“For China and Tibet, and for world-wide revival” Cecil henry Polhill (1860-1938) and his significance for early pentecostalism

Usher, John Martin (2015). “For China and Tibet, and for world-wide revival” Cecil henry Polhill (1860-1938) and his significance for early pentecostalism. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Cecil Polhill (1860-1938) remains unfamiliar to the vast majority of Pentecostals, yet he was one of the founding fathers of the tradition in Britain, and his impact and legacy stretch far beyond Britain. Research into his life has been slow and patchy, and what little research there is tends to skim over his pre-pentecostal years (1860-1908). This thesis is the first serious step towards rectifying widespread ignorance about Polhill by taking a more systematic, thorough and chronological approach to analysing and evaluating his life. This is the first to attempt to comprehensively connect Polhill's early life and former experiences with his time as a Pentecostal. This thesis addresses the question of how it is that such a well-established Anglican, senior missionary of the China Inland Mission, dedicated to mission to Tibet, became so involved in the pentecostal movement. What has become evident is that between 1888-1907, his attempts to evangelise Tibet were met with numerous difficulties, but crucially he lacked the long-term support of the China Inland Mission executive. This forced Polhill to look for a new source of missionaries that would be entirely under his direction, and the pentecostal movement became the perfect solution. By providing Polhill with missionaries, the pentecostal movement benefited from his resources and loyalty. For pentecostal history, Polhill is one of the “great persons” through whom the lives of many other Pentecostals can be contextualised and understood.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6344


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