By Jon Thares Davidann
3 comparable topics weave throughout the adventure of the yank YMCA missionaries and jap Christians among 1890-1930: the relationship among nationwide identification and Christianity, ensuing conflicts among those Christians, and an alternating experience of problem and development. within the Nineteen Twenties, tensions among americans and eastern leaders led the yank YMCA missionary flow to reevaluate its objective and compelled it clear of nationalism.
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Extra info for A world of crisis and progress: the American YMCA in Japan, 1890-1930
How can this failure be explained? First, as has already been mentioned, the American YMCA missionary revival was based upon a contradiction between its nationalist coloring and its commitment to modern progress. This contradiction tore at the foundations of the movement. Second, the ability of the Japanese state to avoid outright imperialism, to maintain its sovereignty, and to modernize must be taken into account in the Japanese Christian success and in the American YMCA failure. This fact helped Japanese Christians to contest the American vision from a position of strength.
American YMCA missionaries feared greatly international developments like liberal theologyan idea emanating from Europe that was defined as social Christianity, immanence of God, openness to other religions and traditions, and Unitarianismand the phenomenon of immigration spreading from Europe. These developments had the potential to destroy the unique character of American national identity rooted within Protestantism. This does not mean that national historiographies can be ignored. Simply, it suggests that an international framework can strengthen more traditional national historiographies.
Arthur T. Pierson, The Crisis of Missions, 1886, pp. 273-4 Pierson's dramatic statement is indicative of the urgency with which missionary supporters pursued their goals of a revitalized missionary movement in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, Pierson entitled his book The Crisis of Missions to underline the sense of immediacy he thought was essential to the missionary movement. Another missionary supporter, Rev. Josiah Strong, used the same mixture of urgency and opportunity in Our Country: Its Possible Future and Present Crisis (1885).