One of the most violent episodes of China’s Boxer Uprising was the Taiyuan Massacre of 1900, in which rebels killed foreign missionaries and thousands of Chinese Christians. This first sustained scholarly account of the uprising to focus on Shanxi Province illuminates the religious and cultural beliefs on both sides of the conflict and shows how they came to clash.
Although Franciscans were the first Catholics to settle in China, their stories have rarely been explored in accounts of Chinese Christianity. Anthony Clark remedies that exclusion and highlights the roles of Franciscan nuns and their counterparts among the Boxers—the Red Lantern girls—to argue that women’s involvement was integral on both sides of the conflict. Drawing on rich archival records and intertwining religious history with political, cultural, and environmental factors, Clark provides a fresh perspective on a pivotal encounter between China and the West.