Rowan Strong  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Professor Rowan Strong
    BA (Wgtn); LTh (NZ); TheolM (MCD); PhD (Edin); DD (Edin)

    Professor of Church History

    About me

    I have been at Murdoch University since 1992, as the first appointment in church history in the Theology at the university. After gaining a BA in history at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, I studied church history through the Melbourne College of Divinity with a thesis on the origins of Anglo-Catholic missions, and then went on for a doctorate at the University of Edinburgh on the first Tractarian bishop in Britain, who was tried for heresy in 1860. In addition to my university teaching, and supervision of research students, I also teach ordinands in the Anglican formation program in Perth.

    Teaching area

    HIstory of the Christian Church: Early to Medieval

    History of the Christian Church: Reformation to Modern

    Australian Church History

    Christianity in Asia: First to Twentieth Centuries

    Research Methods in Social Sciences and Humanities

    Research areas

    Christianity and the British Empire

    Colonial Christianity in Australia and New Zealand

    The Church of England from the Reformation

    The Oxford Movement

    Christianity in Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

    Current projects

    The Oxford History of Anglicanism: I am Series Editor and Editor of volume 3 ‘Partisan and Colonial Anglicanism 1829-1914’ A new historical series to be published by Oxford University Press. Under my leadership, the project brings together over 100 international scholars, in a series in five, multl-authored volumes, each with its own editor, looking at the diverse and contested identity of Anglicanism, both in Britain and globally, from the sixteenth century to the present day. Publication is expected in 2017.

    Religion and the British Emigrant Experience c.1845-1900: This research investigates the religious dimension of the peak period of British emigration to British colonies and the United States. The project is examining British emigrants during their migrant journey to British colonies, when they were brought together in the close associations and confines of emigrant ships. Based on ship board diaries, Church records, and other sources It is looking at how their emigrants practised their various religions (or lack of it), the chaplains who sailed with them, and such questions as how they used religion to understand their emigration; and how emigrant religion influenced the overseas societies the emigrants went to. A new book on this project has been contracted for by Oxford University Press in the UK.





    Awards and grants

    2008 elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

    2006-8 Australian Research Council Discovery Grant for ‘Religion at the end of the world: Anglicanism in Western Australia 1829-c.2000’

    2004-2006 ‘Voices from the West End: The Fremantle Living Histories Project, ARC Linkage Grant : one of a team of 9 researchers

    1992  Jeremiah Dalziell Prize for British History, University of Edinburgh

    Professional and community service

    Founding Chairperson, Council of Christians and Jews, Western Australia Inc., 1995-2010.

    Executive Committee, Australian Council of Christians and Jews.

    Chaplain, Royal Australian Naval Reserve, 2002-present

    The Murdoch International Theologian Appeal and Programme: Devised and led the funding appeal which raised in excesso fo $8000,000  to enable the Theology Program to bring a major religious thinker to Perth for up to one month annually. The International Theologian Program began in 2008, inaugurated by the visit of Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, Apostolic Nuncio to the Arab Republic of Egypt and former President of the Vatican Commission of Inter-Faith Relations. Subsequent Murdoch University International Theologians have been Professor Robert Frykenberg of Madison-Wisconsin University (2009), and Professor Barney Pityana, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa (2011).

    Chair, Archives Committee, Anglican Diocese of Perth


    Doctoral and masters supervisions


    Ian Paton ‘St Benedict in the Wheatbelt: A history of theology in the New Norcia Abbey Nullius 1930-1962’, BD Hons 1st class 1999.

    Alison Longworth, ‘Mary Belshaw and the Badjaling mission 1930-1954’, MTheol with High Distinction 2000.

    Mark Walker, ‘The making of an Australian missionary wife: Emma Small 1855-1930’, MTheol 2000.

    Joanne Baynes, The Baptist Womens’ Missionary Union 1895-1929, MTheol 2nd class IIa 2002.

    Peter Elliot, ‘Audacious action: The developing separatism of Katharine Chidley 1641-1645’, MTheol 2nd class IIa 2002.

    Eugene McKenna, ‘The influence of ecclesiastical and community cultures on the development of Catholic education in Western Australia 1846-1890, PhD 2005.

    Alison Longworth, ‘ “Was it worthwhile?” An historical analysis of five women missionaries and their encounters with the Nyungar people of South-West Australia, PhD 2005.

    Reinette Black, ‘From tent to café: A history of the Subiaco Uniting Church and its precedents 1896-2001’, BTheol Hons 2nd class IIa 2007

    Dr Lesley Borowitzka, ‘The Reverend Dr Louis Guistiniani and the Anglican conflict in the Swan River colony 1836-1838’, BTheol Hons 1st class 2006.

    Phin Hien Lam, ‘Planting a beacon of truth and light: The first decade of the Methodist Church in Singapore 1885-1894’, BTheol Hons 2nd class IIa 2008. 

    Peter Elliott, ‘Edward Irving – Romantic theology in crisis’. PhD 2010


    Dr Lesley Borowitzka, ‘The responses and accommodations of the Christian Churches in Australia to the intellectual assault from science in the nineteenth century’, PhD.

    John Cardell-Oliver, ‘Archdeacon George Anthony Denison 1806-1896’, PhD.

    Paul Monash, ‘A historical study of church and conversion in Malaysia’, PhD.

    Robert Andrews, ‘National lay activism in pre-Tractarian High Churchmanship: A study of William Stevens’ PhD

    Dr Peter Sellick (With Dr Alex Jensen, Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology), ‘The transformations of Trinitarian theology among the English scientists of the eighteenth century’, PhD.



