American missionaries china and religious encounters dating

american missionaries china and religious encounters dating

In the early 19th century, Western colonial expansion occurred at the same time as an Christian converts who would not repent their conversion were to be sent to The first American missionary to China, Elijah Coleman Bridgman arrived in . only report 25 converts and other early missionaries had similar experiences. By highlighting the priority of the Chinese (religious) context for Richard's transformation, this thesis also contributes to the growing volume of Date while I studied the American missionary to China Samuel Wells Williams for my. Masters. Some of the earliest written records in China, dating from before the . Americans during the 19th century first became aware of East Asian religions .. Choi, Hyaeweol, Gender and Mission Encounters in Korea: New Women, Old Ways.

They did not follow the same pattern as Protestant missions in Africa and China, where converts often moved from the mission into the colonial bureaucracy. By the midth century, Protestant missionary societies discovered that the missions produced few converts, often in the single digits.

This fact hampered the missionary efforts both psychologically and fiscally. Without converts to take over the missions, the missionary societies needed to keep recruiting white missionaries. Without converts to tithe and add to the coffers of the churches, the missions, both Protestant and Catholic, became expensive.

Protestant missions in China - Wikipedia

The financial crisis led both Protestant and Catholic missionary societies into arrangements with the Canadian and U. They asked for treaties to solidify their hold on land and money for schools and churches. Both governments responded positively but with strings attached. They wanted to see results: The missionaries failed on these fronts.

Both sought to work with the government to stabilize fiscal support for their missions. And they established residential schools in the hope of converting and assimilating the next generation of Indians. Like other mission initiatives before them, these schools had benefits and losses for the Indians. Click to view larger Figure 3.

Studies in Christian Mission

Though others had tried schools for Indians in the 17th and 18th centuries, Colonel Richard Henry Pratt pioneered them again in the 19th century. Under his initiative, the U. Both Catholic and Protestant missionaries ran schools.

Some of the schools had abusive policies and teachers, which led to hard feelings between missionary groups and Indians for generations to come.

Over the first half of the 19th century, missionary societies moved from acting independently to relying on the U. It solidified under President Ulysses S.

This policy sought to fix the corruption in Indian policy and Indian agencies by removing political appointees from the positions and placing missionary societies, both Protestant and Catholic, in charge of it. While it was well intentioned, as Grant believed that the altruistic missionaries would put Indians and peace first, it failed utterly.

Missionary societies fought over who would control which agencies, how much money they should be granted, and who would control the schools.

Additionally, missionaries discovered that the U. Indians were not given a choice of which missionary group would control their agency or reservation, nor were they given a voice in the policy. By the s, political appointments and the civil service took over the reservations. By the last quarter of the 19th century, Protestant missionary societies reduced their workforce in North America. As the conversion rate remained relatively low compared with the rest of the world, the missionary societies focused their personnel and finances elsewhere.

Missions closed, or sponsoring societies turned them over to their respective governments. Slowly, the various Protestant groups withdrew from their mission work with Indians, though not completely. Despite this withdrawal, well into the 20th century Protestant groups continued to consider native churches as mission churches, limiting their self-governance and input into denominational organizations.

Similar Functions Catholic and Protestant missions differed significantly in their theology, their staffing, their history, and their structures. The two traditions, however, shared much in the effects that their missions had on the Indian populations.

Missions to the Indians of North America created two types of effects: Often the missions produced unintended, long-lasting consequences that shaped future choices and interactions for the Indian groups. Both Catholic and Protestant missionaries approached mission work in the same way. They came to preach the Gospel and teach Indians about civilization.

Individual missionaries saw themselves as models of Christian behavior and standards and hoped to influence the Indians by their actions. Catholic orders expected their missionaries to resist temptation with Indian women. Protestant groups sent wives with their missionaries to model the Christian family for the Indian groups.

Missionary societies promoted missionaries as the exemplars of a Christian lifestyle. They entered Indian villages with the belief that their daily actions would help teach and lead Indians to Christ. Be it sexual tensions for the Catholic priests or the fact that seminomadic groups continued to travel on the Sabbath for the Protestants, individual missionaries fought to create what they considered a Christian environment on the frontier of conversion.

Click to view larger Figure 4. Additionally, both Catholic and Protestant missionaries believed that the Indian groups with whom they worked had adopted unchristian and uncivilized practices from the heathenish whites around them.

