• 0
China Christian Daily
  • 0
china |

Photocopy Collection of English Mission Journals in Modern China Published

Photocopy Collection of English Mission Journals in Modern China Published

A new book of A Collection of Christian Historical Records in Modern China A new book of A Collection of Christian Historical Records in Modern China
ByGrace Song October 29, 2021
  • 34

With thirty volumes, the new book A Collection of Christian Historical Records in Modern China was published in September by the National Library of China Publishing House, covering the photocopies of seven magazines published by missionaries in China from the mid 19th to mid 20th century.

Between the mid 19th and mid 20th centuries, a large number of Protestant missionaries came to preach in China, who left a wealth of records about every aspect of Chinese society, according to the National Library of China Publishing House. 

"During the period of the Republic of China, missionaries were particularly active, exerting an important influence on Chinese society through contributions in medication, education, and other missionary activities. They also acted as the intermediary of cultural exchanges between China and the West," the press introduced. 

It added, "The observations and records of missionaries in China were preserved through their magazine publications, which provided both a unique perspective for readers to understand the political and cultural life in modern China, and made rich materials for anthropologists, sociologists, and geographers to study."

In view of the political environment in mainland China in the first half of the 20th century, most of these journals were published irregularly, making it difficult to obtain accurate statistics and complete collections of the publications. Inevitably, this book holds an incomplete collection of the journal issues.

The book includes microfilm photocopies of seven English Christian journals: China Mission Advocate (1839), The Foochow Messenger (1903 - 1940), Hainan Newsletter (1912 - 1949), The China Christian Advocate (1914 - 1941), Fenchow, (1919 - 1936), The Bulletin of the Diocese of Western China (unknown - 1951), and The Anking Newsletter (unknown - 1948).

China Mission Advocate was first published in January 1839 and stopped after one year, releasing one volume of 12 issues. Although it was short-lived, it left important records of early missionary life in China.

The Foochow Messenger was started in 1903 and continued until around 1940, experiencing several suspensions.

Hainan Newsletter was published from September 1912 to 1949 on an irregular basis. The early issues described the local mission work in detail. Since the start of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, the mission was hindered. The Newsletter reflected the challenges they faced as well as the development of Communist campaigns.

The China Christian Advocate was published from February 1914 to 1941 by the Methodist Publishing House in Shanghai, and for most of the time was issued monthly. It was more like a comprehensive magazine. Apart from church news, it set up columns such as Current Comments, Book Reviews, Correspondence, and New Books.

Fenchow was published by Tientsin Press Ltd from 1919 to 1936 (estimated). It used to publish special issues on particular themes from time to time. Apart from introducing the mission work to the west, it also included English translations of Chinese classics, making it important first-hand material of early China-West cultural communication.

The Bulletin of the Diocese of Western China used various names and was issued irregularly. It mainly recorded church activities.

The Anking Newsletter reported on the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, the recovery after the war as well as the rise of Communism in China.

The book series was selected and edited by Xu Haiyan and Professor Tao Feiya. Tao is professor of history at Shanghai University, chief expert for Collection and Research of Chinese Christianity Literature, a major project of The National Social Science Fund of China, and chief editor of Journal of the Study on Religion and History. He is the author of Marginalized History: Christianity And Chinese Society (2005), Introduction to Christianity and Chinese Social Study (2009), and A Christian Utopia in China: The Jesus Family (1921–1952).

- Translated by Grace Song

  • 34
RELATED ARTICLE
latest from china
top topics
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
comments powered by Disqus