With his latest book, prize-winning, popular historian Nat Brandt turns his eye to a little-known group of Midwest missionaries who gave their lives for their religious beliefs. Brandt's careful research uncovers the life, attitudes, and Christianity of the Oberlin College missionaries from the late 1880s leading up to their deaths in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion in China. The eighteen missionaries who traveled to Shansi were dedicated, pious, hard-working clerics. Ernest Atwater, the young minister Francis Ward Davis and his wife Lydia, Charles Wesley Price and his family, and Susan Rowena Bird, to name a few, were all spurred by their strong beliefs, but they were also quite ignorant of other countries and cultures. Often having to live in disease-ravished areas of China and under harsh conditions, they were repulsed by the native lifestyle and saw further need to change it. Brandt presents finely wrought portraits of these people, detailing the lives of both the missionaries and their converts, their experiences in the interior province of Shansi, and their struggle in trying to spread Christianity among people whose language they could not speak and whose traditions and customs they did not understand. Brandt's gripping narrative brings to light a penetrating and sincere study of the "Oberlin Band" of Protestant missionaries and captures the essence of their daily life. Considered in a fair and honest context, the descriptions are often taken directly from personal correspondence and journals. This tragic story of the clash between two cultures is primarily the story of the missionaries - six men, seven women, five children. Their names appear on bronze tablets on the onlymonument in America ever erected to individuals who died in that uprising, the Memorial Arch on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 789 g
Dimensions: 230 x 162 x 31 mm