Christianity in Southeast Asia

Faith without boundaries

John Roxborogh

Presbyterians in China

This page contains information for a Southeast Asia Graduate School of Theology Doctorate Module tutored by John Roxborogh on the topic of Presbyterianism in China.

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

Learning goals in terms of content:

1. To locate resources in English and Chinese relating to Presbyterian missions and churches in China.

2. To be familiar with the writing and thought of major mission historians.

3. To be familiar with key personalities in the Presbyterian church and mission in China.

4. To understand the cultural and religious background of Chinese Christians who migrated to Singapore and Malaya.

Learning outcomes in terms of level of study:

1. Able to interact critically with academic texts.

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

3. To be able to fairly evaluate contested interpretations of Christian mission and the range of material which provides evidence of Christianity in China in this period.

Completing the module involves:

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)

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.

Assignment three: Discuss the significance of mission schools and colleges in China before 1949. (4000 words)


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.