Item description for China's Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society, 1832-1905 (Studies in the History of Christian Missions) by Alvyn Austin...
Overview The intriguing story of Hudson Taylor and the CIM
Publishers Description In China's Millions veteran historian Alvyn Austin presents a compelling historical narrative of the China Inland Mission (now the Overseas Missionary Fellowship) - the first history of the CIM by an outsider - including 36 nver-before-published illustrations and maps from the CIM/OMF archives. In the course of his sweeping survey, Austin examines a remarkable array of subjects, from the visionary, charismatic sect-leader Pastor Hsi, to the "worldless book," a missionary teaching device that fit perfectly with Chinese color cosmology, to the opium-soaked aftermath of the North China Famine of 1877-79.
Citations And Professional Reviews China's Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society, 1832-1905 (Studies in the History of Christian Missions) by Alvyn Austin has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Century - 10/16/2007 page 35
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.23" Width: 6.45" Height: 1.11" Weight: 1.7 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2007
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Series Studies In The History Of Christ
ISBN 0802829759 ISBN13 9780802829757
Availability 0 units.
More About Alvyn Austin
Alvyn Austin, born in Calcutta to CIM missionaries, teaches at Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario. He is a trained museum curator as well as a scholar, and his diverse work includes historical sites, radio documentaries, and the book Saving China: Canadian Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom, 18881959.
Reviews - What do customers think about China's Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society, 1832-1905 (Studies in the History of Christian Missions)?
Foreign Devils in the Middle Kingdom Jun 26, 2007
"China's Millions" is a wonderfully complex, colorful, scholarly, and objective portrait of the work of the China Inland Mission and its founder, Hudson Taylor, in the 19th century. The CIM was the largest Christian missionary organization in China. It was unique in many ways: the CIM didn't solicit contributions; its missionaries received no fixed salaries, subjected themselves to the tyrannical control of Taylor, and lived, dressed and traveled as Chinese. The majority of CIM missionaries were working class English laymen -- shopkeepers, blacksmiths in the like -- rather than members of the educated elite as were most missionaries from other organizations.
One book can not cover the thousand missionaries the CIM had in China in the 19th century. The author focuses on signal events, including the disastrous beginning of the CIM when Hudson Taylor led his first group of missionaries to China. Most died or defected. The author then turns to CIM operations in a single province, Shansi, with especial attention to a local Chinese Christian, Pastor Hsi, who brooked no interference by foreigners in his evangelical endeavors. Pastor Hsi ran his own show. Among the foreign missionaries in Shansi -- and the exceptions to the rule that CIM personnel were drawn from the working class -- were the famous Cambridge Seven, a group of upscale educated Englishmen who came to China as if on a lark, anticipating, for example, that God would teach them Chinese rather than them having to study the language. They learned a different and a harder lesson in China.
There is much here about the anti-opium campaigns of Pastor Hsi and the CIM, the enormous famine of the late 1870s that killed one-third of the population of Shansi, and the mysterious and often violent cults and religions -- including Christianity -- that rose in the wake of the famine. The story culminates with the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 in which Shansi became the graveyard of dozens of Christian missionaries and thousands of Chinese Christian.
The half-forgotten story of missionaries in China was never better told than here. The author delves into the lives and work of dozens of adventurous, noble, eccentric, or foolish missionaries and leads us down innumerable pathways of Chinese and Western religious controversies and movements. "China's Millions" is a feast of a book.
An Important Book Jun 14, 2007
CIM was not only the single most influential Christian missionary enterprise in the Chinese empire, it has been called one of the most influential forces in shaping modern Chinese culture. Alvyn Austin's study of CIM is quite simply the most sophisticated and scholarly study produced to date on this movement; it is also among the best studies of Christian mission to appear in recent years. Most works on CIM focus biographically on the famous founder, Hudson Taylor. Austin takes a different approach, looking at the varied different missionary encounters between CIM missionaries and local Chinese in different cultural contexts. His study demonstrates clearly the compexity of missionary encounters and shifts the focus away from hagiographical reflections upon missionary greatness to the social and cultural dynamics of the encounter between east and west. Perhaps most impressively, he for the first time brings to the forefront the role of the converts themselves.
Without losing any analytical depth, Alvyn Austin tells the story with real narrative flair. Any student of Chinese history, Colonial encounters, or History of Christianity will find this to be a worthwhile study. For any student of Christian mission, it is essential.