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From the School of Oriental and African Studies, London

Part 2: James Hudson Taylor Papers: Subject Files

Founded in 1865 with the goal of evangelising China’s inland provinces, the China Inland Mission (CIM) refused to appeal for funds. Instead, it demanded that all of its missionaries learn the Chinese language, wear Chinese dress and find a way of living without a guaranteed salary. Its representatives were international and interdenominational, and chosen for their spirituality, rather than their education, social class or gender.

Parts 1 and 2 of the CIM archive make available the papers of its remarkable founder, James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), who was raised as a Methodist in Barnsley, and converted to evangelical Christianity at the age of 17. While his close colleague, William Thomas Berger (1815-1899), was in charge of matters in England, Taylor was in charge of the mission’s work in the field.

Part 2 covers the fourteen boxes of material collected by Geraldine Taylor, the wife of Taylor’s second son, Howard Taylor, who was also a missionary in China.  Howard and Geraldine Taylor were the first historians of CIM and gathered the material on a thematic basis.  Topics include:

  • Early missions in China
  • the Opium trade
  • James Hudson Taylor’s preparation for life in China
  • Shanghai
  • Journeys to inland China
  • Ningpo and JHT’s marriage to Maria Jane Dyer
  • Formation of CIM
  • the Forward Movement
  • the Tientsin massacre and the Nanking riots
  • American support for the CIM
  • Shanghai missionary conferences
  • Scandinavian support for CIM
  • the Boxer Rising
  • the death of JHT
  • Histories of the CIM, recollections and assessments

This is an excellent source for all those interested in missiology, the progress of evangelical Christianity, interactions between East and West, and the social and cultural history of China.


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