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Kinesernas vänner : en analys av missionens berättelse som ideologi och utopi

Claesson, Anna Maria LU (2001)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Den här avhandlingen, vars kontext är staden Jönköping – känd som Smålands Jerusalem – och dess omnejd, vill besvara frågan: Hur utformades och användes berättelsen om missionen i Kina för att åstadkomma och upprätthålla missionsvänskapets hängivenhet? Det var vid skiftet mellan 1880- och 1890-talen, under växande arbetslöshet, bostadsnöd och fattigdom, med konfrontationer mellan olika tankestilar i samhället, som intresset för mission i Kina väcktes. Bland unga missionsvänner i staden formades en tankestil som pekade ut Kina som kallelselandet och den gav en bild av ett Kina som hade öppnat sina dörrar för mission, av en kines som efterfrågade budskapet och av en mission som snart skulle vara... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Den här avhandlingen, vars kontext är staden Jönköping – känd som Smålands Jerusalem – och dess omnejd, vill besvara frågan: Hur utformades och användes berättelsen om missionen i Kina för att åstadkomma och upprätthålla missionsvänskapets hängivenhet? Det var vid skiftet mellan 1880- och 1890-talen, under växande arbetslöshet, bostadsnöd och fattigdom, med konfrontationer mellan olika tankestilar i samhället, som intresset för mission i Kina väcktes. Bland unga missionsvänner i staden formades en tankestil som pekade ut Kina som kallelselandet och den gav en bild av ett Kina som hade öppnat sina dörrar för mission, av en kines som efterfrågade budskapet och av en mission som snart skulle vara framgångsrikt avslutad. Men de ungas föreställningar komplicerades då missionärerna kom ut på fältet. Den hemsända berättelsen kan förefalla motsägelsefull och svårtolkad. Med hjälp av tre tankefigurer – begreppet är sociologen Johan Asplunds – kunde jag ändå se ett mönster. En universalistisk människosyn, den kristna ”likaren”, och den möjliga metamorfosen uttryckte tillsammans, trots de ofta mörka skildringarna av ”hednavärldens suckan”, ett hopp och ett löfte: det fanns gemenskap över alla gränser mellan människorna på denna jord, det fanns godhet, eviga sanningar och rättvisa och slutligen, ondskan kunde genom gemensamma ansträngningar förvandlas och besegras. Men med svenskamerikanen och väckelsepredikanten Fredrik Fransons besök 1892 mötte Jönköpings missionsvänner en amerikansk väckelsefromhet av ett delvis nytt slag. Utmärkande för Franson var hans övertygelse om att Jesus återkomst var nära förestående. Ytterligare en tankefigur, Tidens slut, infördes i berättelsen. Kina blev det slagfält där den förutbestämda striden mot det Onda skulle utkämpas. Tankefiguren Tidens slut producerade hängivna soldater som inte skyggade för faran. Denna tids vedermöda var ju intet mot den härlighet som väntade. Snart var Jesus här! I kapitel 6 karaktäriserar jag missionsvännernas gemensamma föreställningsvärld om missionen i Kina, vilande i de fyra tankefigurerna, som en social fantasi. Mitt resonemang om den sociala fantasin och dess ideologiska och utopiska funktioner hämtar sin näring från filosofen Paul Ricoeur. Missionsvännen övertygades av en integrerande ideologi, buren av framför allt den kristna ”likarens” löfte om samhörighet, delaktighet, bekräftelse och utvaldhet. Men den sociala fantasin hade också en utopisk funktion. Den utforskade, kritiserade och pekade på andra vägar. Detta utnyttjades av de kvinnliga missionärerna (och faktiskt också av de manliga) för att spränga könsgränser, men också av oskolade ynglingar (och unga kvinnor) för att ta steget över klass- och bildningsgränser. Kapitel 7 vill utreda hängivenhetens betydelse för en plats, för staden Jönköping. Smålands Jerusalem var en integrerande social fantasi, ledande missionsvänner bar också på en utopi om ett universellt kristet Gemeinschaft. Men det fanns en inbyggd motsättning mellan de universella anspråken och en exkluderande kristen ”likare”. Trots det, hävdar jag, var missionens berättelse inte självklart en del av Västerlandets imperialistiska Kinabild. För missionen var världen förvisso kluven i två delar, men gränsen mellan kristen och hedning sammanföll inte med gränsen mellan kolonisatör och koloniserad. Hedendomen skar sitt skarpa snitt tvärs igenom alla världsliga ordningar. För många av Jönköpings fromma var missionen istället en resa till världen. Till skillnad från många andra berättelser som demoniserade, exotiserade eller förlöjligade det främmande, övade missionen också förmågan till inlevelse i andras liv. Namngivna människor, boende på andra sidan jordklotet, inneslöts i missionsvännernas vardagsliv och bönegemenskap. Missionens värld var en enda. (Less)
Abstract
This thesis intends to answer the question: How was the narrative of the mission in China formulated and used to engender and sustain the fervour of the friends of the mission in the 1890s? It was at this time, with growing unemployment, lack of housing, and of poverty – a time when new and challenging ideas emerge – that the interest in the missions to China awoke. The context of the missionary narrative in this thesis is the Swedish town of Jönköping, a place with a strong religious image and therefore often called “Småland’s Jerusalem”. How did a group of young men – members of the YMCA – shape and develop their thoughts in this troublesome time? In the self-contained manner of thought of the missionary movement's collective mind, the... (More)
This thesis intends to answer the question: How was the narrative of the mission in China formulated and used to engender and sustain the fervour of the friends of the mission in the 1890s? It was at this time, with growing unemployment, lack of housing, and of poverty – a time when new and challenging ideas emerge – that the interest in the missions to China awoke. The context of the missionary narrative in this thesis is the Swedish town of Jönköping, a place with a strong religious image and therefore often called “Småland’s Jerusalem”. How did a group of young men – members of the YMCA – shape and develop their thoughts in this troublesome time? In the self-contained manner of thought of the missionary movement's collective mind, the fervour and devotion was built upon the members' sense of belonging together, of everybody participating in the missionary work, and in the conviction of its feasibility and ultimate success. But the story sent home by the missionary was more complex and it may appear contradictory and difficult to interpret. With