Both Catholic and Protestant missionaries created schools and towns where they could isolate converts and potential converts from the evils of native life and heathenish whites. This practice extended well into the 19th century and developed into the reserve and reservation systems we know today.

Catholic and Protestant missionaries believed that isolating converts would make the process easier and protect them, but they were rarely able to isolate all of the Indians.

Studies in Christian Mission

Only those willing to convert or those who needed the mission for protection or food entered the missions.

Mission communities always represented a mixed society: Ironically, these communities, whether missions in the Southwest or praying villages in the Northeast, often became targets for white anger and violence. To support their missions, both sets of missionaries relied mainly on Euro-Americans for financial support, despite hopes that the Indians would take over the cost of their own conversion.

Though the Catholics had more success getting Indians to contribute to the church, those contributions never made up enough of the budget to fully fund the missions.

During the Spanish period, Indians helped run the missions, working in the fields and other industries to support the missions. In the 19th century, Protestants expected Indians to use their money from trade to tithe to the mission and buy supplies, like Bibles. This deficit led both Catholic and Protestant missionaries to turn to their respective governments, Spanish, French, English, and American, to help underwrite the costs of missions. Sometimes this support came in an overt form: At other times, it was more subtle: In all cases, it blurred the line between church and state.

Furthermore, throughout the 19th century, the relationship between the U. In the early 19th century, the U. By the s, the U. With the birth of the Peace Policy under President Grant, missionaries took a prominent role in government efforts to civilize the Indians and therefore terminate their land rights. In some cases, missionaries joined the government as advisers.

In other cases, they acted as lobbyists. Those who began to work for the government often did so after years of mission work and the realization that most politicians did not represent the needs and desires of the Indian groups.

In rare and extreme cases, they sought to change policy by simply ignoring it. In the end, though, Catholic and Protestant missionary societies and individual missionaries attempted to influence government policy. Outside of serving in specific government roles, such as Indian agents or treaty negotiators, Catholic and Protestant missionaries became respected ethnographers, linguists, and early anthropologists.

They studied Indian societies intensely to better understand how to dismantle them. As with all outside observers, they filtered their interpretation of individual Indian cultures through the lens of their own experiences, the job with which their missionary societies tasked them, and the success of their mission. Often their experiences and beliefs shaped this information, which, when filtered through various government processes, created flawed policies.

american missionaries china and religious encounters dating

The final result, though, became a legacy of dictionaries, ethnographies, and cultural studies, some deeply flawed and others of which have become the means by which current Indian populations revitalize their culture. All missionaries began with the assumption that civilization equaled Christianity and vice versus and that not being a Christian equaled not being civilized and living in a disorganized and savage state.

This assumption that civilization and Christianity were one and the same led missionaries to evaluate and rank Indian cultures ethnographically based on their conversion to Christianity and white societal values.

Those groups, like the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole, who appeared to embrace Christianity and civilized practices received praise from the missionary groups. Those who did not, like the Apache and Comanche, became fodder for missionary writers who argued that not all could be saved as a race. These different experiences shaped racial ideas, where missionaries, for example, viewed the Cherokee as a stronger race than the Comanche.

Missionary writings also shaped ideas about gender roles within Indian societies. Whereas both Catholic and Protestant missionaries believed that women should serve only in the home as wives and mothers, societies like the Iroquois and the Cherokee, where women wielded political power, disrupted those ideals.

Christian Missions to American Indians

Missionaries wrote critically of Iroquois, Cherokee, and other women with nontraditional roles. Everything from denying women the right to participate in trade and political councils to taking children from their families and placing them in residential schools invariably reduced the role of Indian women in the lives of their nations. Missionaries often spoke for Indian groups, testifying before Congress, meeting with treaty negotiators, and helping anthropologists find cultural informants.

Missionaries recommended converts as informants, believing that since they had chosen Christianity and civilization, they would provide a more critical interpretation of their own culture. Sometimes those informants embellished their accounts to better prove their separation from their own culture.

At other times, they included details to demonstrate how much they had improved through Christianity, reinforcing, for the white audience, the importance of conversion. Many missionaries became transformed by the cultures they tried to eradicate, developing an appreciation of the cultures and a fondness for the individual people. They sought to record the cultures out of this sentiment. This idea seems at odds with their work of changing Indians into good Christians and Americans or Spanish and so onbut it stems from the same idea.

