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Sources, 1800–1911

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Chapter Summary

In the course of the nineteenth century, a vast amount of material pertaining to Christianity in China was accumulated. Emanating from a wide variety of sources, the documents were written either in Chinese or in one of European languages. The volume of records increased dramatically during the second half of nineteenth century as a result of the treaties of 1858 (Tianjin) and the 'conventions' of 1860 (Beijing). What would later be called the 'unequal treaties' created new opportunities for the propagation of Christianity, resulting in a significant expansion of the missionary movement in China. The sources presented in this chapter are records of the internal workings of the missionary enterprise as well as accounts of its personnel and its conversion successes. But a large portion of the Qing material deals with the disputes between the missionaries and their converts on one hand and Chinese society at large on the other.

Keywords: Chinese society; Christianity; conversion; late Qing China; missionary movement; sources; treaties of 1858 (Tianjin)

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