Prabo Mihindukulasuriya: The Aborigines’ Protection Society: Indigenous Rights Advocacy as Christian Mission in the British Empire

Date(s) - January 22, 2024
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Regent College (Room 100)

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Join us in Room 100 for a lecture and Q&A session with Assistant Professor in the History of Christianity Prabo Mihindukulasuriya. Prabo will discuss “The Aborigines’ Protection Society: Indigenous Rights Advocacy as Christian Mission in the British Empire.”


After the abolition of the slave trade across the British Empire in 1833, Christian humanitarians turned their attention to the treatment of Indigenous Peoples (then called “Natives” and “Aborigines”) whose traditional livelihoods and very existence were threatened by European colonial settlers and entrepreneurs. Founded by Dr. Thomas Hodgkin and Thomas Fowell Buxton in 1836, the Aborigines’ Protection Society (APS) became the most influential pressure group to advocate for the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Congo, Canada, and other colonized regions. The APS mediated between Indigenous leaders and the Colonial Office in London, shaping British Imperial policy and impacting the lives of Indigenous communities for 73 years. The mixed legacy created by the APS has both sobering and hopeful lessons for Christian engagement in the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights worldwide.


Prabo came to Regent following a number of years at Colombo Theological Seminary, where he has held a variety of faculty and staff roles. From 2014 to 2021, he served as Deputy Principal and Head of Publishing, a role that also included extensive teaching responsibilities. Prabo’s dissertation was recently published as Unmasking the Empire: British Christian Humanitarians and the Ceylonese Campaign for Justice Following the 1915 Pogrom (Social Scientists Association, 2023). His extensive publication history also includes a 2013 monograph, two edited volumes, numerous journal articles, and multiple entries in reference works, including “Poverty and Wealth” and “Prosperity Gospel” in the South Asia Bible Commentary (Open Door Publications/Langham Partnership, 2015).


Regent Forum offers opportunities to connect with Regent faculty as they share research on theological topics that matter to them. Designed to foster enriching dialogue among faculty, students, and the wider community, each forum features a 40-minute paper presentation followed by a 20-minute Q&A session. Regent Forum is free, open to the public, and available exclusively onsite. Visit to view the Winter 2024 schedule.

Room 100 at Regent College, 5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6T 2E4

Paid parking available at Regent College and UBC

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