Those missionaries who remained in the field for the bulk of their lives became intertwined, for better or for worse, with the specific Indian culture they sought to change. Thus, men like Edward O. Wilson, a missionary who helped found and stock the Field Museum in Chicago, and Samuel Worcester, who fought Cherokee Removal, followed them to Indian Territory, and set up the first printing press there, became different people in the field.

Their loyalty to and fondness of Indians shaped their actions, but not always in ways we would expect. Foreign women were permitted only on Macao. Foreign relations of Imperial China For Robert Morrison and the first missionaries who followed him, life in China consisted of being confined to Portuguese Macao and the Thirteen Factories trading ghetto in Guangzhou then known as "Canton" with only the reluctant support of the East India Company and confronting opposition from the Chinese government and from the Jesuits who had been established in China for more than a century.

Morrison's early work mostly consisted of learning Classical ChineseCantoneseand Nanjing Mandarin ; compiling a bidirectional dictionary based on the Kangxi Dictionary ; and translating the Bible. He was forced to take work with the EIC in order to fund these activities and remain at Guangzhou. In such conditions, his proselytizing was limited to his employees, whom he compelled to attend Sunday services and daily meetings including prayer, Scriptural readings, and the singing of hymns.

It took years before Cai Gao was interested in baptism. Nonetheless, as Morrison's first converts—Cai Gao, Liang FaQu Ya'ang —were literate men who also became the first Chinese trained in western printing and lithography, they began to express his message in more effective terms and to print hundreds, then thousands, of tracts. Though Morrison and his fellows largely escaped punishment, his converts were much less lucky.

Morrison's earliest efforts—even before his first convert—saw Christianity added in to the list of banned religions under the Qing Empire's statue against "Wizards, Witches, and All Superstitions". Existing statutes against Chinese travel abroad as to the London Missionary Society's station at Malacca and against teaching foreigners to speak or read the Chinese language provided additional avenues for persecution.

Upon his first attempt to print tracts for his village kinsmen, Liang Fa was arrested, beaten on the soles of his feet with bamboo, and released only to pay a massive fine which Morrison on principle refused to help him with; instead, he used the savings he had laid aside for new houses for his wife and father.

On the occasion, Morrison sanguinely noted that the conversion of China may well require many such martyrs. Inthe Daoguang Emperor revised the law against superstitions to provide for sentencing Europeans to death for spreading Christianity among Han Chinese and Manchus "Tartars".

Christian converts who would not repent their conversion were to be sent to Muslim cities in Xinjiang and given as slaves to Muslim leaders and beys. Those who are merely hearers or followers of the doctrine, if they will not repent and recant, shall be transported to the Mohammedan cities in Turkistan and given to be slaves to the beys and other powerful Mohammedans who are able to coerce them.

All civil and military officers who may fail to detect Europeans clandestinely residing in the country within their jurisdiction, and propagating their religion, thereby deceiving the multitude, shall be delivered over to the Supreme Board and be subjected to a court of inquiry.

He established a printing press for Christian literature. He established a hospital which gained support from the Chinese, treating thousands of patients. The Convention of Peking in opened up the entire country to travel by foreigners and provided for freedom of religion in China. Protestant missionary activity increased quickly after this treaty and within two decades missionaries were present in nearly every major city and province of China. Hong Xiuquan Protestant missionaries were indirectly responsible for the Taiping Rebellionwhich convulsed southern and central China from to Experiencing a severe mental disturbance after a series of failed imperial examinationsthe scholar Hong Xiuquan had a dream which he interpreted in light of the page Liang Fa tract given to him years before.

Liang and other Protestants targeted Guangdong's prefectural and provincial examinations as massive gatherings of literate, potentially influential young men.

Although he used the Protestant Bible and tracts as his movement's holy books and attached great importance to his version of the Ten Commandmentshe preached his own form of Christianity, including the belief that he was Jesus's younger brother. Roberts became an advisor to the Taipings but fell out with them infleeing for his life and denounced them. Hudson Taylor — helped increase the number of missionaries in China. Missionary societies and denominations on both sides of the Atlantic responded.

Many new societies were formed and hundreds of missionaries were recruited, many from university students influenced by the ministry of D. The Protestant missionary movement distributed numerous copies of the Bible, as well as other printed works of history and science. They established and developed schools and hospitals practicing Western medicine.

