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The Conversion of Missionaries: Liberalism in American Protestant Missions in China, 1907-1932 Hardcover – January 1, 1997

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


“A highly readable account of one of the oft-neglected aspects of the Christian mission enterprise in China, namely, what impact did it have on the missionaries and their home churches. . . . Lian Xi's work is recommended for all those interested in the history of Christian missions in China.”

The Journal of American History

About the Author

Lian Xi is Assistant Professor of History at Hanover College, Indiana. He has taught at Fujian Normal University.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (Txt) (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 027101606X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0271016061
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,812,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Lian Xi is Professor of History at Hanover College. He grew up in Fuzhou, China, and now lives in Louisville, KY.

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Top Customer Reviews

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Xi Lian's book is a well-written, well-researched, and fascinating account of the Protestant missionary movement in China 1902-1937. Reading it one sighs and thinks of the scramble since September 11, 2001 to learn about Islam. Geographical distance is no longer an excuse for ignorance of other cultures--and that applies to all protagonists. Xi writes of the gradual influence of China's culture and thought upon American Protestant missionaries, who came to China with ideals and good intentions but little knowledge; a substantial number,however, learned and returned to their own country with the "good news--gospel" that human spirituality is universal and the insights of the varying traditions are meant to be shared. God does not play favorites. When one reads of the ecumenical efforts among the Protestant missionaries in China in the 1920s one is astounded. That such efforts in the West had to begin all over again after WW II and the Second Council of the Vatican (1962-1965)is frustrating; we should be farther down the line.

The author is caustic at times, but always generous in his appraisals. To adopt the Chinese spirit of inclusion does not mean one's own beliefs will be diluted but that one's views and interpretations will be expanded.

The biographical accounts of three missionaries, Dr. Edward H. Hume,M.D., evangelist and then editor, Frank J. Rawlinson, and Pearl Buck illustrate the book's thesis: The good heart cannot be separate from a sound mind, but neither can the mind function to its fullest without sympathy.

This is a book worth reading!
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