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Saving the Nation$
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Thomas H. Reilly

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190929503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190929503.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 September 2021

The Mission to China

The Mission to China

(p.11) 1 The Mission to China
Saving the Nation

Thomas H. Reilly

Oxford University Press

American Protestantism determined to a large extent the nature of the mission errand to China, especially in the Chinese Protestant elite’s understanding of social Christianity. American Protestantism, however, suffered from certain weaknesses in its own understanding of the relationship between Christianity and society, and this weakness was most evident in the message of the Social Gospel. The Social Gospel aimed to reshape the modern industrial economy, so that it was more humane to workers and more beneficial to society. That message, though, was compromised in its transmission to China by its association with imperialism. Beyond this message of the Social Gospel, American missions were also the early benefactors of the main institutions—colleges and universities, the YMCA and the YWCA—through which the Protestant elite influenced the larger society.

Keywords:   American evangelicalism, Social Gospel, Missionary Errand to China, National Christian Council

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