Meeting the West in a Conference Hall: Gilbert Reid’s Lectures at the International Institute in Shanghai

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Abstract

During the late Qing dynasty, a profound social and cultural transformation was promoted in China by an élite group of intellectuals, inspired by the works of for- eign thinkers and scholars. In this context, the contribution of the Protestant Gil- bert Reid (1857-1927) – and his Mission among the Higher Classes in China, which later become the International Institute of Shanghai – went far beyond mere proselytism, promoting the intercultural dialogue as a basis for China’s progress. Such an innovative enterprise, accomplished through an original exploitation of the catalyst power of the newborn Chinese press, deserves a closer look. To do so, this paper focuses on Reid’s series of lectures to the cosmopolitan Shanghainese commu- nity, dedicated to relevant aspects of the Sino-Western encounter, and points out his symbolic selection of topics and biographies, aimed at showing the longevity and benefit of amicable Sino-Western relations, a crucial concept to his mission to China.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteDal Medio all’Estremo Oriente. Studi del Dottorato di Ricerca in ‘Civiltà dell’Asia e dell’Africa’
Pagine119-136
Numero di pagine18
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

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