Chapter

Measuring Catholic Faith in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Northeast China

Ji Li

in In God’s Empire

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396447
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979318 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396447.003.0008
Measuring Catholic Faith in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Northeast China

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This chapter explores how missionaries, starting in the mid-nineteenth century, developed a method for assessing the degree of faith of Christians in communities in Manchuria. Far from being a passing experiment, missionaries’ use of statistical methods and quantitative language to measure the religiosity of local converts became a central concern of the Church, as important as translating texts to and from Latin, French, and Chinese. In creating this method, missionaries calculated the impact of their efforts and defined what it meant to be a “good” Christian.

Keywords: China; Manchuria; faith; Latin; French; Chinese; statistical methods

Chapter.  8665 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Religion

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