Images of China for Americans, 1927-1950: The Missionaries' Dilemma

Elizabeth Vanderzell Anderson
2019
That the American Protestant missionaries created an image of China has been generally accepted; what they said precisely that created that image is not so well known. This dissertation surveys the picture of China's day-to-day life as observed, experienced and reported by approximately seventy long-term American Protestant missionaries in ninety of their books published between 1927 and 1950, their final years in China. The authors who made up the research sample were missionary churchmen,
more » ... nary churchmen, educators, and physicians and nurses. They represented several denominations, from mainline churches to the smaller sects. The authors, from a variety of backgrounds, wrote to a varied group of constituencies.The missionary writers recorded a special piece of American history worked out in an alien land. They wrote out of who they were, and who they had become after long years in China. They wrote out of their roles in China and according to their purposes which, for some, changed over the years. They wrote of China's needs and of the obligation of Christian Americans to respond to those needs. They wrote of their dilemmas which grew as forces swirled around them beyond their control.
doi:10.1184/r1/10031870.v1 fatcat:gixrq432t5arxhde6reyrur35a