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Baptized in the fire of revolution : the American social gospel and the YMCA in China, 1919-1937

Author: Chün Hsing
Publisher: Bethlehem : Lehigh University Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
Summary:
The efforts made by YMCA secretaries, as the administrative officers were called, to apply social gospel ideas to China's political, social, and cultural environment provides a unique perspective on the history of cross-cultural interaction, or rather collisions, between the two countries born of different civilizations. While the influence in this case ran mainly in one direction - from the United States to China -
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Genre/Form: Church history
History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Chün Hsing
ISBN: 0934223416 9780934223416
OCLC Number: 34745883
Description: 238 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. The Social Gospel and the YMCA in the United States --
2. The Social Gospel and the YMCA in China --
3. A Cross-Cultural Synthesis: 1922-1925 --
4. Christianizing the Social Order: 1925-1931 --
5. Christian Internationalism in the Crucible: 1931-1935 --
6. From a Social Gospel to a Revolutionary Gospel: 1934-1937 --
Conclusion: Retrospect and Prospect --
Appendix A. Roster of Local Associations (1900-1935) --
Appendix B. Roster of American Secretaries in China, 1898-1951 --
Appendix C. Roster of Prominent Chinese National Secretaries and Board Members, 1919-1937.
Responsibility: Jun Xing.

Abstract:

The efforts made by YMCA secretaries, as the administrative officers were called, to apply social gospel ideas to China's political, social, and cultural environment provides a unique perspective on the history of cross-cultural interaction, or rather collisions, between the two countries born of different civilizations. While the influence in this case ran mainly in one direction - from the United States to China - the implications flowed in two ways, especially for the YMCA secretaries as field workers. The process of implanting the American social gospel into the Chinese setting involved negotiations, confrontations, and amalgamation along a whole range of different cultural norms and values on the scene, including the indigenous Confucianism, Chinese nationalism, and international communism.

The YMCA leaders' cross-cultural experiences transformed their own understanding and interpretation of the Christian mission and their own cultural identity as a result of their interactions with the cultural forces in China. The export of benevolence and the spread of American dreams is a recurrent theme in American history. The social gospel experience not only forms an important chapter in the history of Sino-American cultural relations, but also bears important contemporary implications. It may show that many Americans have yet to learn that American society is pluralistic, and that differences in color, religion, and political beliefs must be tolerated. Also, in view of the recent escalation of international reformism and the call for exporting the American dream, it is important to know that Americans cannot Christianize the world after their own images, for every culture has its own share to contribute to an interdependent world community in the twenty-first century.

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