Navigation – Plan du site

Understanding Early American Missionaries in Korea (1884-1910): Capitalist Middle-Class Values and the Weber Thesis

Dae Young Ryu
p. 93-117

Résumés

Les premiers missionnaires protestants en Corée étaient de jeunes Américains issus des classes moyennes. Cette origine sociale est confirmée par le fait que plus de 95 % d’entre eux provenaient des quatre principales dénominations protestantes. Ils étaient proches aussi du S.V.M. puissant organisme missionnaire lié aux classes moyennes. Or, pour comprendre ces missionnaires américains, il est important de comprendre ce qu’implique ce lien aux classes moyennes, notamment le goût du confort matériel et l’adhésion aux valeurs du capitalisme. De fait, durant leur séjour coréen, ces missionnaires ont reconstitué en miniature, une communauté et un style de vie typiques des classes moyennes américaines où ils pouvaient mener une vie tranquille et confortable. Ces missionnaires n’étaient pas seulement convertis au Christ mais aussi à l’esprit du commerce et de la société industrielle. C’est ainsi qu’ils ont su développer sur place le goût des produits américains et s’en faire les pourvoyeurs. Beaucoup se sont ainsi engagés dans des activités lucratives au prix de conflits avec les commerçants indigènes. L’emprise des valeurs capitalistes sur ces missionnaires américains est étonnante. Grâce a Max Weber et a son analyse de l’attitude des Puritains de la Nouvelle Angleterre envers l’argent, on est mieux armé pour expliquer l’effet de l’évangile capitaliste des missionnaires sur les chrétiens de Corée.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

Turn-of-the-century American Foreign Missions and Middle Class

  • 1  J. Phillips Clifton, Protestant America and the Pagan World : The First Half Century of the Americ (...)

1The foreign missionary enterprise of the American Protestant Churches started in 1812 when eight young missionaries sailed for India. Better days followed its small beginning in the New England winter. In the early decades of the nineteenth century, the missionary enterprise was fueled by the growing economic strength of the republic and propelled by the dominance of evangelical Protestantism following the “Second Great Awakening.” Despite this promising start, however, a general decline characterized the decades after the middle of the century. In the early 1880s it appeared to many that the foreign mission organizations were facing a fate similar to many waning religious and voluntary societies that had mushroomed in the fertile early nineteenth-century American milieu. But from the late 1880s the statistics began to show a dramatic upward turn. The number of American foreign missionaries increased from 934 in 1890 to 5,000 at the turn of the century, and to 12,000 by the end of the 1920s.1

  • 2  John K. Fairbank, Assignment for the ’70’s,” American Historical Review, 74, Feb. 1969, pp 877-878 (...)
  • 3  This is a conclusion made or suggested by the following studies : Joan Jacobs Brumberg, “The Ethno (...)

2Scholars have attempted to explain this sudden surge of interest in foreign missions in various ways.2 However, as scholars recently realized, it is particularlybeneficial to understand the American Protestant missions of the period as predominantly a middle-class phenomenon. The missionaries’ middle-class background helps one understand their behavior in the mission field, which otherwise is often difficult to explain. Recent studies have revealed that the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions (SVM) and other mission organizations reflected many American middle-class values, including modern capitalist pragmatism, as well as late Victorian culture. The studies of minority groups, in particular, have confirmed this pervasiveness of middle-class culture within the missionary movement. Women constituents of foreign missions and black missionaries strenuously endeavored to transmit American middle-class culture to the missionized land without any serious intercultural sensitivity. In so doing, some scholars contend, they inadvertently reinforced the gender and racial status quo at home, while functioning in the mission field as cultural imperialists.3 The missionary enterprise, in this sense, must have functioned as a powerful tool of middle-class social control.

  • 4  See, for instance, the case of Newburyport, Massachusetts in Stephen Thernstrom, Poverty and Progr (...)
  • 5  Ibid., pp. 167-171.

3Compared to the antebellum era, post-Civil War America increasingly became a class-stratified and class-conscious society. By the 1880s, the social pyramid of most American cities was settled.4 If the preindustrial missionary enterprise was fundamentally an expression of religious, moral enthusiasm of the emerging middle class, its post-Civil War version was intrinsically linked to the process of social, economic, and political consolidation of the middle-class establishment. This difference largely explains the revitalization of the missionary cause in the late nineteenth century. Three key elements of the turn-of-the-century missionary enterprise – managers, supporters, and missionaries – were determined by middle-class men and women and their methods and values. The reinvigoration of missionary organizations, being part of the rapid proliferation of new middle-class voluntary associations, reflected the disruption of older institutions and profound changes in American society.5

4A popular assumption is that many missionaries were social misfits who mainly due to their less fortunate odds, or due to eccentric religious enthusiasm, decided to get out of the American mainstream. To the contrary, most missionaries were children of “comfortable circumstances.” The majority of them were from middle-class families of the emerging Midwestern industrial centers, especially theGreat Lakes area. More than anything else, educational requirements systematically blocked youths of poor families from applying to be missionary candidates.

  • 6  George Heber Jones, “Qualification and How to Apply”, George Heber Jones Papers, Missionary Resear (...)
  • 7 Parker, op. cit., pp. 177-78 ; Rabe, op. cit., pp. 73-77.

5As a rule, a college education was required for candidates of most major missionary organizations. According to George Heber Jones, former missionary in Korea and a secretary of the Methodist Episcopal Board in the 1910s, missionary candidates should have a broad general education as a foundation plus additional training of a technical character. For general missionaries a college education and additional higher training – theological or professional – was required. In the case of missionaries who would work at primary or secondary schools, persons without college educations, but with exceptional field experience and credentials, could be considered. Likewise, women missionaries should have “at least” high school education or its equivalent.6 Families in the upper social stratum, however, were unwilling to send their children overseas for religious purposes. Therefore, the vast majority of missionaries were recruited from newly established small, denominational colleges for middle-class families, while the less-educated children of poor families and upper-class youths at elite institutions participated much less.7

Middle-Class Character of American Missionaries in Korea

  • 8 Hutchison, op. cit. p. 128.

