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China's Saints: Catholic Martyrdom During the Qing (1644-1911) (Series in Christianity in China) Hardcover – April 7, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Series in Christianity in China
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Lehigh University Press (April 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611460166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611460162
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,486,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[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. (Theological Studies)

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. (Religious Studies)

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.

More About the Author

Dr. Clark is an Associate Professor of East Asian history at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA, and his research centers on the history of Western missionaries in China, especially during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He is an author of several academic and popular works, including books and articles on Chinese historiography, cultural interaction between China and the West, and his primary interest, which is the history of Sino-Western religious and cultural re-presentation during China's late imperial to early modern era.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By srgorin on April 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I found Anthony Clark's book a refreshing and eye opening account of hagiography during the pre-Communist period. The horrifically brutal torture and executions of these religious men and women, especially the Jesuit priest Alberic Crescitelli, should be known to the western world. Studying these accounts in more detail and the Boxer Uprising as a whole is imperative to understanding better the history of relations with China and western Europe. This is a terribly under-researched field in Catholic studies and I am delighted to see a serious scholar take up the challenge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Chow on May 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a well-researched book on a very under-discussed subject of Chinese Christian history - Catholic martyrdom. A previous reviewer speaks about this as an "account of hagiography" -- which it isn't, in the sense that this does not over-exaggerate the accolades of the faithful. It is a "hagiography" if the description means that this book attempts to give an accurate telling of the lives of many faithful Catholic.

The book introduces the subject with a chapter entitled "The Food of Beasts" that carefully explains the differences between the Catholic and traditional Chinese understandings of martyrdom and death. It is followed by a chapter giving a brief history of Christianity in China.

The core of the text can be found in the following four chapters that describes the lives and deaths of martyrs from various missions to China: Dominicans in Fujian, Jesuits in Hebei, Franciscans in Hunan and Shanxi, and a final chapter on martyrs from other missions. Out of the thousands of Catholics who have died for the faith in China, this book includes a useful appendix that lists the names of 122 individuals (88 Chinese) whom the Catholic church has gone through the process to beautify and to canonize.

Clark's book is a scholarly, yet well told history of the many who treasured a faith and a God far more than their own mortal lives. Without their lives and deaths, Catholicism in China would be very different today. Without this book, many of their stories would be left untold. This is definitely a great read.
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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful By lth on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
China's Saints: Catholic Martyrdom During the Qing by Doctor Anthony Clark.

The book was not Used. It's a reject from the bindery because it was bound upside-down. It cannot be sold in good conscience. It's always disorientating to pick the book up to read because it's upside down. How can you allow such a seller to do that on your website??
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