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Title:Protestant missions in late Qing China: George Leslie Mackay's proselytization strategies in Taiwan, 1872-1895
Author(s):Chang, Grace
Advisor(s):Chow, Kai-Wing
Department / Program:E. Asian Languages & Cultures
Discipline:East Asian Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Chinese history
Taiwan history
proselytization strategies
George Leslie Mackay
Abstract:This thesis is a cultural, spatial, and historical study of the proselytization strategies Canadian Presbyterian missionary George Leslie Mackay (1844-1901) utilized in Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty. It explores the development of his proselytization methods that succeeded in resolving the multifaceted tensions and conflicts between the missionary, the religious community in Canada, and the local Taiwanese peoples. The materials that this thesis utilizes are primarily from the abovementioned missionary (Mackay), who arrived in the Taiwan Prefecture (Taiwanfu 臺灣府) on New Year's Eve in 1871. The main sources used within this study include Mackay's diaries, journals, and other Western primary sources. Through these primary sources, I attempt to analyze Mackay's personality, his understandings of the local context of Northern Taiwan, and the strategies he utilized for evangelizing, which discloses his complicated relationship with the Foreign Missions Council of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and yet simultaneously demonstrates his transformation from a "black-bearded barbarian" and "foreign devil" into a charismatic leader and pastor for the local peoples living in Taiwan. In this thesis, I examine how Mackay's strategies for proselytization drew on his convictions of the critical importance of learning the languages and cultures of the local peoples. I seek to explain the reasons for Mackay's distinctive mode of evangelism in terms of his understanding of the demographic and cultural conditions of Taiwanese society in Qing China. I argue that Mackay had a multi-faceted approach to evangelization. On a foundational level, Mackay redefined traditional venues of communication, which offered Mackay a wider demographic range of visibility, and created various networks of interpersonal relations, which integrated the island's diverse ethnic, socio-cultural, and political groups for a unified purpose. Building on these two strategies, Mackay's strategy was then to train local qualified converts to spread Christianity to the local population, to be leaders of local churches and the core missionaries of the Christian ministry in Northern Taiwan.
Issue Date:2016-07-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Grace Chang
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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