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Borrowed Gods and Foreign BodiesChristian Missionaries Imagine Chinese Religion$
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Eric Reinders

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241718

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241718.001.0001

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Under the Spotlight, and the Disappearing Act

Under the Spotlight, and the Disappearing Act

(p.191) Chapter 13 Under the Spotlight, and the Disappearing Act
Borrowed Gods and Foreign Bodies

Eric Reinders

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the public visibility of Western missionaries in China. It discusses the situation of the missionaries when they were surrounded by Chinese giving them their full attention and when they tried to be invisible. It suggests that the crowd was probably one of the strongest formative experiences of missionaries who arrived in China for the first time. It contends that though the Chinese public gaze wore down some Western missionaries, the curiosity value of foreign bodies was not without its benefits.

Keywords:   public visibility, Western missionaries, China, crowd, public gaze, foreign bodies

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