The Gender of Chinese Christianity: Evaluating a New Research Perspective

Amsler, Nadine (8 November 2013). The Gender of Chinese Christianity: Evaluating a New Research Perspective (Unpublished). In: Christliche Mission und Kulturkontakt in der Vormoderne: Zugänge, Methoden, Fallbeispiele. Zürich. 8.11.2013..

This paper will discuss how the gender perspective can be applied to the study of the Early Modern Jesuit China mission. I will show that the category of gender provides a promising research perspective on Sino-Western cultural exchange, for it brings to the forefront important aspects of social life in the “contact zone” of Chinese Christian communities. I will argue that through the intercultural contact initiated by the Jesuit China mission, gender roles started to shift slightly on both sides. On the one hand, the Jesuits adopted the Confucian ideal of the separation of the sexes (nannü zhi bie), building for example separate Churches for women, something unknown in Europe. On the other hand, Chinese Christians were urged to reconsider aspects of their traditional gender norms, when for instance some men left their concubines in order to become Christian.
The paper will be divided in three parts. First, it will focus on the history of concepts and discuss what gender relations meant in the context of the Early Modern China mission. Then it will turn to the representation of female religiosity in Jesuit Annual Letters and show how the gender perspective can lead to a re-evaluation this source genre. Finally, it will reflect on how the gender perspective can give us fresh insights into well-known paradigms on Sino-Western relations, taking the accommodation paradigm as an example.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Recent History

UniBE Contributor:

Amsler, Nadine


900 History > 940 History of Europe
900 History > 950 History of Asia




Nadine Stefanie Amsler Weber

Date Deposited:

25 Apr 2014 15:33

Last Modified:

25 Apr 2014 15:36

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Geschlechtergeschichte, Missionsgeschichte, Chinesisches Christentum, 17. Jahrhundert


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback