China has long been a glittering jewel just out of reach of most evangelists, but some dare to reach for it. Karl Gutzlaff, was one who reached. This is his story. From his childhood in Germany during pietism's decline through the middle of the 19th century, Gutzlaff worked toward bringing the Gospel to the Chinese, and in doing so his influence reached far beyond where his footsteps fell. This highly researched and detailed book features an extensive 25-page bibliography of China missions that will be extremely useful in years to come to anyone interested in Gutzlaff, Asian missions, or Sino-Western relations.
Western evangelists have long been fascinated by China, a vast mission field with a unique language and culture. One of the most intrigued was also one of the most intriguing: Karl F. A. Gützlaff (18031851). In this erudite study Jessie Gregory Lutz chronicles Gützlaff's life from his youth in Germany to his conversion and subsequent turn to missions to his turbulent time in Asia. Lutz also includes a substantial bibliography consisting of (1) archival sources, (2) selected books, pamphlets, tracts, and translations by Gützlaff, and (3) books, periodicals, and articles. This is truly an important reference for any student of the history of China or missions.
"In this fine book, a worthy addition to a distinguished series, Jessie Lutz gives us the most insightful portrait yet of the enigmatic Karl Gützlaff genius, entrepreneur, salesman, charlatan, and missionary extraordinaire who with his indefatigable energy participated in every issue that arose during his twenty years in China. As a bonus, Lutz weaves the remarkable personal story of Gützlaff together with very astute discussion and analysis of many aspects of early Sino-Western relations between 1830 and 1860: trade and opium, China and the West's limited knowledge of each other, early Bible translations and the importance of language skills, foreign links with Chinese society, and dynamics of the foreign community itself. Opening China contains the accumulated wisdom of one of our very best and most respected China scholars."
Catholic Historical Review
"Here is a subtle, thorough, balanced, and scholarly assessment of an unusually energetic, gifted, and controversial China missionary. . . . The specialist and the generally interested will find much here to fascinate and provoke."
"This is clearly the most comprehensive work available on Gützlaff. . . . Fills a significant gap in mission historiography."
"Opening China is authoritative and full of insights, and it is highly readable from beginning to end. It should be essential reading for anyone interested in Chinese mission history and the early development of Sino-Western interactions."
"Lutzs compelling study of Gützlaff and his checkered contribution to the shaping of Sino-Western relations adds immensely to our understanding of the complex religious and political dynamics of this pivotal era."
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