HARVARD UNIVERSITY ASIA CENTER
Cover: Our Ordered Lives Confess: Three Nineteenth-Century American Missionaries in East Shantung, from Harvard University PressCover: Our Ordered Lives Confess in E-DITION

Harvard Studies in American-East Asian Relations 8

Our Ordered Lives Confess

Three Nineteenth-Century American Missionaries in East Shantung

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

This spirited book is a study of the adjustments of three nineteenth-century missionaries to life in northeast China. Its subject is international relations of the person-to-person kind, based on the daily experiences of living in a foreign land.

The missionaries all worked in the same place in China, but had remarkably different personalities and careers. Tarleton Perry Crawford of the Southern Baptist Convention was an unfeeling, not always trustworthy missionary, whose depressing story contrasts sharply with those of the other two subjects. The famous Lottie Moon, also of the Southern Baptist Convention, has become a culture heroine as the founder of women’s work in China (in her name the SBC has collected 250 million dollars). Calvin Wilson Mateer, a Presbyterian, is well known to students of modern Chinese history as a great educator.

In this account of how three individuals responded to the same problems and opportunities, Irwin Hyatt seeks to discover why only some Americans placed among Chinese will find friends and a new appreciation of life. It is a fascinating investigation into the crucial cultural problem of understanding other people. As Andre Malraux has written, “Europeans never understand anything of China that does not resemble themselves.”

From Our Blog

9780674238084

Who We Might Have Been, and Who We Will Become

Who among us hasn’t considered what our lives would be like if we had taken alternate paths, made different decisions? Storytellers of every stripe write of the lives we didn’t have, says Andrew H. Miller, author of On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives. As we live through a worldwide pandemic, the ideas of what might have been are even more appealing. Much like the adolescents on the verge of adulthood in Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, Miller tells us, we wait to see what comes next.