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Robert Douglas

Title: Robert Douglas: American Missionary in the Cold War Middle East.
Name(s): Parker, William R. (William Riley), author
Hanley, Will, 1974-, Professor Directing Thesis
McClive, Catherine Elisabeth, Committee Member
Özok-Gündoğan, Nilay, Committee Member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of History, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Master Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (85 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Robert Douglas was a Church of Christ missionary to Libya, Egypt, and Lebanon during the 1960s. Traveling during this period introduced Douglas to the reality of post-colonial context of the countries. He and his family lived as foreigners and missionaries in these countries, interacting with the American oil industry in Libya, Egyptian and Arab nationalism, and the impact of the Cold War on the Arab World. Although Douglas did not notice the Cold War around him, it impacted his time there in important ways. In all his travels, the United States and the Soviet Union struggled to gain influence over the young countries in which he resided. His religiosity encouraged him to travel to these countries under false pretenses. In Libya he could come in as a preacher to the American and British oil workers in Benghazi, but desired to be a missionary, while in Egypt he and his family came in as tourists and had to renew these visas but created a steady congregation of converts through missionary efforts. Both actions were illegal, due to laws in Libya and Egypt, and these laws led to the retraction of he and his family’s visas. He made his way to Lebanon where he constructed a missions’ school for recent converts. The Six Days’ War led to his leaving Lebanon and returning to the United States. Upon his return, he attended Fuller Seminary and the University of Southern California and became regarded as an expert in Muslim-aimed evangelism among Protestant evangelicals. His career challenges standard missionary narratives through his independent missionary activities, highlights American understandings and misconceptions of Islam, and the reality of the Cold War in the Middle East. All of this makes his journey into a historical narrative to challenge and address the larger macrohistories for American Christian missionaries abroad.
Identifier: 2019_Spring_Parker_fsu_0071N_15196 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2019.
Date of Defense: April 12, 2019.
Keywords: Christianity, Cold War, Islam, Missionary, Modernity, Nationalism
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Will Hanley, Professor Directing Thesis; Nilay Ozok Gundogan, Committee Member; Catherine Elisabeth McClive, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Middle East -- History
Religions -- History
Islam and culture
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Parker, W. R. (W. R. ). (2019). Robert Douglas: American Missionary in the Cold War Middle East. Retrieved from