6Some of these educated young men and women from comfortable middle-class families became American missionaries in Korea. Probably due to the limited size and importance of the land, four American mainline mission boards, namely, northern and southern Presbyterians and their Methodist counterparts, constituted an oligopoly. No mission field, perhaps except Brazil, was so much dominated by America’s mainstream Protestantism as Korea (Table 1).8 This interesting phenomenon formed the distinctive character of the American missionary community in Korea, which reflected America’s middle-class values as well as evangelical religious beliefs. The middle-class background of American missionaries in Korea is well demonstrated by the impressive fact that more than 95 percent of them were children of mainline denominations (Table 2). Mainline mission boards, as compared to many minor, independent agencies that maintained less application requirements, recruited missionaries from middle-class families that formed the backbone of these white, Protestant denominations.

Table 1 – The Total Number of Protestant Missionaries in Korea, 1884-1910.

Table 1 – The Total Number of Protestant Missionaries in Korea, 1884-1910.

(*) Indicates approximate numbers.

NP=Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); NM=Methodist Episcopal Church; SP=Presbyterian Church (U.S.); SM=Methodist Episcopal Church, South; AP=Australian Presbyterian Church; CP=Canadian Presbyterian Church; CE=Church of England; Others include Salvation Army, Oriental Missionary Society, Seventh Day Adventists.

Sources: Harry A. Rhodes, History of the Korea Mission Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.., 1884-1934 (Seoul: Chosen Mission, Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., 1934), 625-32; Sophie Montgomery Crane, comp., Missionary Directory (Atlanta: Division of International Mission, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 1987, 59-77; J. S. Ryang, ed., Southern Methodism in Korea: Thirtieth Anniversary (Seoul: Board of Missions, Korea Annual Conference. Methodist Episcopal Church. South, [1929]), 9-13; Seungtae Kim and Hyejin Bak, Naehan Seongyosa Chongram, 1884-1894 [A Directory of Protestant Missionaries to Korea] (Seoul: Institute for the Study of the History of Christianity in Korea, 1994).

Table 2 – The Number of New American Missionaries in Korea.

Table 2 – The Number of New American Missionaries in Korea.

(*) Indicates approximate numbers. NP=Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); NM=Methodist Episcopal Church; SP=Presbyterian Church (U.S.); SP=Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

Another indication of the middle-class background of American missionaries to Korea is their close ties with the Student Volunteers Movement (SVM). The SVM was the primary incubator, nurse, educator, and promoter of the American foreign missionary enterprise of the time. An understanding of the SVM is particularly pertinent for the study of American missionaries in Korea. Korea missionaries were actively involved in the quadrennial international conventions of the SVM and in various SVM-affiliated missionary organs. More important, a vast majority of American missionaries to Korea were either influenced by or actually recruited at those meetings. According to an estimate, during the period of 1905-1909, for instance, a total of 135 new American missionaries sailed for Korea, and 81 of these were SVM volunteers (Table 3). The percentage of the SVM volunteers among the American missionaries in Korea may have been even higher in earlier years when the four boards practically monopolized the missionary enterprise in Korea. Of greater significance is the fact that virtually all SVM-recruited American missionaries belonged to four major mission boards in Korea. Since the big four boards were chiefly responsible for the opening and successful operation of the Korea mission field, these facts testify to the close relationship between the SVM, American mainstream Protestantism, and Korea missions.

Table 3 – The SVM Volunteers among Korea Missionaries.

Table 3 – The SVM Volunteers among Korea Missionaries.

(*) Indicates approximate numbers.

This table is based on “Appendix A: List of Sailed Volunteers,” Students and the Present Missionary Crisis: Addresses Delivered before the Sixth International Convention of the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, Rochester, New York, December 29, 1909 to January 2, 1910, 513-32 (1910 was the first time that the SVM gave the list of the sailed volunteers in the report of its quadrennial international conventions) and the sources of Table 1.

7First organized in 1886, the SVM became the greatest contributor to the sudden burst of American interest in foreign missions since the late 1880s. It was, in fact, not a missionary agent; that is, it did not send, by itself, a single missionary. Nevertheless, through its prominent leaders, organizational and educational innovations, and, above all, through thousands of its recruits, who made up more than a half of all American Protestant missionaries during the period of its operation, the SVM set the stage and tone of the whole missionary enterprise. What made the SVM such a powerful machinery of foreign missions was its ability to appeal to America’s middle-class youths.

  • 9 Parker, op. cit. pp. 178-189 ; also see William E. Griffis, A Modern Pioneer in Korea : The Life St (...)

8The SVM’s mission advocates stirred restless, hard-working, success-driven, self-conscious youths of the middling sorts, by portraying missionaries as ambitious, responsible, and heroic people. Typically, middle-class youths were anxious about their socio-economic status: unlike their upper-class brethren they had little to rely on but themselves, yet, unlike the lower-class people, they were filled with the desire to advance to the upper social stratum. This status anxiety made them readily embrace the ideals of personal responsibility and hard work, and missionaries as the epitome of those values. Many of the middle-class youths were also “conscience-stricken” Protestants. They were born in Bible-reading, praying homes and nurtured in Sunday schools. Then they were educated in Christian-“character”-building Protestant denominational colleges.9 The soul-searching religious environment of these institutions would help students become anxious about their status before God.

