25 Christianity, Academics, and National Salvation in China: Yenching University, 1924–1949 Arthur Lewis Rosenbaum Claremount McKenna College We have been for several months past experiencing violent anti-Chris- tian-education attacks and scarcely less vigorous intellectual discredit- ing of religion. How could it be made clear that Christianity was not an agency of Imperialism, Capitalism, Conservatism, and that the students in Christian schools were not denationalized and dominated by foreign interests.—John Leighton Stuart, 1925 1 Writing in the midst of the May Thirtieth Movement and powerful anti- Christian sentiment directed against mission schools, Yenching Univer- sity President John Leighton Stuart defined with singular clarity an issue that would perplex Yenching for much of its existence. Yenching’s lead- ers assumed that a modernized Christianity would shape intellectual, academic, political, and social life at Yenching, but maintaining Christianity’s centrality to the university proved a more daunting task than anticipated. Although Stuart was preoccupied with formulating an effective response to a specific political crisis, he also had identified a long-term need: to define the relationship between a Christian educa- tion and Chinese nationalism in ways that could appeal to China’s youth while retaining the essential values of Christianity. This was not the only
Journal of American-East Asian Relations – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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