Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

One Firm Anchor: The Church and the Merchant Seafarer, an Introductory History

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

One Firm Anchor: The Church and the Merchant Seafarer, an Introductory History

Article excerpt

One Firm Anchor: The Church and the Merchant Seafarer, an Introductory History By R. W. H. Miller. (Cambridge, UK: Lutterworth Press. 2012. Pp. 364. $50.00 paperback. ISBN 978-0-7188-9290-6.)

One Firm Anchor is more than a mere introduction to maritime mission work and the religious life of sailors. Instead, R. W. H. Miller has utilized a host of primary documents to write a thought-provoking missiology (study of missions) that incorporates not only the Catholic Church's efforts to administer to the spiritual needs of seafarers but also similar efforts by other evangelical and charitable organizations, both denominational and nondenominational. Miller concentrates, however, on Great Britain and the Catholic Church because most sources regarding maritime missions are British and Catholic. Keeping this limitation in mind, he adeptly corrects the omissions and inaccuracies of other historians, especially Peter Anson. Although Anson (The Church and the Sailor, 1949) was, according to Miller, "the first significant maritime missiologist" who "paved the way for others to follow" (p. 15), his vague footnotes coupled with recent discoveries of additional primary documents made an updated treatment necessary. Miller carefully lays out general trends of maritime mission work before more in-depth analysis of individual missionaries and organizations. …

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