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Ultimate Concerns features interviews and discussions with religion experts about their research. Insights from these discussions are applied to contemporary cultural and political questions. Topics are related to many different religions (such as Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism) and methods of study (such as literary studies, history, theology, and philosophy). Ron Mourad, professor of religious studies at Albion College, hosts the show.

Jun 14, 2018

Robert McMullen was working as a Presbyterian missionary in eastern China when Japan invaded the country in 1937. His letters describing the chaotic period that followed are presented in a new book by Charles Bright and Joseph Ho. Its title is War and Occupation in China: The Letters of an American Missionary from Hangzhou, 1937-1938. I ask Bright and Ho about their book in this episode.

We discuss the goals and methods of American Protestant missionaries in modern China, with a special focus on McMullen’s career. Then we explore McMullen’s attempts to mediate between the Chinese residents of Hangzhou and the occupying Japanese forces during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Last, we touch on some contemporary topics raised by McMullen’s experience, including public memory of Christian missions in China and the ingredients necessary for religious communication between cultures.

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