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The Cambridge Seven, Late Victorian Culture, and the Chinese Frontier

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While some gender studies have examined dimensions of British masculinity with regard to the empire, they often have neglected the constitutive role that Christian faith played in the formation of British masculinity and the ways that British Christians constructed ideal masculine character. This essay reassesses the Cambridge Seven’s significance in the construction of a British evangelical masculinity in the late Victorian period. It argues that British evangelicals utilized the ideals the Seven collectively represented to construct a Christian masculinity in relation to the foreign frontier. This analysis suggests that both faith and the foreign mission field were integral dimensions of British evangelical masculinity. Ultimately, the Seven’s experiences in China challenged and subverted many of these ideal constructions.

Affiliations: 1: School of Philosophical, Historical, and Religious Studies Arizona State University, USA


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