This exhibits demonstrate how early European exploration was motivated by the desire to spread Christianity globally.
Part #1: What many explorers had hoped to achieve by traveling
There were many reasons for why European explorers had began to explore throughout the 15th and 16th century. Many people believe that the main reason European explorers were exploring the world was for the goal to conquer land to gain glory for themselves and their country. Although this is partly true many people forget that another major reason explorers were exploring land was for religious freedom and to spread Christianity. According to the book The Reformation by Sarah Flowers, she wrote that many Europeans explorers felt it was very important to spread Christianity. This was because in this time period Europeans believed that the only way to make it to heaven would be by becoming a follower of Christ. They also believed that when you died if you were not a Christ follower you would go straight to Hell. Many European explorers were essentially missionaries because they believed that they were called on by God to go spread the gospel and save the souls of savages. They had concluded that the best way of completing this task would be by exploring new lands and new people groups and spreading God’s word.
Part #2: What happened to many explorers who spread the Gospel
Although many European explorers had hoped to spread Christianity and the Bible, many did not expect the reactions and effects that occurred to them. According to Encyclopedia.com that stated that during the first century of European contact the American Indian population declined from 80 to 8 million. When many Europeans came into contact with different Indian tribes they had no intention on killing so much of their population. But due to many old world diseases that were brought over with the Europeans that the Indians had never came into contact with, they were wiped out by their arrival. Another effect done by the many explorers spreading the gospel lead to in later years having 75 Congregational, 41 Anglican, 30 Presbyterian,12 Catholic, 4 Lutheran, and Baptist churches being present in America. Also according to Aleteia.org created by Business Insider is a video map that shows the growth of many world religions but when specifically focusing on the growth of Christianity you can easily see that it was most popular in Europe.Then when hitting the 15th and 16th century in the map it is clearly seen how much growth Christianity does to all parts of the world but mostly in the Western Hemisphere. Another large effect done by European explorers can be seen by a timeline that shows missions activity all around the world created by Conflict Management Strategies. Its can easily be seen in this timeline that many events occurred in the 15th and 16th century to advance the expansion of Christianity and most of them were largely impacted by European explorers sharing the gospel.
Part #3: Examples of explorers who spread Christianity globally
There have been many well known explorers that spread Christianity but for this section I will only focus on three of them. The first very famous European explorer that I will talk about and could also be considered the first European explorer in history is Christopher Columbus. According to an online database on the Normandale website that provided a letter of Christopher Columbus’s. When putting this letter into the Voyant.com I found some words such as Christ, heaven, lord, and religion be used a few times in his letter explaining his exploration of some islands in the Indian Sea and the Natives that he met. This just goes to show how important it was to Christopher Columbus to share the gospel to the natives that he met that he felt it would be critical to include in his letter.
Another well known explorer was Roberto de Nobili. I learned about him from a Twitter post made by Ray. Roberto de Nobili was Italian Jesuit missionary in Southern India who learned and followed the Indian Brahman culture. He learned to become a friend and was seen as one of them this mad it very easy for him to spread Christianity.
And finally according to History Central.com there was an Explorer named Father Friar Vicente who was a monk that traveled with a group of Spanish explorers lead by Francisco Pizarro. In 1530-34 Father Friar Vicente tried to stop conflict from happening in Peru with an Inca tribe lead by Atahualpa by using the word of God and sharing the gospel. Although he was not successful in stopping the conflict Father Friar Vicente had the intention on spreading God’s word even in the hardest situation.
Caldwell, Zelda. “WATCH: Map of How Religion Spread throughout the World.” Aleteia – Catholic Spirituality, Lifestyle, World News, and Culture. June 02, 2017. Accessed December 19, 2018. https://aleteia.org/2017/06/02/watch-map-of-how-religion-spread-throughout-the-world/.
“Explorers, Missionaries Traders.” “Explorers, Missionaries, Traders.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed. 2018. Accessed December 07, 2018. https://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/explorers-missionaries-traders.
Flowers, Sarah. The Reformation. San Diego, Calif: Lucent Books, 1996.
“Guha on Early European Perceptions of Caste. Nobili Was a 16th Century Italian Jesuit Missionary. Pic.twitter.com/wnaNado1MT.” Twitter. September 24, 2018. Accessed December 17, 2018. https://twitter.com/SomeStingray/status/1044364138514980864.
“Library Off-Campus Access.” Normandale Community College. Accessed December 19, 2018. https://online-salempress-com.ndcproxy.mnpals.net/articleDetails.do?bookId=890&articleName=DDRen_0026&searchText=spread of christianity&searchOperators=exact&category=History.
Limited, Alamy. “Roberto De Nobili (1577-1656), Un Missionario Gesuita Italiano L India Meridionale. Data: Circa 1640 Foto & Immagine Stock: 105254462.” Alamy. Accessed December 18, 2018. https://www.alamy.it/foto-immagine-roberto-de-nobili-1577-1656-un-missionario-gesuita-italiano-l-india-meridionale-data-circa-1640-105254462.html.
“Missions Time Line.” Conflict Management Strategies. Accessed December 07, 2018. https://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/line.htm.
Schulman, Marc. “Capture of an Inca King: Francisco Pizarro.” The Debate over the Bank. Accessed December 07, 2018. https://www.historycentral.com/documents/pizzaro.html.