  • 10  Yun to Candler, Oct. 24, 1895, Hyung-Chan Kim, ed., Letters in Exile : The Life and Times of Yun C (...)

9Due to requirements of education and practical experience, physical strength to endure hardships in the mission field, and the ability to learn local language, most new missionaries were between twenty-five and thirty years of age. No surprise, then, that these middle-class American youths, fresh from a theological seminary or a medical college, did not really know what life in a “primitive” land would be like. Many came with a “misconception or underestimation” of the harsh life conditions in Korea.10 They had to succumb to the new environment. Nevertheless, most of them endeavored to retain their American middle-class lifestyle.

  • 11  Henry G. Appenzeller to D. A. Sonders, May 15, 1885 ; Appenzeller to A. M. Viven, June 27, 1885, H (...)

10In order to live the safe and comfortable life of the American middle class, American missionaries in the Far East found that they had to build their own community separate from the nationals. Usually within the foreign concession, a section of the open port set aside exclusively for foreigners, missionaries created the missionary compound and endeavored to make it “a miniature America.” The site chosen was usually a choice piece of land overlooking the whole city or bay. In such conspicuous locations they built picturesque European-style houses, or thoroughly renovated useful native houses, spacious and good-looking, that once belonged to wealthy Koreans. The interiors of these missionary houses were filled with Western furniture, carpets and curtains, blankets and bedding, utensils, and other household items, which were shipped directly from America. The ground was also decorated with a lawn, flower beds, vegetable gardens, and bushes and trees, many species unknown to the nationals. Compared to Korean residences of the town, the mission compound was, wrote Arthur Brown, “like an oasis in the desert, clean, comfortable, and well-kept.” To many new missionaries, whose enthusiasm was much abated at the discouraging first sight of the mission field, the discovery of such a missionary residence was surely, to quote Lillias Underwood, “a great and delightful surprise.”11

11There, in the oasis, American missionaries could make themselves feel practically in an American city. They ate imported food, from sugar and flour to cured meat, with European silverware on an American table. From nails to wallpaper, their houses were built of many imported materials. All sorts of Western machinerysaved their time and energy. But they also were able to enjoy perhaps the greatest luxury under the circumstances, that is, family.

  • 12  Moore to Ellinwood, Oct. 30, 1893, Jan. 6, 1895, Board of Foreign Missions, Presbyterian Church in (...)
  • 13  Annie Baird to “Gussie,” April 12, 1894, Annie Baird Papers.

12In a strictly financial sense, family was basically, according to Samuel Moore, “an incumbrance” and children were “expensive luxuries” in a faraway land like Korea.12 Nonetheless, no other community in the foreign settlement could afford children as routinely as American missionaries did. In 1892, for instance, the American community in Korea had nineteen children, and eighteen of these were of missionaries. The only exception was the daughter of the American minister. There were, of course, American merchants, consular officers, and employees of the Korean government, but none of these could afford a family life in Korea. This situation did not change even after American mining and other companies were later opened and more Americans entered the land. In contrast to most fellow countrymen, American missionaries could have “everything” they needed to make them “comfortable and happy.”13

  • 14  George W. Gilmore, Korea From Its Capital, with a Chapter on Missions, Philadelphia, Presbyterian (...)

13Missionaries also endeavored to duplicate other important ingredients of American middle-class life such as playing sports and forming social clubs. Tennis, a new sport of middle-class private clubs in America, was most popular. Many compounds had “excellent” tennis courts, and missionary wives, acting as hostesses, invited their colleagues to make the afternoon enjoyable. The popularity of tennis was such that some were critical that missionaries devoted too much time to playing tennis. All kinds of outings, including outdoor picnics and explorations, were popular. More adventurous men would go up to some of the numerous Korean hills to shoot game and return with abundant prey.14 When outdoor activities were not desirable, American missionaries gathered at a parlor and chatted, sipping a luscious cup of coffee. For veteran missionaries these social gatherings were just part of their routine, meant to be a tonic for their otherwise monotonous life in “the desert.”

14Thus, American missionaries lived in Korea almost exactly like middle-class people in America. Most key ingredients of American middle-class culture existed in the mission compound: Missionaries were salaried professionals, lived at a good house in a safe and comfortable residential area, had family and pleasant neighbors, formed social clubs, and even could enjoy a sport.

  • 15  William F. Sands, Undiplomatic Memories, New York : Whittlesey House, 1930, pp. 93-94.
  • 16  Angus Hamilton, Korea, New York, Scribner’s, 1904, p. 264 ; Walter C. Hilier, “Preface,” Bishop, 3 (...)

15American missionaries, to quote an American diplomat in Korea, “were trying to live American lives as nearly as possible.”15 To be fair to missionaries, it should be mentioned that a few American diplomats and political advisers to the Korean government also had spacious houses, where they lived comfortably with their families. But their number was always less than a handful, and hardly any businessman could afford such a luxury. By contrast, American missionaries “as a class” had large families, who lived, to the critical eyes of British journalist Angus Hamilton, in comparative “idleness and luxury” and owned “the most attractive and commodious houses” in the foreign settlements.16 Annie Laurie Baird conceded:

  • 17  Mrs. William Baird [Annie Laurie Baird], “The Relation of the Wives of Missionaries to Mission Wor (...)

Compared with the Vanderbilts we live in a humble, not to say mean, way. Compared with the bulk of our constituents at home we live in, to say the least, the greatest ease and comfort. Compared with the people who, we have come to serve, we live like princes and millionaires.17

  • 18  Information on salaries are from : Underwood to Ellinwood. Feb. 18, 1889 ; Graham Lee to Ellinwood (...)

