Ministry at Arms Length: Asian Americans in the Racial Ideology of Mainline American Protestants (1882-1952)

Team Members/Contributors

Timothy Tseng Union Theological Seminary Contact Me

About this dissertation fellowship

I propose to investigate the relationships between American racial ideology towards Asian-Americans and the policies and activities or mainline Protestant Home Missions Boards between 1882 and 1952. This dissertation will examine a neglected area in the study of American Protestantism, namely the impact of American perceptions of Asians on the development of mission policies and activities towards Chinese and Japanese Americans. This study is especially pertinent today, in light of the increasing presence of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States and the persistent misunderstandings of them on the part of other Americans. The significance of the period to be studied emerges from the fact that revolutionary changes in Asia and the climax and gradual decline of Protestant dominance in America occurred between 1882 and 1952. I shall approach this investigation by examining the periodicals, reports, and correspondences produced by home mission hoards in relation to Asian American work. I will also explore the lives, thoughts, and activities of the missionaries to Asian Americans. I plan to divide the dissertation into the following six sections: 1. Introduction: The Problem of Race and Ethnicity in the History of Missions; 2. The Gospel of Gentility Revisited (l882-1924); 3. Reticent Evangelism - Japanese American Missions (1902 1924); 4. Missionary Disillusionment and Total Exclusion (1924-1941); 5. The Yellow Peril and the Transformation of the American Protestant Home Missions Enterprise (1942-1952); 6. Conclusions.

Image Title Year Type Contributor(s) Other Info
  Ministry at Arm's Length: Asian Americans in the Racial Ideology of Mainline American Protestants, 1882-1952 1994 Dissertation Timothy Tseng