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The Modern Spirit of AsiaThe Spiritual and the Secular in China and India$
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Peter van der Veer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691128146

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691128146.001.0001

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Conversion to Indian and Chinese Modernities

Conversion to Indian and Chinese Modernities

(p.90) Chapter 4 Conversion to Indian and Chinese Modernities
The Modern Spirit of Asia

Peter van der Veer

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at conversion to Christianity and the impact of missionary movements in India and China. Christian missionaries have played a major role in the creation of modern vocabularies and modern attitudes in India and China. Reform movements, but also popular resistance movements, derive much of their discourse from Christianity. The chapter traces the missionary project in India and China in the nineteenth century, and emphasizes the imperial and anti-imperial aspects of it in contrast to the earlier Jesuit efforts in China and India. The main argument is that Christian missionaries played an extraordinary role in setting things in motion in education and medicine, but most importantly in anti-imperialist protonationalism within a range of non-Christian reform movements.

Keywords:   Christianity, missionary movements, India, China, modern vocabularies, Jesuit efforts, imperialism, anti-imperialism, protonationalism

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