16Although data on income in this period are scarce, available sources suggest that Korea missionaries fared quite well. A single American missionary, either Presbyterian or Methodist, received an annual salary of between $700 and $900, while a married couple earned $1,100-1,200 per annum, with additional allowance for children. Since many missionaries had several children, it was not uncommon for them to receive about $2,000 in salary and other allowances. Missionaries in Korea earned as much as ministers in the United States (Table 4). By contrast, the average annual income of American wage and salary earners at this time never reached $700 (Table 5). The American minister’s salary was about $1,500 per year and his secretary received about two-thirds of that amount.18

Table 4 – Average Salary of American Minister (1906).

Table 4 – Average Salary of American Minister (1906).

Source: Bureau of the Census (1910, vol. 1), 94-97, quoted in Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, The Churching of america, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992), 156.

  • *  This appears to be a fair indication of American workers’ income at the turn of the century. As Ta (...)

17Table 5 – The Average Annual Earnings of American Employees [Value at Price of 1913]*.

Source: Willford I. King, et al., Income in the United States: Its Amount and Distribution, 1909-1919, New York, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1921, pp. 98-104.

  • 19  Baird to Ellinwood, Aug. 29, 1894, NPR ; Gale to Ellinwood, Nov. 22, 1895, NPR. For a case of priv (...)

18The missionary wages did not change much. However, that does not necessarily mean that missionaries’ real income decreased through the period. National statistics show that American employees’ wages in general and the purchasing power of these wages did not undergo any radical change (Table 6). Furthermore, missionaries, unlike most American workers, did not need to worry about housing – otherwise the biggest chunk of expenditures. That is, missionary houses were built and owned by the board and provided to missionaries free of charge. In case a missionary was allowed to build a house with his own private fund, the board paid him rent. For some, their salary was never enough, but to many thoughtful missionaries the financial reward was more than sufficient.19

Table 6 – Wages and Purchasing Power of American Employees.

Table 6 – Wages and Purchasing Power of American Employees.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1911, n° 34 Washington (D.C.), Government Printing Office, 1912, p. 272. Statistical Abstract began including information on labor and wages in 1907. A similar statistics is found in U.S. Department of Commerce, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1957: A Statistical Abstract Supplement Washington (D.C.) Bureau of the Census, 1960, pp. 132-133, 139.

  • 20 Hamilton, Korea, op. cit., p. 264 ; Brown, “Reading Journey”, op. cit., p. 527 ; L. Underwood, Top- (...)

19The Korea missionary was obviously better off than his competitors from other Western countries. Angus Hamilton said in 1904 that the American missionary earned a salary which frequently exceeds £200 (or $1,000) per year plus other allowances. In comparison, the male English missionary received £70 per head per annum, and the woman worker’s provision was one-third of this. Another source recorded that married Canadian Presbyterian missionaries received $750 per year. It was a time when an average male Korean manual worker’s wage was no more than twenty cents per day. The Korean helper, whom each American missionary engaged in evangelistic work was allowed to employ, received five dollars a month. This man devoted his whole time on evangelism, especially in the hinterland where missionaries seldom visited, and his salary was enough to support a family. But most Korean evangelists were rarely paid any salary, even by the Koreans.20

  • 21  See L. Underwood, Top-Knots, p. 33 ; Bishop, p. 65 ; Heard to SS, Jan. 16, 1893, DD ; Allen to SS, (...)
  • 22  Bishop, p. 65 ; also see Allen to SS, May 22, 1902, DD ; Moffett to Ellinwood, July 24, 1890, NPR  (...)

20Nowhere are American missionaries’ relatively opulent lives suggested in a more revealing way than in comparisons with the lifestyles of French Catholic missionaries. Having entered Korea about a half-century before the arrival of American missionaries, that is, while Korea’s seclusion policy was in full sway, missionaries from the Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris had to work secretly in order to avoid brutal death. So they chose to live among the commoners, conforming themselves as nearly as possible to humble local life and customs so that in some cases they had “nearly forgotten their own tongue.”21 French missionaries distinguished themselves from American missionaries by working for, and identifying themselves with, the commoners in the interior. Most of them lived, to quote Isabella Bishop, a prominent British travel-writer, “in the wretched hovels of the people, amidst their foul surroundings, and shar[ing] their unpalatable food and sordid lives.”22

Creating an Appetite and Selling American Merchandise

21Evangelical Protestantism, the Korea missionaries’ religion, was America’s quasi-establishment – an unofficial national religion. As any religion of the establishment does, America’s Protestant religion supported the social, political, and economic ideologies of the middle class, the nation’s backbone. America’s white, middle-class evangelicals were, in consequence, converts not only to Christ, but also to the spirit of laissez-faire commercialism. Little surprise, then, that some American missionaries showed signs that they were indeed legitimate children ofmainstream America in all aspects of the word by engaging themselves in gainful activities.

  • 23  “Are Missionaries Worthy of Protection ?.” Foreign Missionary 42 (Oct. 1883), p. 190 ; Samuel P. H (...)

22“No average class of citizens,” argued a missionary organ in 1883, “is more likely to promote the development of international commerce than those who go forth to preach the Gospel, and thus to enlighten and elevate the masses of the people.” Turn-of-the-century Korea was a modernizing society where traditional religion was unable to adapt to the process. The most successful protagonist of Western culture in such a society was and will likely continue to be missionaries rather than diplomats and merchants.23 It is this role of Western protagonist that is perhaps one of the most important but unarticulated roles American missionaries played in Korea.

  • 24 Huntington, op. cit., p. 310.

23“Culture follows power,” Samuel Huntington held.24 Missionaries were people in possession of power. Their power, expressed in various ways, demonstrated the superiority of their culture. The American missionaries’ lifestyle, for instance, enabled them to afford and employ all sorts of labor-saving appliances and agricultural implements. It was natural that all these things, together with other Western goods they wore, ate, and used, were of immense interest to Korean observers. There were other Westerners, such as diplomatic and consular representatives, military men, and merchants, who would demonstrate their superiority through their possession and use of advanced industrial technology. But Western life was completely emulated by the American missionaries.