    • Strong, R., (2017),Victorian Christianity and Emigrant Voyages to British Colonies c.1840 - c.1914,Oxford Psychologists Press.
    • Strong, R., (2012),Chaplains in the Royal Australian Navy: 1912 to the Vietnam War,NewSouth Publishing.
    • Strong, R., (2007),Anglicanism and the British Empire c1700-1850,Oxford University Press.
    • Strong, R., (2002),Episcopalianism in Nineteenth-Century Scotland,Oxford University Press.


    • Strong, R., (2017),The Oxford Movement and Missions,In: The Oxford Handbook of THE OXFORD MOVEMENT, Oxford University Press, pages 485 to 499.
    • Strong, R., (2012),Eighteenth-Century Mission Sermons,In: Oxford Handbook of The British Sermon 1689-1901, Oxford University Press, pages 497 to 512.
    • Strong, R., (2012),The Oxford Movement and the British Empire: Newman, Manning and the 1841 Jerusalem bishopric,In: The Oxford Movement: Europe and the Wider World 1830-1930, Cambridge University Press, pages 78 to 98.
    • Strong, R., (2012),Pusey and the Scottish Episcopal Church: Tractarian Diversity and Divergence,In: Edward Bouverie Pusey and the Oxford Movement, Anthem Press, pages 133 to 148.
    • Strong, R., (2012),Religious Lives in Fremantle,In: Voices from the West End, Western Australian Museum, pages 64 to 85.
    • Strong, R., (2011),Bishop Selwyn and the British Empire: Imperial networks and colonial outcomes,In: A Controversial Churchman: Essays on George Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand and Lichfield, and Sarah Selwyn, Bridget Williams Books, pages 159 to 175.
    • Strong, R., (2011),The Church of England and the British imperial state: Anglican metropolitan sermons of the 1850s,In: Church and State in Old and New Worlds, Brill, pages 183 to 205.
    • Strong, R., (2011),Anglicanism and Sanctity: The Diocese of Perth and the making of a 'Local Saint' in 1984,In: Studies in Church History, Boydell & Brewer, pages 390 to 402.
    • Strong, R., (2009),Rescuing the perishing heathen: the British Empire versus the Empire of Satan in Anglican theology, 1701-1721,In: Studies in Church History. The Church, The Afterlife and the Fate of the Soul, Boydell & Brewer, pages 323 to 335.
    • Strong, R., (2008),The Resurgence of Colonial Anglicanism: the Colonial Bishoprics Fund, 1840-1,In: Revival and Resurgence in Christian History, Boydell & Brewer, pages 196 to 213.


    • Strong, R., (2018), Anglican Emigrant Chaplaincy in the British Empire and Beyond, Studies in Church History, 54, , pages 314 - 327.
    • Strong, R., (2015), Origins of Anglo-Catholic Missions: Fr Richard Benson and the Initial Missions of the Society of St John the Evangelist, 1869-1882, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 66, 1, pages 90 - 115.
    • Strong, R., (2015), Archbishop Charles Riley, Theological Education and the Foundation of the University of Western Australia, 1903-c.1929, Journal of Anglican Studies, 13, 1, pages 50 - 67.
    • Strong, R., (2015), Pilgrims, Paupers or Progenitors: Religious Constructions of British Emigration from the 1840s to 1870s, History: the journal of the Historical Association, 100, 341, pages 392 - 411.
    • Strong, R., (2015), Globalising British Christianity in the Nineteenth Century: The Imperial Anglican Emigrant Chaplaincy 1846-c. 1910, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 43, 1, pages 1 - 32.
    • Strong, R., (2014), The Colonial Religion of the Anglican Clergy: Western Australia 1830 to c. 1870, Journal of Religious History, 38, 1, pages 91 - 114.
    • Strong, R., (2011), Continuity and Change in Anglican Missionary Theology: Dr Thomas Bray and the 1910 World Missionary Conference, Journal of Postcolonial Theory and Theology, 2, 1, pages 1 - 32.
    • Strong, R., (2010), Church and State in Western Australia: Implementing New Imperial Paradigms in the Swan River Colony, 1827-1857, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 61, 3, pages 517 - 540.
    • Strong, R., (2007), Classic Texts and the Consensus Fidelium, Journal of Anglican Studies, 5, 2, pages 145 - 148.
    • Strong, R., (2006), A Vision of an Anglican Imperialism: the annual sermons of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts 1701-1714, Journal of Religious History, 30, 2, pages 175 - 198.
    • Strong, R., (2003), An Antipodean Establishment: Institutional Anglicanism in Australia, 1788-c.1934, Journal of Anglican Studies, 1, 1, pages 61 - 90.
    • Strong, R., (2003), The Reconstruction of Episcopalian Identity in Scotland: the renunciation of the Stuart allegiance in 1788, Scottish Church History Society. Records, XXXIII, , pages 143 - 164.
    • Strong, R., (2001), The Reverend John Wollaston and Colonial Christianity in Western Australia 1840-1863, Journal of Religious History, 25, , pages 261 - 285.
    • Strong, R., (1999), '"A Church for the Poor": High-Church Slum Ministry in Anderston, Glasgow, 1845-51, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 50, 2, pages 279 - 302.
    • Strong, R., (1997), A World of Communities: The Value of Church History in Culturally Pluralistic Societies, Colloquium, 29, 2, pages 81 - 93.


    • Strong, R., (1998),Coronets and altars: aristocratic women's and men's support for the Oxford Movement in Scotland during the 1840s,In: Studies in Church History: Gender and Christian Religion.