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Reshaping the BoundariesThe Christian Intersection of China and the West in the Modern Era$
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Song Gang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390557

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390557.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2021. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

“Supreme Nation”

“Supreme Nation”

The British Image in Karl Gützlaff’s Novels Shifei lüelun and Dayingguo tongzhi*

(p.59) 4 “Supreme Nation”
Reshaping the Boundaries

John T. P. Lai

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter explores how Karl F. A. Gützlaff, a leading Protestant missionary to China in the early nineteenth century, consciously created an idealistic image of Great Britain in his novels Shifei lüelun (1835) and Dayingguo tongzhi (1834). Through intentional reinterpretations of two sharply different cultures, Gützlaff challenged the Sinocentric world order on the one hand and presented Britain as the “Supreme Nation” on the other. Moreover, the author reveals that Gützlaff’s narrative of the model image of Britain involved conscious appropriation of certain popular Chinese terms and thinking. The Anglo-Chinese intercourse therefore exhibited a complex destruction–reconstruction process, in which the two-way flow of words and ideas gave shape to one imagined in-between reality.

Keywords:   Sino-British relation, Karl F. A. Gützlaff, Sinocentrism, Shifei lüelun (1835), Dayingguo tongzhi (1834)

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