Elites, Middlemen, and the Church in Hong Kong
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU
Introduction to the Paperback Edition
Every so often a work of history appears that radically changes our understanding of people, place and period. Chinese Christians, first published in 1985, is such a work. This book asked questions about Hong Kong that had never been asked before. It showed that the leaders of Chinese society had a far greater role in shaping early Hong Kong history than earlier historians had believed. It also demonstrated, for the first time...
It is a great honour for me to be able to provide a foreword to this study of elites, middlemen, and the Chinese Protestant Church in Hong Kong by my friend, the Revd Carl T. Smith. In it, I shall touch on the importance of his work for present-day Hong Kong and on the record of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, since this book, a joint venture with Oxford University Press, marks the twenty-fifth anniversary...
This introductory chapter provides a framework for the more de- tailed studies in succeeding chapters. It sketches the introduction of Christianity into China and the organization of Chinese Protestant congregations in Hong Kong in the nineteenth century; it makes selected reference to some of the Chinese workers in these congregations, describes the missionary's attitude towards those who were not Christians and his educational philosophy, and...
1. The Morrison Education Society and the Moulding of its Students
The Morrison Education Society was formed by foreign merchants at Canton in 1835 in memory of the Revd Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to China. The Revd Samuel R. Brown was the first principal of the Society's school, which was opened in 1839 at Macau and moved to Hong Kong in 1842. After Brown left in 1846 to return to the United States for reasons...
2. The Formative Years of the Tong Brothers,Pioneers in the Modernization of China's Commerce and Industry
The three Tong brothers, who were students at the Morrison Education Society School in Hong Kong in the 1840s, may be considered t o be representative of a new class of commercial bourgeoisie that emerged in the China coast cities at the end of the Ch'ing dynasty. This new class within the Chinese social system was composed of entrepreneurs, business men, financiers, and...
3. Translators, Compradores, and Government Advisers
Students who had learned English at missionary school s were sought after by government official s t o serve as translators and advisers, and by the business community to act as compradores. They became middlemen between thing s Chines e and thing s foreign...
4. Friends and Relatives of Taiping Leaders
The Christian element in the Taiping rebellion has been of special interest to interpreters of the movement. It was this non-Chinese factor which made the rebellion different from all previous Chinese rebel movements. Through its Christian elements, the rebels were expressing one aspect of the effect of increasing Western influence on Chinese national life...
5. Sun Yat-sen's Baptism and Some Christian Connections
A significant event for Sun Yat-sen during his middle school-days in Hong Kong was his baptism by the American missionary, the Revd Charles R. Hager. This event influenced his future life and relationships. Immediately, it provided him with a surrogate family during his several years as a school-boy in Hong Kong. He entered an intimate fellowship bound together by a new commitment for, as a very small, new Christian congregation, its fellowship was close and binding. This congregation was the result of the...
PART II THE CHURCH, MIDDLEMEN, AND THE HONG KONG SETTING 6. The Emergence of a Chinese Elite in Hong Kong
The opening of the Tung Wah Hospital in 18721 marks the terminal date for this study of the emergence of a Chinese elite in Hong Kong. We are concerned, therefore, with the first thirty years of the colony's history, from 1841 to 1872. The first decade was characterized by economic and social problems partially created by a shifting and generally irresponsible population. During this period there were, however, a small number of settlers who were establishing themselves and their families...
7. The English-educated Chinese Elite in Nineteenth-century Hong Kong
The Chinese elite of nineteenth-century Hong Kong consisted of interpenetrating advisory, financial, and professional groups. Members of this elite played an important role in bridging the so- cial and cultural gaps between the Chinese and the British in the colonial society. In some cases, they played a further important role in the modernization processes of China. Yet they were almost all of humble origin. In this chapter the progress to...
8. The Hong Kong Church and Nineteenth-century Colonial Attitudes
The Church has held to certain basic beliefs since its foundation, but these have been subject to historical development and adaptation within different cultural settings. In the process, church thought and practice have interacted wit h the context in which they have existed. China provided a new context for an old faith, with a different language, different thought forms, customs, economic and political structures, and social institutions. The propagation of the Christian faith accompanied an...
9. The Hong Kong Situation as it Influenced the Protestant Church
How has the colonial status of Hong Kong affected the Chinese Christian Church? Have the attitudes and experiences of Hong Kong Christians been significantly different from Christians in China? The differences will be examined using four aspects arising from the colonial situation of Hong Kong...
10. The Early Hong Kong Church and Traditional Chinese Ideas
The place of the family in the development of the Hong Kong Protestant Church must be seen in relation t o the traditional Chinese family structure. In what ways did Christian faith and the standards required of converts by missionaries conflict with the traditional structure of Chinese family life? Could the integrating factors of the old system be preserved within a different ideology? Have the adjustments and...
This volume ha s discussed various aspect s of the Protestant Church in Hong Kong in the nineteenth century. The developments since then and a look at the future can only be briefly suggested. Before the Second World War, Pentecostal and Holiness groups had long been established in Hong Kong. Missionaries were sent out by other fundamentalist and faith groups, mostly American...