The Origins of the Baptist Movement among the Hungarians: A History of the Baptists in the Kingdom of Hungary from 1846 to 1893

Article excerpt

The Origins of the Baptist Movement among the Hungarians: A History of the Baptists in the Kingdom of Hungary from 1846 to 1893. By G. Alexander Kish. Leiden: Brill, 2012. Pp. ix, 487. euro109 /$149.

The Origins of the Baptist Movement among the Hungarians is a work of solid scholarship and will be hailed as a groundbreaking narrative history of Baptist mission work in continental Europe. Church historian and political scientist G. Alexander Kish presents the story of Baptist origins in Hungary in terms of two overlapping narratives. The first begins in 1846, when Johann Rottmayer returned to Hungary from Germany and started working among ethnic Hungarians. The second narrative begins in 1873, when Heinrich Meyer also returned from Germany and started Baptist congregations in Budapest. Dominating the book are two related questions - why did the Hungarian-led initiative in 1846 to establish a Baptist mission fail, despite the availability of resources and good planning? And why was the German-led attempt in 1873 successful, despite its lack of resources and planning?

Divided into five chapters, the book sets the origins of Hungarian Baptists within the political and ecclesiastical context of nineteenth-century continental Europe. The first two chapters focus on the pioneering mission activities of Rottmayer and Meyer. …