xii + 380 pp.
£60 / $95 / €90
£19.50 / $29.50 / €27.50
Sowing the Word
The Cultural Impact of the British and Foreign Bible Society 1804-2004
Edited by Stephen Batalden, Kathleen Cann, John Dean
In March 2004, a group of 30 historians who have been fascinated by the work of the British and Foreign Bible Society met in London to share their researches, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Society (now part of the United Bible Societies).
A common thread to their papers was the indelible effect the Society’s work has had around the world, not only in bringing the Bible to people of many countries in their own language, but also in helping to create many national identities and cultures. The Bible was often the first printed book in a language, and so the primer for those learning to read. It had an enormous influence on education, the development of written languages, and the outlook of leaders and ordinary people alike throughout Europe, Asia and Africa.
In the 19 papers of this volume, focussing on Britain, West Africa, East Asia, Russia, Europe and North America, readers will find a wealth of absorbing detail. There are the stories of those who translated the Bible into the languages of China and Russia, into the native languages of nineteenth-century Canada, and into many other languages of the world. There are the intriguing tales of those who distributed Bibles, including the many women such as the Bible Women, who found a freedom they otherwise lacked in organizing networks for circulating the Scriptures.
Not forgotten either are those colourful characters, like the maverick George Borrow in Spain, who took enormous risks for the Society in selling Bibles in countries where a vernacular Bible was not welcomed by the authorities.
Stephen Batalden is a historian and director of the Russian and East European Studies Center at Arizona State University.
Kathleen Cann is the former BFBS archivist responsible for the professional organization and description of the collection.
John Dean is a former general secretary of the BFBS and United Bible Societies World Service Officer.
|Series: Bible in the Modern World, 3|
|1-905048-08-4, 978-1-905048-08-3 hardback / 1-905048-65-3, 978-1-905048-65-6 paperback|
|Publication November 2004|
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archives of the British and Foreign Bible Society
PART ONE: THE BFBS AT HOME
The Bible Society and the Book Trade
Women and the Bible Society
Forgotten Labours: Women's Bible Work and the BFBS
“Without Note or Comment”: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
London Bible House in the 1950s: An Illustrated Reminiscence
PART TWO: THE BFBS ABROAD
John Hill and the Early Attempt to Study a West African Language
Anonymous Bible Translators: Native Literati and the Translation of the Bible
into Chinese, 1807-1907
Problems in Translating the Bible into Manchu: Observations on Louis
Poirot's Old Testament
Erling von Mende
The BFBS Petersburg Agency and Russian Biblical Translation, 1856-1875
Bishop Cassian's BFBS-Sponsored Russian Translation of the New Testament
Minority Language Biblical Translation Work in Russia: Then and Now
The Levant and Southeastern Europe
Enlightening “A Poor, Oppressed, and Darkened Nation”: Some Early
Activities of the BFBS in the Levant
The Bible Society's South Slavic Bible in the Balkan Maelstrom
Robert Pinkerton: Principal Agent of the BFBS in the Kingdoms of Germany
Obedience and Disobedience: George Borrow's Idiosyncratic Relationship
with the Bible Society
The Bible in Spain and Gibraltar
The BFBS and Native Language Literature in Nineteenth-Century Canada
Sowing by Sea: Empowering Seafarers with the Gospel
Appendix: A Summary Catalogue of the BFBS Archives
This collection is a welcome contribution to the exceptional story of how the Bible became a universal Book of Books.
Yaakov Shavit, Review of Biblical Literature
Sowing the Word makes a significant contribution to the debate about the relationship of Christianity and culture, of missions and empire … This is a well balanced collection, ranging from geographical, thematic, and biographical chapters to personal reminiscences that capture the culture of the Society's work.
Peter Sherlock, Church Times.