The Boxer Rebellion of 1900, originally a regional anti-Christian and anti-foreign movement in Western Shandong, turned to be a sensational international event, prompting eight great powers to dispatch a large number of troops for its suppression. Ironically, soon after the catastrophe, Christianity entered into a golden age as the number of Chinese converts skyrocketed while the religion enjoyed an unprecedented growth. It was only temporarily halted by the Japanese invasion in 1937. This paper probes the complicated relationship among church, state and society during this historical era. It tries to figure out factors leading to the booming enterprise as it argues that a number of reasons had contributed to the new phenomenon, such as governmental preferential policies, liberal political and social milieu, missionaries’ new strategies, indigenous Christian efforts, and tenacious accommodations by Chinese believers.

Author Bio(s)

Patrick Fuliang Shan is an associate professor in the department of history at Grand Valley State University in Michigan where he teaches Chinese history, East Asian history and world history. He earned his Ph.D. in history from McMaster University (1997-2003). His current academic interest is on Heilongjiang frontier society in the early 20th century, on which he published articles in Journal of Social History, Asian Ethnicity, American Journal of Chinese Studies, American Review of China Studies, Chinese Historical Review and Chinese Business History. In China, he coauthored the first Chinese biography of General Claire Lee Chennault, contributed chapters to books and articles to journals. He is also interested in Chinese religions, Sino-US relations and Henan provincial history. He is elected president of the Chinese Historians in the United States (CHUS) in 2009. Email: shanp@gvsu.edu


Boxer Rebellion of 1900, Chinese indigenization, Christianity, church, Post-Boxer China, society, state, Western Shandong

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