Chapter

Under the Spotlight, and the Disappearing Act

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520241718.003.0013
Under the Spotlight, and the Disappearing Act

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This chapter focuses on the public visibility of Western missionaries in China. It discusses the situation of the missionaries when they were surrounded by Chinese giving them their full attention and when they tried to be invisible. It suggests that the crowd was probably one of the strongest formative experiences of missionaries who arrived in China for the first time. It contends that though the Chinese public gaze wore down some Western missionaries, the curiosity value of foreign bodies was not without its benefits.

Keywords: public visibility; Western missionaries; China; crowd; public gaze; foreign bodies

Chapter.  5977 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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