The Spectacle of Missionary Bodies

Eric Reinders

in Borrowed Gods and Foreign Bodies

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780520241718
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931084 | DOI:
The Spectacle of Missionary Bodies

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This chapter explores how the foreignness of Western missionaries in China became embodied experiences. It discusses the body problems faces by missionaries and suggests that the most serious problems of inter-cultural interaction were bodily. The most intractable scandal of foreign bodies was the refusal of the missionaries and their converts to bow to the emperor. This chapter also highlights the tensions between the impulse toward the indigenization of the missionaries and their concern that the essential Gospel would be lost or corrupted through careless nativization.

Keywords: Western missionaries; foreignness; China; body problems; inter-cultural interaction; indigenization; nativization

Chapter.  6524 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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