The cultural contribution of British Protestant missionaries to China's national development during the 1920s
During the period 1920-1930, British Protestant missionaries engaged in many cultural activities in China. This study is designed to analyze their special role in China's national development and modernization. The opening chapter mainly introduces the significance of the missionary social gospel and describes its theological tenets. It also examines the origins of the movement for cooperation among the Protestant missions and the features of the main British missions. The thesis then turns to the areas in which the missions displayed their leading social concerns, deriving from their policies. Chapters 2 & 3 describe the major contributions of the missionary medical services, analysing both primary medical work (direct medical care) and secondary medical work (education, research, translations and publications, public health). During the 1920s the Protestant missions were the most important force in medicine in China. Chapter 4 assesses the educational activities of British missionaries and their importance in the circumstances of China in the 1920s in triggering and moulding social change. Above all, the missionaries helped China to perfect her modem educational system and to understand Western learning and culture to much higher standards than previously. The following two chapters analyse the missionaries' role as social welfare workers and social reformers. Their work in this field included popular education, moral welfare, industrial welfare, famine relief, and rural reform, and constituted one of the most outstanding episodes in mission cultural activities. Chapter 7 discusses the British missionaries' influence in the movement of Chinese women's emancipation. In the 1920s many ordinary Chinese women, who had been untouched by the Revolution of 1911, were mobilized by missionary women's work. In contradiction to many traditional accounts, especially those of Chinese scholars, the final chapter assesses the positive cultural achievements of the Protestant missionaries and their unique role in promoting China's progress and modernization.