HYI Working Paper Series: Siu Kam-wah, Joseph

American Missionary Views on Siamese Culture and their Evangelical and Social Works in Siam between the mid-19th Century and the early 20th Century (Siu Kam-wah, Joseph, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

AbstractThis paper aims to analyze the views and criticisms of the American missionaries about the lives, customs, religion, society and economy of the Siamese, drawing attention to the perceived negative aspects of the Siamese culture including various superstitions, idolatry, inhuman religious practice and bad mores, based on the books and mission reports written by the American missionaries at that time. It also examines the evangelical and social works such as modernized educational works, advanced medical services and westernization done by the missionaries especially the American Presbyterian Mission and the American Baptist Mission and their impacts on the modernization of Siam from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century.

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The Harvard-Yenching Institute is pleased to make available working papers by HYI affiliated scholars on topics in the humanities and social sciences, with special attention to the study of Asian culture. The HYI Working Paper Series welcomes submissions from all HYI-affiliated faculty and fellowship grantees (including graduate students). Scholars are invited to post papers either in English or in an Asian language. To submit a paper, please email strogatz@fas.harvard.edu.

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