24American and European traders were solely devoted to introducing Western commodities in much more direct and aggressive ways than missionaries. However, they were seldom seen outside the Korean ports open to international trade. Treaty regulations prevented them from expanding business into the interior. The increasing number of Japanese merchants, after the Sino-Japanese War in particular, defied the treaty regulations and infiltrated the Korean interior. But the ancient antagonism between the two countries greatly limited the effectiveness of their presence among the Korean people. The Japanese had to wait until the whole peninsula fell under their political control.

  • 25  Arthur J. Brown, The Mastery of the Far East : The Story of Korean’s Transformation and Japan’s Ri (...)

25Being the primary beneficiary of extraterritorial rights, missionaries were the only Westerners during the period who began to reside in Korea’s interior permanently. As the nature of their work required, missionaries daily contacted with the nationals. They frequently invited the Koreans to their homes, often with some business intentions; that is, missionaries deliberately took advantage of the tokens of Western “civilization” to entice the Koreans. The marvelous things the Koreans saw and tasted in the missionary’s house were often their first exposure to such wonders. Soap, silver ware, watches, clocks, lamps, furnaces, glass windows, sewing machines, and other conveniences fascinated the Korean visitors. They were enraptured by the first taste of sugar and cookies. Missionaries would talk about American wonders like the steam-engine, elevators, the railway, and the telegraph. Then a preaching about a world far better than that would follow. Nonetheless, a taste for Western “civilization” was created and desire developed. Word spread like wildfire and Korean neighbors soon inquired about ways to acquire those wonderful articles.25

  • 26  Hillier, op.cit., p. 4.

26American traders quickly turned Koreans’ desire for American goods to commercial advantage and built up business interests. The missionaries, in this sense, were, to quote a British consul general, “explorers and pioneers of commerce.”26 American manufacturers and merchants were more indebted to their religious crusaders than perhaps they realized, or admitted, for the opening of new markets. The Korean interior was one of those remote places where American merchandise would never have penetrated other than through the introduction and the creation of a demand for it by missionaries.

  • 27  Thomas J. McCormick, China Market : America’s Quest for Informal Empire, 1893-1901, Chicago. Quadr (...)

27Despite such contributions on the part of the missionaries to the opening of commercial interests in the interior, American missionaries had a bad name among Western merchants at the Korean treaty ports. An obvious reason for this notoriety was the discrepancy between missionaries’ moral views and their comfortable lifestyles of which most non-religious Westerners could only dream. However, there was a more direct cause of enmity than jealousy resulting from a sense of relative depravity–moral and material–on the part of the merchants. That is, Western businessmen found unexpected rivals in the “pathfinders of God and Mammon.”27

28Not content merely to create demand for American merchandise, some missionaries wanted actually to supply it. When, for example, a Korean farmer saw his American missionary friend using labor-saving, productive farming equipment in the backyard, he would be impressed and want to get some himself. Or the missionary, seeing the primitive and clumsy tools his Korean neighbors were using, would begin to demonstrate how his “civilized” equipment would perform better. In most cases these were simple machinists’ tools, such as wrenches, screw drivers, and plows, but in other cases they were more advanced and expensive appliances. As the Koreans usually discovered those tools’ great usefulness, a demand would be created. Thinking that he was accomplishing a humanitarian purpose, the missionary would then meet the demand for the equipment. American traders were not readily available in the interior. Besides, it was easy for the missionary to import tools from America by sending an order through personal connections or directly to the manufacturer.

  • 28 Sands, op. cit., p. 94.

29Products desired in the interior were often useless in the open ports. More than likely, upon receiving orders from the interior, the manufacturer in America would ask the regular agent at the port if he could transfer his agency to the person in the interior who could sell – a missionary, in this case. This, in turn, would spawn bitter, and rather unreasonable, condemnation of missionaries in general by the merchants.28 It is likely, however, that the missionary did not realize that, in importing goods by himself, he deprived his commercial brother of his agency commission. The problem was that some of these “humanitarian” commercial practices became quite sizable and aroused merchants.

  • 29 Hamilton, op. cit, p. 263.

30The source of even greater scandal was that some missionaries were actively engaged in trade for monetary gains, in some cases even snatching the very things for which the merchant had painstakingly established a trade. Their commercial activities became such that in the eyes of a British critic American missionaries in Korea made “a factor of considerable commercial importance.” He even suspected that they “were formerly closely associated with the more important export houses in the leading industrial centers of America.”29 This accusation is not supported by any available source. However, it certainly is an indication of the magnitude of missionary trade and the suspicion it hatched in the critical observer’s mind.

  • 30  Allen to Ellinwood, June 6, 1899, NPR.

31It was bad business, for the merchants who had to make a living from the trade could not compete with these salaried agents. This missionary practice annoyed the merchants “exceedingly.” Walter Townsend, a Boston trader in Korea, for instance, was “so angered by this missionary agency business... that he wrote in such a strong manner to his mother as to cause her to cease her very considerable annual subscription to the cause of missions.” He then brought the matter to the American legation. Knowing that the matter was very sensitive, the American minister at first attempted to discourage the accused missionaries by privately speaking to them. But he found that the matter could not be solved in that way. As American merchants, as well as those of other nationalities, had made many complaints of the missionaries’ business practice, the American minister felt obliged to call attention to it in a more public way.30

32In his 1897 “Report of the Trade of Korea,” prepared in the spring of 1898, U.S. Minister Horace Allen, in his capacity as consul general, criticized:

  • 31  Quoted in Independent, Aug. 16, 1898.

