ABSTRACT

This is the second of two chapters that draw on the contributions of global voices to Age of Empire. Women missionaries used diaries, articles, and popular fiction to reinforce popular belief in indigenous cultures’ brutal repression of women, in order to gain support for Christianizing as a form of cultural salvation. Tamara Cooper demonstrates this in the depiction of Chinese marriage customs in derogatory or pitying terms. One custom that drew specific disapproval was footbinding, as described by Wong Wai-Yin Christina. The author uncovers the complexities of body image, worldview, and status, and their interaction with Christian mission. Chiu Kai-Li tells the story of mission education in Taiwan (formerly Formosa) through the Canadian Presbyterian Mission. Many graduates of girls’ schools became teachers in the community. Of course, most of the popular narrative is promulgated by the missionaries, but in Minnie MacKay, we hear the story of a Taiwanese girl married to a prominent missionary, partly in her own voice. Louise Gamble explores the complexities of Taiwanese and Canadian cultural expectations. The chapter ends with the story of a second-generation missionary, born in India, whose popular novels demonstrate the enduring nature of cultural superiority, despite growing awareness of the need to hear other voices.