"[W]orthy of high praise for its clarity, breadth of research, and attempt to present all perspectives on contentious arguments over religious practice in China." - Jocelyn Marinescu, Sino-Western Cultural Relations Journal 34 (2012).Based on thorough archival studies, and a profound knowledge of Chinese culture, this book not only contributes substantially to the comparative study of Christian martyrdom but also to the understanding of enculturation.
)Still, this English-language portrayal of some of China’s Catholic saints, the discussion of martyrdom in the Chinese context and the processes involved in preparing martyrs for beatification and canonization will appeal to the general reader. That this book targets a wider readership is indicated by the author’s decision to Anglicize the given names of continental European missionaries as well as by his use of the colloquial term “nuns” instead of the canonically more accurate term “sisters” for the martyred Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
)China’s Saints is an original and insightful study that examines the transmission and appropriation of martyrologies within the Catholic Church….Using martyrdom as an analytical tool, Clark reinterprets the indigenization of Catholicism, the frequent outbreaks of church-state conflicts, and the Catholics’ responses to state persecution. His findings throw light on the production and reception of the martyrologies, and the transformation of Christianity from a heavily persecuted religion into a fast-growing spiritual movement today…. When reading China’s Saints, it is hard not to sympathize with these courageous individuals. Its engaging style and readability should appeal to everyone.
(The Catholic Historical Review
)Clark extensively draws on sources from numerous archives and gives a deep and thorough analysis of the mission and martyr cases. . . .Clark provides new insights into the Chinese Church unraveling the standard image of the ‘rational’ mission of the seventeenth century, which proved to be not as rational as often thought as the missionaries of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries longed to become martyrs for their faith.
(Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
)"Clark's work is important research, in that hither to little know or largely forgotten histories have now been gathered together for the perusal, and benefit, of all. The work will be of interest to teachers and students of religious studies, Asian and Chinese history and cultural studies, amount others."—The Chinese Historical Review
(Fr. Jeremy Clarke S.J., The Chinese Historical Review)
About the Author
Anthony E. Clark
is associate professor of Chinese history at Whitworth University.