By M. Hirono
By way of evaluating the position and impression of early Christian missionaries with these of Christian NGOs today, this book critically assesses the belief of a Christian 'civilizing venture' in the context of China. It offers a neighborhood, non-Han standpoint according to a wealthy array of ancient, ethnographical, and empirical assets.
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Extra resources for Civilizing Missions: International Religious Agencies in China (Culture and Religion in International Relations)
Other things equal, it is therefore more accurate to consider subordinate classes less constrained at the level of thought and ideology, since they can in secluded settings speak with comparative safety, and more constrained at the level of political action and struggle, where the daily exercise of power sharply limits the options available to them. To put it crudely, it would ordinarily be suicide for serfs to set about to murder their lords and abolish the seigneurial regime; it is, however, plausible for them to imagine and talk about such aspirations providing they are discreet about it.
Here, providing an analytical framework is important because it helps us interpret and analyze the interactions between international agencies and members of ethnic communities. ” 36 Civilizing Missions Frames of Interaction The three frames of interaction are conflict, adaptation, and the new consciousness. ” The conflict frame refers to a situation in which members of an ethnic community consciously disagree with the ideology of a “civilizing mission,” or with the very existence of such a mission.
Most, if not all, NGOs in China neither identify themselves as such, nor do they like to be called Christian NGOs, because the term is not necessarily an accurate representation of them at an organizational level. As mentioned earlier, often the constitutions of the NGOs do not contain reference to religious aspects or religion, as is the case with the JHF. Furthermore, calling the NGOs “Christian NGOs” serves merely to heighten political sensitivity within the Chinese Communist regime. This book, nevertheless, uses the term “Christian NGO” to refer to an organization, most of whose individual personnel are motivated to work in the organization by their Christian beliefs.