The schools offered basic education to poor Chinese, both boys and girls. Before the time of the Chinese Republicthey would have otherwise received no formal schooling. Prominent among the China missionaries were idealistic and well-educated young men and women who were members of the Oberlin Bandthe Cambridge Sevenand the Student Volunteer Movement.

The slogan of the missionary movement was "The evangelization of the world. Attrition was high because of health problems and mental breakdowns. Learning the Chinese language was a long-term and difficult endeavor. A majority of missionaries proved to be ineffective. Overall, in the 19th century, although missionaries arriving in China were usually young and healthy, about one-half of missionaries resigned or died after less than 10 years of service.

Health reasons were the principal reason for resignation. Mortality among children born to missionary couples was estimated to be three times that of infant mortality in rural England. In the late 19th century, health and living conditions began to improve as missionary organizations became more knowledgeable and the number of missionary doctors increased.

Robert Morrison in 27 years of missionary effort could only report 25 converts and other early missionaries had similar experiences. Missionaries turned towards establishing hospitals and schools as more effective in attracting Chinese to Christianity than proselytizing.

In Chinese eyes, Christianity was associated with opium, the Taiping Rebellion with its millions of dead, imperialismand the special privileges granted foreigners and Christian converts under the Unequal Treaties. A Chinese nobleman said of the European and American presence in China: The Bible was translated into the Kashgari dialect of Turki Uyghur. Hunter noted that while Tungan Muslims Chinese Muslims would almost never prostitute their daughters, Turki Muslims Uyghurs would prostitute their daughterswhich was why Turki prostitutes were common around the country.

Lundahl wrote in that the local Muslim women in Xinjiang married Chinese men because of a lack of Chinese women, the relatives of the woman and other Muslims reviled the women for their marriages.

The new mission is interesting, in that it is an attack upon China from the west. Two German missionaries, accompanied by a doctor and a native Christian, will arive [ sic ] in Kashgar next spring and begin work. It may be added that the British and Foreign Bible Society is at present printing the four Gospels in the dialect of Chinese Turkestan, and that in all probability they will be ready before the new mission is settled at Kashgar.

american missionaries china and religious encounters dating

Wives served as unpaid "assistant missionaries. Over time, as it became clear that Christian schools were necessary to attract and educate potential Christians and leaders and change foreign cultures that were unreceptive to the Christian message as proclaimed by male missionary preachers.

China Cracking Down on Christians

In the s women's missionary organizations, especially the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and women began to become missionaries around the world in sizable numbers. Women missionaries, married and unmarried, would soon outnumber men. The rise of female missionaries to prominence was not without friction with men.

An Baptist conference affirmed that "women's work in the foreign field must be careful to recognize the headship of men. Female missionary doctors treated Chinese women and female missionaries managed girl's schools. Women missionaries were customarily paid less than men.

The Methodists in the s paid a male missionary to China a salary of dollars per year, but the first two unmarried female missionaries the Methodists sent to China, Beulah and Sarah Woolston, received an annual salary of only dollars each. The early unmarried female missionaries were required to live with missionary families. Despite their preponderance in numbers, female missionaries, married and unmarried, were often excluded from participation in policy decisions within missionary organizations which were usually dominated by men.

Only in the s, for example, were women given a full voice and vote in the missionary meetings in China of the American Board. The widespread view in Europe and America in the late 19th century was that "Civilization cannot exist apart from Christianity.

Boxer Rebellion [ edit ] Main article: One hundred and eighty-nine Protestant missionaries, including 53 children, and many Roman Catholic priests and nuns were killed by Boxers and Chinese soldiers in northern China.

An estimated 2, Protestant Chinese Christians also were killed. The China Inland Mission lost more members than any other organization: Many Chinese associated the missionaries with Western imperialism and resented them, especially the educated classes who feared changes that might threaten their position. As the foreign and missionary presence in China grew, so also did Chinese resentment of foreigners.

The Boxers were a peasant mass movement, stimulated by drought and floods in the north China countryside. The Qing dynasty took the side of the Boxers, besieged the foreigners in Beijing in the Siege of the International Legations and was invaded by a coalition of foreign armies, the Eight Nation Alliance.

american missionaries china and religious encounters dating