireland, and deep-seated convictions about what ‘conversion’ to Protestantism meant and how it might happen. The lecture will tour these problems and argue that the failure of early Protestant missions reveals some important truths about the nature of the period as a whole.


    Alec Ryrie is Professor of the History of Christianity at Durham University, Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, London, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is president of the Ecclesiastical History Society and co-editor of the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. His books include The Age of Reformation (2009, 2017), Being Protestant in Reformation Britain (2013), Protestants (2017), Unbelievers (2019), and most recently The English Reformation: A Very Brief History (2020).

    View as Grid List
    Sort by

    Age of Reformation: The Tudor and Stewart Realms 1485-1603

    £28.00 £35.99

    Being Protestant in Reformation Britain

    £34.00 £43.99
    The first comprehensive account of what it actually meant to live a Protestant life in England and Scotland between 1530 and 1640. The focus is on material reality and the real experience of actual believers, drawn from diaries and other direct testimonies.

    Christianity: A Historical Atlas

    £26.00 £30.95
    The spread of Christianity is arguably humanity's most consequential historical epic. Christianity tells the tale through more than a hundred beautiful color maps and illustrations depicting the journey of Jesus Christ's followers from Judea to Constantine's Rome, wider Europe, and today's world of two billion Christians practicing in every land.

    Origins of the Scottish Reformation

    £17.09 £18.99
    This is the first synthetic narrative of the origins of the Scottish Reformation of 1560; the narrative covers the period 1525-60. It brings together religious history with the political history of Mary, Queen of Scots' reign, paying particular attention to the role of warfare and violence. It is aimed principally at students and general readers

    Private and Domestic Devotion in Early Modern Britain

    £42.00 £48.99

    Protestants: The Radicals Who Made the Modern World

    £12.00 £16.99
    On the 500th anniversary of Luther's rebellion, this spectacular global history traces the revolutionary faith that shaped the modern world.

    The Gospel and Henry VIII: Evangelicals in the Early English Reformation

    This book looks at the last years of Henry VIII's life, 1539-47, conventionally seen as a time when the king persecuted Protestants. The book argues that Henry's policies were much more ambiguous, and that it was during these years that English Protestantism's eventual identity was determined.

    Unbelievers: An Emotional History of Doubt

    £8.00 £9.99
    Why have Western societies that were once overwhelmingly Christian become so secular? Looking to the feelings and faith of ordinary people, the award-winning author of Protestants Alec Ryrie offers a bold new history of atheism.

    Alec Ryrie

    Signed Books
    Folkestone Book Festival

    Secure Payments
    Payment Method