Reframing the Yenching Story

Reframing the Yenching Story 173 Reframing the Yenching Story Philip West University of Montana One way to revisit and reframe the Yenching story is to imagine with a few bold strokes how the conflicting threads in that story are woven into the ironic twists and turns in twentieth-century Chinese-Western rela- tions. 1 Had it not been for the political collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911 and the cultural and spiritual vacuum created in its wake, core Chinese faculty at Yenching and many of the Yenching students might never have been attracted to liberal Christianity and the liberal arts. Had it not been for the extraterritorial protection under the unequal treaties going back to the days of the Opium War, it would not have been pos- sible for the missionary educators to lead in introducing the liberal arts into China. Had it not been for the war with Japan and events leading up to it since World War I, followed later by the Chinese civil war, it would be difficult to explain to Western liberal ears how the patriotic passions of Yenching faculty and students could lead them to adapt as readily as they did to the Communist revolution. Had it not http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of American-East Asian Relations Brill

Reframing the Yenching Story

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2007 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1058-3947
eISSN
1876-5610
D.O.I.
10.1163/187656107793645087
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

173 Reframing the Yenching Story Philip West University of Montana One way to revisit and reframe the Yenching story is to imagine with a few bold strokes how the conflicting threads in that story are woven into the ironic twists and turns in twentieth-century Chinese-Western rela- tions. 1 Had it not been for the political collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911 and the cultural and spiritual vacuum created in its wake, core Chinese faculty at Yenching and many of the Yenching students might never have been attracted to liberal Christianity and the liberal arts. Had it not been for the extraterritorial protection under the unequal treaties going back to the days of the Opium War, it would not have been pos- sible for the missionary educators to lead in introducing the liberal arts into China. Had it not been for the war with Japan and events leading up to it since World War I, followed later by the Chinese civil war, it would be difficult to explain to Western liberal ears how the patriotic passions of Yenching faculty and students could lead them to adapt as readily as they did to the Communist revolution. Had it not

Journal

Journal of American-East Asian RelationsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2007

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