Presbyterians in China in the 19th and 20th century

DRAFT MATERIAL ONLY - this module is a work in progress. It is expected to be completed in 2010.
I will remove this note when it is finalised. John Roxborogh

This pages contains information for a Southeast Asia Graduate School of Theology Doctorate Module tutored by John Roxborogh on the topic of British Presbyterian missions to China in the 18th and 19th Century. Some comparison will be made with American Presbyterian missions.

The aims of the module involve both the content and the level of study appropriate for a doctorate.

Learning outcomes in terms of content:

1. Able to identify and locate quality material (books, academic journals, worldwide web resources) for the study of 19th and 20th Century mission to China, especially Presbyterian and British.

2. Able to fairly evaluate contested interpretations of Christian mission and the range of material in quality and type which provides evidence of Christian mission to China in this period.

3. Demonstrate familiarity with the writing and thought of major mission historians.

4. Demonstrate familiarity with the life and major writings of select key figures.

5. Demonstrate familiarity with major historical sources. 

Learning outcomes in terms of level of study:

1. Able to interact critically with academic monographs.

2. Able to discuss the critical issues involved in studying the topic.

3. Ability to write a research paper at a doctoral level. 

Completing the module involves:

1. Reading and reflection on the set topics and monthly discussion with the tutor (overview of the topic area, familiarity with key resources)

2. Completing a comparative book review of two academic texts (ability to engage with issues at a doctoral level)

Assignment one: Compare, contrast and evaluate the accounts by George Hood (Mission Accomplished? : The English Presbyterian Mission in Lingtung, South China) and G Thompson Brown (Earthen Vessels and Transcendent Power : American Presbyterians in China, 1837-1952) of  English and American Presbyterian missions in China. (3000 words)

3. Completing a literature survey identifying and discussing recurring issues and critical frameworks (background to thesis)

Assignment two: Discuss the issues involved in writing a history of Christian mission in China (3000 words). Refer to written resources which discuss methodology, or which provide examples of different critical approaches to the historiography of Christianity in China since 1800.

4. Preparing a paper suitable for publication on a topic (integration and presentation of research at a doctoral level)

Assignment three: Discuss the place of education in Christian mission in China before 1949 and its significance for Christianity in China today. (4000 words)

Special focus will include Presbyterian missions in China and the writings of George Hood with respect to China and Malaysia.

 Topics (to be detailed)

1. China and the evangelical imagination before 1842

2. From Treaty Ports to 100 days: 1842 -1892


Hood George, A. Mission Accomplished? : The English Presbyterian Mission in Lingtung, South China : A Study of the Interplay between Mission Methods and Their Historical Context, New York: Peter Lang, 1986.

3. Presbyterians, Edinburgh 1910 and the New China to 1922


4. Presbyterians and Education in 20th Century China : Mission Schools and Colleges


5. Response to War and Regime Change 1930s to 1960s

6. Beyond the Cultural Revolution

 Bibliography (required reading in bold)

Band, Edward. Working His Purpose Out : The History of the English Presbyterian Mission 1847-1947. London: Presbyterian Church of England, 1948.

Bays, Daniel H., and Ellen Widmer. China's Christian Colleges : Cross-Cultural Connections, 1900-1950. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2009.

Bays, Daniel H. Christianity in China : From the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1996

Brown, G. Thompson. Earthen Vessels and Transcendent Power : American Presbyterians in China, 1837-1952, American Society of Missiology Series ; No. 25. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1997.

Carlson, Ellsworth C. The Foochow missionaries, 1847-1880, East Asian Research Center, Harvard University, 1974.

Dunch, Ryan. Fuzhou Protestants and the Making of Modern China 1857-1927. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001

Fenn, Reginald, and Werner Ustorf. Working God's Purpose out 1947-1972 : The History of the Last Twenty-Five Years of the Overseas Mission of the Presbyterian Church of England. London: United Reformed Church, 1997

Harrison, B. Waiting for China : The Anglo-Chinese College at Malacca, 1818-1843, and Early Nineteenth-Century Missions. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1979.

Hood, George A. Almost All Their Eggs...Some Pros and Cons of a China Concentration, 1992.

Hood, George A. An Introductory Study of Our Missionary "Image," 1847-1965, Annual Lecture to the Presbyterian Historical Society ; 1965: [Presbyterian Historical Society], 1965.

Hood, George. Malaya : The Challenge. London: Presbyterian Church of England, 1956.

Hood George, A. Mission Accomplished? : The English Presbyterian Mission in Lingtung, South China : A Study of the Interplay between Mission Methods and Their Historical Context, Studies in the Intercultural History of Christianity ; Bd. 42. Frankfurt am Main ; New York: Verlag Peter Lang, 1986.

Hood George, Neither Bang nor Whimper : The End of a Missionary Era in China. The Presbyterian Church in Singapore in association with the Friends of the Church in China (U.K.), 1991.

Hood, George A. Pilgrims in Mission : Celebrating 150 Years of the English Presbyterian Mission. Alnwick: G. Hood, 1998.

Latourette, Kenneth Scott. A History of Christian Missions in China. London: S.P.C.K., 1929.

Lee, Joseph Tse-Hei. The Bible and the gun : Christianity in South China, 1860-1900, New York : Routledge, 2003.

Lutz, Jessie Gregory. China and the Christian Colleges, 1850-1950. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 1971.

———. Christian Missions in China : Evangelists of What?, Problems in Asian Civilizations. Boston: Heath, 1965.

———. Opening China : Karl F.A. Gützlaff and Sino-Western Relations, 1827-1852. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2007.

Lutz, Jessie Gregory, and Rolland Ray Lutz. Hakka Chinese Confront Protestant Christianity, 1850-1900. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1997.

Pfister, Lauren F. "Rethinking Mission in China: James Hudson Taylor and Timothy Richard." In The Imperial Horizons of British Protestant Missions, 1880-1914, edited by Andrew Porter, 183-212. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.

Tan, R. Holy Light Church (English). 50 Years of Grace 1952-2002: (Johor Malaysia: Holy Light Church (English), 2002.

Thorogood, Bernard. Gales of Change : Responding to a Shifting Missionary Context : The Story of the London Missionary Society, 1945-1977. Geneva: WCC, 1994.

Uhalley, Stephen, and Xiaoxin Wu. China and Christianity : Burdened Past, Hopeful Future, An East Gate Book. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2001.


Agents in the global spread


Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity

Christianity in Korea

Presbyterian Church in Malaysia

Thomas Chalmers

Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and Non-Western Christianity