At the Frontier of God's Empire: A Missionary Odyssey in Modern China

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Monday, March 11, 2024
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Bunche Hall 3156

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To a lively cast of international players that shaped Manchuria during the early twentieth century, At the Frontier of God's Empire adds the remarkable story of Alfred Marie Caubrière (1876-1948). A French Catholic missionary, Caubrière arrived in Manchuria on the eve of the Boxer Uprising in 1899 and was murdered on the eve of the birth of the People's Republic of China in 1948. Living with ordinary Chinese people for half a century, Caubrière witnessed the collapse of the Qing empire, the warlord's chaos that followed, the rise and fall of Japanese Manchukuo, and the emergence of communist China. Caubrière's incredible personal archive, on which Ji Li draws extensively, opens a unique window into everyday interaction between Manchuria's grassroots society and international players. His gripping accounts personalize the Catholic Church's expansion in East Asia and the interplay of missions and empire in local society.

Ji Li is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Hong Kong and currently a joint visiting scholar at the Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Institute (2024). She received her B.A. and M.A. at Peking University and her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the relationship between religion, local society, and the making of modern China in a local and global context. She is the author of God’s Little Daughters: Catholic Women in Nineteenth-Century Manchuria (Washington 2015), Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) and China since the Seventeenth Century to the Present (ed., Brill 2021), and At the Frontier of God's Empire: A Missionary Odyssey in Modern China (Oxford 2023).

This guest lecture is part of course Korean 172 - Topics in Korean Christianity (Instructor: Prof. Sung-Deuk Oak - Asian Languages & Cultures Department)

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies, Center for Korean Studies