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The Field Is the World

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Table of Contents

Preface iii


  1. Introduction 1
  2. Sermons Preached to the ABCFM Annual Meeting 13
  3. Proclamation on the Field of ABCFM Missionaries 56
  4. Proclamation of Indigenous Preachers 131
  5. Bible Translation by Board Missionaries 202
  6. Education, Medicine & Social Concern 258

Conclusion 305

Bibliographic Essay on American Board Primary Sources 309

Secondary Sources 315

The Field Is the World
Proclaiming, Translating, and Serving by the American Board of Commisioners for Foreign Missions 1810-40
Donald Philip Corr

The immediate origins of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions are well known.

In the midst of the Second Great Awakening and a growing Trinitarian-Unitarian controversy, a small group of college students met in 1806 to discuss the spiritual condition of the Asian nations. A storm arose and they took shelter in a haystack. From this “Haystack Prayer Meeting” came the resolve to take the Gospel to those who had not heard. The Field Is the World tells the story of the students’ petition to the General Association of Congregational Ministers of Massachusetts to seek ways to respond to Christ’s call to preach the gospel to every creature. The resulting Board of Commissioners became the first evangelical mission organization to transcend denominational affiliations in the U.S. and to represent the epitome of the missionary enterprise at large.

Writing this dissertation in the 70s, Donald Philip Corr has presented one of a limited number of scholarly works on the Board’s ministry beyond the U.S., particularly its pioneering efforts on the role of preaching and social work and the theme of indigenization among unreached peoples.


  • This book is readable and a scholar’s delight, a seminal collection of primary source material about the largest and most influential missionary board in early 19th century America.
    Samuel H. MoffettHenry Luce Professor Emeritus of Ecumenics and Mission, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Phil Corr’s examination of the sermons by Board missionaries and those of the indigenous preachers who worked with the Board is fresh and important. While the book displays a much Fuller narrative of the Board’s varied achievements than previous accounts, the author convincingly defends the thesis that it subordinated all its work to the over arching goal of proclaiming the Gospel.
    James E. BradleyGeoffrey W. Bromiley Professor of Church History, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • In The Field Is the World, Phil Corr provides a careful historical study of early Congregational missionary life and work in the Hawaiian Islands. It is long overdue as an antidote to many of the spurious claims that Michener made popular in his treatment of early missionaries in Hawaii.
    Cecil M. Robeck, Jr.Professor of Church History and Ecumenics, Fuller Theological Seminary

Additional Details

  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: William Carey Library
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publish Year: 1993
  • ISBN: 9780878082117
  • Vendor: William Carey Publishing