No. 3 – Iban Anglicans: The Anglican Mission in Sarawak 1848-1968 » Products Page » CSCA Publications » CSCA Monographs Series » No. 3 – Iban Anglicans: The Anglican Mission in Sarawak 1848-1968

Iban Anglicans: The Anglican Mission in Sarawak 1848-1968

Author: Peter Varney

Series Editor: John Roxborogh

Pages: xvi + 252

Publication Year: 2013

ISBN 13: 978-981-07-4141-9


This book tells a fascinating story of encounter between Christianity and the Iban of Sarawak, who are now one of the most Christianised peoples in Asia. Peter Varney meticulously charts Iban responses to Christianity during Brooke and colonial rule from 1848 to 1968 showing how local catechists and teachers played a central role in bringing Christianity to their own people. The story of how faith and culture engage each other will be of huge interest to Southeast Asian Christians, and to academics in historical and social science disciplines.

About the Author

The Revd. Peter Varney is a fellow of the Borneo Research Council, chairman of the Borneo Mission Association and a research associate in the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia. His interest in the Iban began in 1958 when he was posted to Borneo during Royal Air Force National Service. In 1967 he began field work at Betong, focussing on Anglican work with the Iban, and visiting all the Anglican parishes in Sarawak. His recent research on Iban Anglicans examines burial rites and eschatological beliefs in urban Kuching, including issues of religious accommodation, urbanisation and globalisation.


CSCA Monograph Series

Map: The First and Second Divisions of Sarawak in 1968



About the Author




Chapter 1 Contexts of Mission: The Worlds of the Iban and Empire

Chapter 2 The Foundations of Anglican Work in Sarawak: 1848–1855

Chapter 3 “Rebels,” “Pirates” and the Opening of Work with the Iban: 1856–1869 4

Chapter 4 Understanding the Iban World: 1870–1908

Chapter 5 The Iban Response to the Introduction of Ritualism: 1909–1931

Chapter 6 Consolidation and Occupation: 1932–1948

Chapter 7 Creating New Identities: 1949–1968

Chapter 8 The Emergence of Iban Christianity: 1968–2011

Appendix 1: Glossary

Appendix 2: People

Appendix 3: Places

Appendix 4: Chronology

Archival Sources


Other Titles in the CSCA Monograph Series


When Francis McDougall became the first Christian missionary in Sarawak, he could not have envisaged what is now the vibrant Anglican Diocese of Kuching within the Province of South East Asia. This fascinating history reminds us of the need for faithfulness and patience, charts the sometimes uneasy relationship between the church and the colonial powers, and records the sensitivity with which many missionaries sought to understand local spiritualities and rituals.  -- Bishop Michael Doe, General Secretary USPG, 2004 – 2011

It is always refreshing to read an outsider’s view of a community and its history. This book is therefore something that can be appreciated by Iban people as well as by others. The past decades of mission among the Iban people are brought into sharp focus by Peter’s careful research and his style of presentation. There is something to learn from its pages even for those most closely involved in the work.

The Diocese has always been keen to assist where it can in research and I am very pleased with the result. It describes the long procession of God’s servants who have been faithful in this part of His vineyard to which we in our generation now belong. An important aspect is how the church’s contribution to the political and economic life in Sarawak is woven into the story of conversion. Descriptions of the formidable problems of the past being overcome with tenacity and faith can only be an inspiration and hope for facing the difficulties of the present day.

I commend this book to anyone anywhere who is involved in mission - or even simply wondering how it works.  -- Datuk Bolly anak Labok, Bishop of Kuching and Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia

Price: $30.00

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