Cultures Colliding: American Missionaries, Chinese Resistance, and the Rise of Modern Institutions in China

Temple Univ. Jan. 2023. 364p. ISBN 9781439911617. pap. $39.95. HIST
Haddad (American studies, Penn State Harrisburg; America’s First Adventure in China) tells the history of American Christian missionaries in China from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. Originally, missionaries followed a traditional model. Only men served as missionaries. They traveled a circuit, preached their message in various towns, and attempted to win converts to set up local churches. These efforts were largely unsuccessful as they faced a population that was suspicious of the missionaries’ activities, a perspective the author details in early chapters. Over the decades the missionaries evolved by giving more authority to Chinese Christian converts in managing their own missionary efforts, increasing roles for women, and creating schools, colleges, and hospitals to provide services. Some of which, such as the Peking Union Medical College, still exist today.
VERDICT This thoroughly researched work is highly recommended for readers interested in the history of Christian missions to China. The inclusion of biographical information for many of the people involved enhances the text.
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