[A] very reprehensible custom had grown up among [the missionaries] of taking agencies for certain lines of goods, to the detriment of our merchants. Having their living assured and having no expenses, they can, of course, undersell the regular merchants. This causes much friction and brings the missionaries under the suspicion of too great interest in acquiring a money profit. I am sure the practice works to the injury of the mission cause.31

  • 32  “The Trade Report of the United States Consul-General”, Korean Repository 5, Aug. 1898, pp. 305-30 (...)
  • 33  Independent, Aug. 20, 1898.

33This report flared into a whirlwind of controversy. As soon as Allen’s report was published in the State Department’s “Advanced Sheets of Consular Reports,” the Independent, an English-language newspaper published chiefly by American-educated Korean Christians in Seoul, carried part of it. The troublesome paragraph on missionaries was, of course, quoted verbatim. The editors of the Korean Repository also printed the report with a comment: “the missionary should not from the standpoint of his calling go into secular business for the money there is in it and we think there are very few who do.”32 Immediately, a “surprised and grieved missionary” responded to the Independent article, calling for explanation.”33

  • 34  On paid medical practice, see Allen Diary, Feb. 20, March 18, March 22, March 27, March 31, April (...)
  • 35  Allen to John M. Moore, Feb. 25, 1898, CD.

34It was ironic that Allen was in the position of a prosecutor. The fact is that Allen was not only the first Protestant missionary who resided in Korea, but also the very person who started missionaries’ gainful activities. In order to make “alittle extra money,“ Allen provided extracurricular medical services to most foreign legations in Seoul. He also collected a large quantity of Korean pottery and artifacts, and endeavored to receive a gold mine concession.34 At any rate, Allen’s intention in publicly criticizing missionaries’ “trading propensities” reportedly was that “the better class of missionaries will frown upon and discourage the custom.”35

  • 36  Independent, Aug. 23, 1898.
  • 37  Lillias Underwood, With Tommy Tomkins in Korea, New York, Fleming H. Revell, [1905], pp. 249-250 ; (...)

35When the charge was publicly made and concerned people began calling for “the facts,” nobody was more anxious than the involved missionaries themselves. “Some of the most guilty ones” rushed into print on the subject in defense of their activities. The most articulate response came from Horace G. Underwood, about whose mercantile tendencies loud complaints had been made. His strong character as well as his position as a pioneer missionary, put him in a position to defend his practice.36 American Minister Allen who knew Underwood’s history of meddling in business was stunned. Underwood kept a bank account in Shanghai, in his wife’s word, “for convenience in trading.”37 It was, in fact, Underwood’s attempts to get out a cargo of kerosene, coal, and the like that actually triggered this controversy.

36Having read Underwood’s and other similar apologetics, Townsend counter-punched the missionaries’ defense by revealing a letter his company had received from the American Trading Company, a New York-based firm associated with Townsend & Co.:

  • 38  William H. Stevens [Treasurer of the ATC] to Townsend & Co., Feb. 25, 1898, enclosed in Allen to M (...)

We [i.e., ATC] have received a letter from the estate of P. D. Beckwith, who manufacture Round Oak stoves informing us that they have received letters from the Rev. Eugene Bell of Seoul, Korea, who requests them to send him full particulars, regarding their stoves, and offering his services as their agent in Korea. We have also received a letter from Mr. Archer B. Hulbert of Seoul, making the same request. Both of these gentlemen state that they are satisfied considerable business could be worked up in Korea in their stoves, and we will ask you to secure their orders, (provided they have any), as Messers. Beckwith informed both of the gentlemen referred to, that we were acting for them in the East.38

37In disclosing the letter in the Independent, they omitted the names of Bell and Hulbert, but attached Vice U.S. Consul General William F. Sands’s certification that the quotation, when compared with the original, was found correct, with the omission of names. Although Archer Hulbert, younger brother of the Methodist missionary Homer B. Hulbert, was not himself a missionary, Eugene Bell was a clerical missionary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.). Following the quotation, Townsend added that it was only “one of several similar cases that have unfortunately come to our attention.” As he insisted, stoves could not be imported but through his firm, the exclusive agent for the manufacturer in Korea. Given the fact that their friends had bought stoves from the Townsend & Co., it is certain that Bell and Hulbert were aware of this.

38There are no further records showing how this controversy finally came to an end. The only other time that missionary trade was officially mentioned was in the 1900 report. There Allen gave a very different view of the matter:

  • 39  Allen to Ellinwood, June 7, 1900, NPR.

The Mission work is remarkably successful. Our people have abstained from meddling with politics.... In some cases, without going into merchandizing the missionaries have introduced simple but improved farming implements, such as plows, to the great advantage and profit of their people and the possible creation of a demand for such goods.39

39This rosy report actually justified missionaries’ trade. What brought about this sudden change? It is manifest that some missionaries did not stop doing business after Allen’s 1897 report.

  • 40  Ibid.

40This report should be understood in the context of an article in the New York Sun. It was an article written by “a representative of the State Department,” in which "wholesale charges [were] made against missionaries.” Knowing that he would be a strong suspect, Allen immediately washed his hands by declaring that he did not know of the existence of the article, not to mention its author and the source of information. He explained “in self defense” to the Presbyterian Board that whenever he had to make a complaint about missionaries’ commercial activities, he had made it to the board secretary directly and not to anyone else.40 To prove his innocence, Allen even enclosed an extract of his confidential dispatch to the State Department. Of course, he cautioned the secretary to keep it only to himself. This circumstance leads one to suspect that what really changed was Allen’s position and not missionaries’ “trading propensities.” Curiously, the board never took any action against the accused missionaries either in 1898 or later.