the help of four “figures of thought” – the concept was developed by the sociologist Johan Asplund – I have been able, however, to discover a pattern. Sometimes the narrative expressed the trusting hope of universalism and metamorphosis, sometimes Christian self-assurance and righteousness, sometimes the utopian Apocalypse. Thus the social imagination of the missionary movement – my arguments about the social imagination and its ideological and utopian functions derive from the philosopher Paul Ricoeur – created a communal structure of belonging and participation, and legitimised a sense of confirmation and selection. In this structure dwelled the fervour of the missionary movement. Here, an imperfect world and a complex narrative were held together, and within this structure one's own life became purposeful and valuable. But the social imagination also contains true utopian functions in Riceour's sense. The social imagination's utopian function of exploration, criticism and alternative solutions was for instance used by female missionaries (and, to be true, some male) to tear down the barriers between the sexes, but also by uneducated young men (and young women) to overcome barriers of class and education. Both groups challenged the regular social order, which in the 1890s was already reeling. The figure of thought’s universal view of humanity gave them the right, the possible metamorphosis the ability, and the Christian standard the confirmation of truth. With the help of the utopian promise, zealous workers were created willing to give the missionary cause their body and soul. The apocalyptic figure of thought, and a conviction of belonging to the Chosen, legitimised the leap, for some even made it necessary. Finally, the thesis discusses the importance and consequences of the fervour in one town, Jönköping. For many of pious in Jönköping, the missions were a journey towards a single, common world. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Bergquist, Magnus
organization
alternative title
The Friends of the Chinese. An Analysis of the Mission Narrative as Ideology and Utopia
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
universal Gemeinschaft, orientalism, utopia, ideology, social imagination, figure of thought, thought style, thought collective, apocalyps, Christian standard, metamorphosis, universal, fervour, narrative, Jönköping, Christian mission, China, History of the Christian church, Kristna kyrkans historia
pages
352 pages
publisher
Jönköpings läns museum
defense location
N/A
defense date
2001-10-26 10:15
external identifiers
  • Other:ISRN: LUHFDA/HFET- -01/1043/- -SE
ISBN
91-85692-43-3
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
100fd718-7627-437a-9041-572d07f6580e (old id 20285)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 10:44:18
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:04
@phdthesis{100fd718-7627-437a-9041-572d07f6580e,
  abstract     = {This thesis intends to answer the question: How was the narrative of the mission in China formulated and used to engender and sustain the fervour of the friends of the mission in the 1890s? It was at this time, with growing unemployment, lack of housing, and of poverty – a time when new and challenging ideas emerge – that the interest in the missions to China awoke. The context of the missionary narrative in this thesis is the Swedish town of Jönköping, a place with a strong religious image and therefore often called “Småland’s Jerusalem”. How did a group of young men – members of the YMCA – shape and develop their thoughts in this troublesome time? In the self-contained manner of thought of the missionary movement's collective mind, the fervour and devotion was built upon the members' sense of belonging together, of everybody participating in the missionary work, and in the conviction of its feasibility and ultimate success. But the story sent home by the missionary was more complex and it may appear contradictory and difficult to interpret. With the help of four “figures of thought” – the concept was developed by the sociologist Johan Asplund – I have been able, however, to discover a pattern. Sometimes the narrative expressed the trusting hope of universalism and metamorphosis, sometimes Christian self-assurance and righteousness, sometimes the utopian Apocalypse. Thus the social imagination of the missionary movement – my arguments about the social imagination and its ideological and utopian functions derive from the philosopher Paul Ricoeur – created a communal structure of belonging and participation, and legitimised a sense of confirmation and selection. In this structure dwelled the fervour of the missionary movement. Here, an imperfect world and a complex narrative were held together, and within this structure one's own life became purposeful and valuable. But the social imagination also contains true utopian functions in Riceour's sense. The social imagination's utopian function of exploration, criticism and alternative solutions was for instance used by female missionaries (and, to be true, some male) to tear down the barriers between the sexes, but also by uneducated young men (and young women) to overcome barriers of class and education. Both groups challenged the regular social order, which in the 1890s was already reeling. The figure of thought’s universal view of humanity gave them the right, the possible metamorphosis the ability, and the Christian standard the confirmation of truth. With the help of the utopian promise, zealous workers were created willing to give the missionary cause their body and soul. The apocalyptic figure of thought, and a conviction of belonging to the Chosen, legitimised the leap, for some even made it necessary. Finally, the thesis discusses the importance and consequences of the fervour in one town, Jönköping. For many of pious in Jönköping, the missions were a journey towards a single, common world.},
  author       = {Claesson, Anna Maria},
  isbn         = {91-85692-43-3},
  keyword      = {universal Gemeinschaft,orientalism,utopia,ideology,social imagination,figure of thought,thought style,thought collective,apocalyps,Christian standard,metamorphosis,universal,fervour,narrative,Jönköping,Christian mission,China,History of the Christian church,Kristna kyrkans historia},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {352},
  publisher    = {Jönköpings läns museum},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Kinesernas vänner : en analys av missionens berättelse som ideologi och utopi},
  year         = {2001},
}