Roland Allen: A Missionary Life

By Steven Richard Rutt

A biography of the great Anglican missionary Roland Allen, tying his life and experience to the development of his church-centred theology of mission.

ISBN: 9780718894757


Roland Allen (1868-1947) is remembered as one of the foremost missionaries of the last century. Throughout his life, Allen travelled the world, following his vocation and building his missionary methods centred on a theology of indigenisation. From his early days as a Chaplain in China (during which Allen was forced to flee to the British Legation in Beijing), through to his continued mission to India, Canada and South Africa, he developed as man, missionary and theologian.

The first of two volumes, Roland Allen: A Missionary Life is an intellectual biography which explores the people and ideas that influenced Allen while tracing the ways in which his missionary ecclesiology evolved during his life. Through extensive examination of unpublished archival papers, including lesser known letters and sermons, Steven Richard Rutt has uncovered the growth of a forthright, morally indefatigable churchman, who was also a loving family man with close and long-running friendships. Rutt unpacks Allen’s Church-centred missionary ecclesiology and ‘missiology of indigenisation’, which were based on Allen’s knowledge gained from experience.

Roland Allen: A Missionary Life and Roland Allen: A Theology of Mission explore the thought of a Christian whose writings provided farsighted clarity on global Christian missionary work that is still relevant today.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 208
Illustrations b&w

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Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Rev. Dr Steven Richard Rutt completed his doctoral work in Christian Mission after four years of archival research at Rhodes House, Oxford, and subsequently, earned his PhD in Religious Studies from Lancaster University. He remains a guest lecturer in Missiology for the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (Oxford), the Reformed Episcopal Seminary (Philadelphia) and Cranmer Theological House (Houston/Dallas).


List of Illustrations
Foreword by Hubert Allen
Foreword by Michael Nazir-Ali


1. Formation of an Anglican Missionary
2. Missionary Experiences in China
3. From Systems to Principles
4. Allen’s Analysis of St. Paul’s Missionary Principles
5. The World Dominion Movement and Its Evangelical Mission
6. Field Work in Various Countries
7. Friends, Family and African Ministry
8. Select Sermons and Teachings on the Old Testament

Conclusion: A Summary of Roland Allen: A Missionary Life

Scripture Index


Endorsements and Reviews

Roland Allen, prophet without honour in his own time, has been overdue a serious intellectual biography, and this is it. Steven Richard Rutt has dug deep into the archival resources, and in so doing sheds new light on this extraordinarily far-seeing missionary thinker.
Brian Stanley, Professor of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh

Rev. Dr Rutt has written a careful, meticulously researched, and engaging study that will go a long way to opening Allen’s thought to a new generation of Christians.
Christopher Partridge, Professor of Religious Studies, Lancaster University