  • 41  Allen to Ellinwood, Jan. 6, 1899, NPR ; Bunker to Leonard, July 6, 1909, Missionary Collection, Ge (...)
  • 42  Bunker to Leonard, June 14, 24, 17, Aug. 11, 1910, Merryman C. Harris to Leonard, Oct. 6, 1911, Em (...)
  • 43 Hamilton, op. cit, pp. 263-265 ; “Fruit in Wonsan”, Korean Repository 5, Feb. 1898, pp. 76-77.
  • 44 Hamilton, op. cit., p. 265.
  • 45  For the situation and nature of the rumors see Weems, op. cit., pp. 49-50. For previous problems r (...)
  • 46  Allen to Hay, May 26, 1903, DD ; Allen to Lee, May 25, 1903, enclosed in idem ; cf. C. A. Kearns t (...)

41Missionaries’ gainful activities continued in the following years. Sometime in 1906 Presbyterian Cadwallader C. Vinton, who had previously caused much sensation by importing as many as one hundred “cheap” sewing machines, again frustrated the missionary community by his irresponsible wallpaper business.41 Charles Loeber of Methodist Episcopal Mission did private business with parties outside the mission with the mission funds.42 A missionary in Seoul “inconsiderately”provided his property for paid lodging.43 Some spent a great deal of time writing about Korea in order to publish articles in commercial newspapers and journals in America. So much so that a critic got the impression that “[a]s a class [the American missionaries] are necessarily newspaper correspondents and professional photographers.”44 Recurrent rumors claimed that Homer B. Hulbert was becoming wealthy through his real estate transactions. American minister Allen, who once had a hard time solving a problem occasioned by one of Hulbert’s suspicious real estate transactions, labeled him as “somewhat given to real estate speculation.”45 In early 1903, the northern Presbyterian missionaries at the city of Pyeongyang illegally cut and brought 2,800 large logs of timber on the Yalu river. The American minister, after settling the matter, reported to Washington that “they have certainly gone into the timber business on a large scale.”46

  • 47  Hamilton, op. cit., p. 264.

42Judging from their official correspondence with the missionaries, the boards appear not to be much bothered by some missionaries’ desire for more money. In fact, it was not clear, to quote a critic, “whether it is with the permission of the executive officers of the American Mission Boards that their representatives combine commerce with their mission to the heathen.”47 One probable explanation for boards’ silence on their agents’ gainful activities would be the fact that missionaries’ involvement in business was not so rampant as critics wanted to portray. Or board executives might have thought that the practice was simply tolerable unless it gained public notoriety or the missionary was charged with utilizing mission funds for business purposes.

  • 48  Appenzeller to Bunker, April 16, 1898, Appenzeller Papers
  • 49  Wells to Ellinwood, April 28, 1899, NPR.
  • 50  Appenzeller to Bunker, April 16, 1898, Appenzeller Papers

43A case in point is Dalzell Bunker’s case. In 1897, Bunker suddenly resigned from the Methodist Episcopal Mission. What actually shocked his missionary colleagues was not his unexpected resignation itself, but rather his reason. Bunker had accepted the American Mining Company’s lucrative offer and decided to leave the mission.48 Since missionaries were in general a well-trained work force, not otherwise easy to find in a remote area like Korea, some, especially medical workers, were constantly sought after by business circles. Lucrative financial offers, no doubt, were the major attractions. The Oriental Consolidated Mining Company, for instance, wanted to obtain James H. Wells’s medical service and “repeatedly made [him] flattering financial offers.” They were willing to furnish his entire missionary salary if he would give a quarter of his time to them.49 Wells had to refuse to accept the offer due to his colleagues’ strong opposition. But in other cases missionaries chose Mammon over God. Joseph W. Nolan of the southern Presbyterian Mission, for instance, resigned from the mission even before finishing his first term and accepted a position at an American mining company.50

  • 51  Ibid. ; Jones to Smith, Dec. 8, 1899, MR.

44Despite his colleagues’ pleas that he reject the offer. Bunker worked for the mining company for about one year and six months. Then Bunker terminated the contract because of the company’s demand that he work on Sundays; he wanted to rejoin the mission. Some diehard missionaries must have contended that he had already “undone” himself as a missionary. However, others were willing to accept him back. The Methodist Episcopal Mission recommended him to the board, saying that his voluntary work among the Korean miners showed the first example of “a self-supporting missionary.” The board reinstalled him, and he soon became the chair of the mission’s finance committee.51

American Missionaries’ Gospel of Capitalism and Weber Thesis

  • 52  Paul A. Varg, Missionaries, Chinese, and Diplomats : The American Protestant Missionary Movement i (...)

45Widespread antagonism between American merchants and missionaries throughout the Far East, in this sense, was more than misunderstanding and distrust between the two groups of conflicting world-views and missions. A large part of it resulted, really, from the values they shared, that is, liberal-capitalist values. In fact, it was the money from businessmen that fueled the machinery of overseas missions. The Laymen’s Missionary Movement, the most successful financial campaign for the foreign mission movement, for instance, was basically an organization of middle-class businessmen. Besides, all major denominational mission boards had rich business leaders. John T. Underwood, President of the Underwood Typewriter, was a Presbyterian Board member, C. Edgar Welch, President of Welch Grape Juice, served on the Methodist Board, while J. Edgar Leaycraft, a prominent New York realtor, worked with the American Bible Society.52

  • 53  Reginald Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1981, pp. 272-30 (...)
  • 54  William A. Williams, Tragedy of American Diplomacy, New York, Random House, 1972, p. 63.

