Queensland Baptists in the nineteenth century: The historical development of a denominational identity

Ball, Leslie James (1994). Queensland Baptists in the nineteenth century: The historical development of a denominational identity PhD Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Ball, Leslie James
Thesis Title Queensland Baptists in the nineteenth century: The historical development of a denominational identity
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1994
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor -
Total pages 436
Language eng
Subjects 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
2204 Religion and Religious Studies
Formatted abstract This thesis is concerned to trace the historical development of the Baptist denomination in Queensland from its beginning in 1849 to the end of the nineteenth century. In particular, the aim is to show how it developed from a small, strongly sectarian group to the status of a settled denomination within this period.

After an introduction outlining the hypothesis and methods of the thesis, the work consists of four parts, the first three dealing with the historical treatment of key spiritual developments in Baptist church history, the fourth being a conclusion based on the sociological perspectives of Troeltsch and O'Dea.

Part I, with three chapters, examines the Origins of the Baptist Church. Chapter 1 briefly discusses some theories of Baptist origins, to place Baptists in the English Separatist tradition. It also surveys their British beginnings in the seventeenth century, and examines some early Baptist Confessions, with a view to establishing some important primary principles for Baptists. Chapter 2 continues the history of Baptists through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in England and Germany, since these two countries provided the majority of early Queensland Baptists. Chapter 3 closes this background study with a look at the introduction of Baptists into Australia, with particular reference to Queensland.

Part II examines general ideas of the Nature and Function of the Baptist Church in Queensland, as evidenced in documents drawn from or pertaining to the nineteenth century. It includes two chapters dealing respectively with the Nature of the Church, with special regard to developments in the concept of membership and its attendant responsibilities, and the perceived Function of the Church, with reference to developments in such areas as fellowship, evangelism, and social action. In virtually all these areas, a gradual change from individualism to a sense of corporate activity opened up the way for the institutional development of the denomination.

Part III examines the actual Workings of the Baptist Church in Queensland in the nineteenth century. This section contains six chapters whose headings are based on the areas of concern most commonly expressed in Baptist churches, namely, Worship, Ordinances, Theological Understanding and Education, the Place of Scripture and Prayer, Polity, and Associationalism. Developments in these areas explain the growth of an organic union among Queensland Baptists, as an increasing uniformity in practices overcame the earlier divisions, and created an atmosphere conducive to organic and bureaucratic consolidation.

Finally, Part IV offers, by way of conclusion, a statement on the status of Baptists in Queensland in 1900, a statement which locates the Baptist Church on the Sect-Denomination-Church continuum of Troeltsch and O'Dea. It provides a summary of the key denominational developments in Queensland from 1849 to 1900, and considers the focal role of the Baptist Association of Queensland in the establishment of a clear denominational identity for Baptists in Queensland.
Keyword Baptists -- Queensland -- History -- 19th century
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

 
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