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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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“Sacred Heart” and the Appropriation of Catholic Faith in Nineteenth-Century China

“Sacred Heart” and the Appropriation of Catholic Faith in Nineteenth-Century China

(p.76) 5 “Sacred Heart” and the Appropriation of Catholic Faith in Nineteenth-Century China
Reshaping the Boundaries

Ji Li

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter analyzes several rarely seen letters written in 1871 by three Catholic women from a village in Northeast China. The letters were addressed to a member of the Société des Missions Etrangères de Paris who had been the priest of their church. In these letters, the author detects the underlying sense of feminine piety mingled with the Du women’s purposeful borrowing of religious vocabularies to articulate personal feelings and emotional requests. The displacement between the spiritual devotion to Jesus and the sensible attachment to an absent Western priest signifies the new boundary of Christian religiosity being shaped by these village women. Private writing became an alternative means of self-empowerment for them to redefine faith, passion, and collective identity in late Qing society.

Keywords:   Sacred Heart of Jesus, Dominique Maurice Pourquié, Catholic missions in late Qing society, feminine piety

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