46Many foreign mission advocates, in fact, claimed that an expansion of trade, through the missionaries’ creation of demand, was one of the desirable results of foreign missions. Of note is that this claim was based on the Anglo-Saxonism of the time. America’s evolving race ideology reached a conclusion by the 1850s that American commercial penetration was a necessary means for the superior Anglo-Saxon race to bring Western Christian civilization to the backward races. It indicated that Anglo-Saxon universalism had finally flared into imperialism. Advocates of America’s economic expansion routinely defended it “as a moral as well as a commercial good.”53 Beginning in the mid-1890s, that is, when mainline foreign mission organizations were firmly in the hands of middle-class professionals, mission advocates began to encourage a liaison with economic expansionists.54 They would argue that the missionary enterprise was commercially beneficial as well as morally imperative.

  • 55  Arthur J. Brown, Mastery, op. cit., p. 471 ; Francis E. Clark, “Do Foreign Missions Pay ?”, North (...)
  • 56  Paul A. Varg, Missionaries, pp. 84-85 ; Rosenberg, op. cit., pp. 28-33. For an argument against th (...)

47Presbyterian Board’s Arthur Judson Brown held that foreign missions were a “reconstructive economic force.” Francis E. Clark of the United Society of Christian Endeavor claimed that foreign missions brought in the increase of export and "the widening of our empire.” Margherita Arlina Hamm, a prominent journalist and lecturer on the Orient, declared, certainly in a figurative sense, that "every missionary is a salesman for the manufactures of Christendom!”55 These appeals must have played a part in marshaling public support for the missionary crusade. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain why the American foreign mission enterprise, in the main, was concentrated on major potential markets such as China, Japan, India, and the Ottoman Empire.56 What Brown, Hamm, and many other people who emphasized the economic benefits of foreign missions might not have recognized was that some missionaries wanted to be salesmen, literally.

  • 57  Charles A. Clark, “Fifty Years of Mission Organization, Principles and Practice”," in Harry A. Rho (...)

48The money-seeking “propensities” of some American missionaries are at once puzzling and understandable in a way similar to their seventeenth-century spiritual ancestors’ attitude toward wealth. A comparison between foreign missionaries and New England Puritans is pertinent, because, despite many fundamental changes, there were meaningful continuities between the two. In addition to the fact that American missionaries in general were self-imposed carriers of the “errand into the wilderness,” those in Korea were known for their “notably conservative” theology and “Puritan-type” behavior.57 Most important, in the evangelical milieu of late-nineteenth– and early-twentieth-century America, not unlike the seventeenth-century world of New England Puritans, no social, political, or economic issue was without religious dimensions as well. In this sense, Max Weber’s often-misunderstood, often-abused, and always controversial thesis still helps.

  • 58  Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, tran. Talcott Parsons, London, G. Al (...)
  • 59  Michael H. Lessnoff, The Spirit of Capitalism and the Protestant Ethic : An Inquiry into the Weber (...)
  • 60 Weber, op. cit., p. 157. Similar points are made in Charles George and Katherine George, The Protes (...)

49Weber argued that the spirit of modern capitalism was born from the spirit of the Protestant, and especially Puritan, “inner-worldly asceticism.” To be exact, theProtestant doctrine of sanctification through every-day callings “unintentionally” brought forth a work ethic that propagated diligence in business and a profit ethic that legitimated the endless pursuit of profit.58 That is, the consciousness of the Protestant believer’s precarious status before God made him perpetually prove his spiritual worthiness through, in addition to being faithful in religious matters, flourishing in worldly dealings. The “ethos” of modern capitalism was thus created. A very common misunderstanding of the thesis is that the capitalist Protestant work ethic was a direct cause of modern capitalism. But what Weber really said was that the “ethos,” and not the system, of modern capitalism in Western Europe and North America during the late sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries was an entirely “unintentional” consequence of the Protestant ethic.59 As Weber himself acknowledged, however, examples of the condemnation of the pursuit of wealth may be cited without end from sixteenth– and seventeenth-century Protestant writings.60 The fact is, there was enough diversity among Protestant writings and not infrequently contradiction within a given writer’s position concerning profit-seeking, so that both Weber’s defenders and critics would have a full supply of supporting quotations.

  • 61  Gordon Marshall, Presbyteries and Profits : Calvinism and the Development of Capitalism in Scotlan (...)

50Social studies have also shown that actual lives of the Puritans were as ambiguous regarding monetary gains as their writings were. There is, on the one hand, historical evidence showing that early Calvinists promoted capitalist forms of commercial enterprise. Seventeenth-century Scottish Calvinists and Puritans at Tudor Lancashire and Essex county, England, were examples of this case. On the other hand, there are also indications that Puritans found themselves in a much precarious position within the world increasingly saturated with the spirit of capitalism. Writings of Nehemiah Wallington, a seventeenth-century Puritan artisan in London and Puritans in Sussex, England, Dedham, Massachusetts, and Boston show that Puritans were either hostile to or equivocal about increasingly powerful capitalists.61

51The case of American missionaries in Korea does not seem to have been much different. On the one hand, it is feasible that their zeal for visible sanctification, for which missionaries were in general famous, had worked in such a way as Weber argued that it opened the door to the pursuit of worldly gains. Missionaries, if they wanted, could have a much better chance in business than Weber’s Puritans. Compared to seventeenth-century London and Boston, in which Puritans had to cope with an emerging capitalist society, the late-nineteenth-century American middle class, from which most Korea missionaries came, was a world drenched with the capitalist spirit. One can imagine, on the other hand, that missionaries’“Puritan-type” religion imposed such a moral surveillance over their behavior that they could not go astray. Considering their sense of responsibility and self-sacrifice, the injunctions to prove their spiritual worthiness in their regular callings, namely, the missionary work, appear to have become obsessions to most missionaries.

52Very revealing, in this sense, is the fact that in many profit-seeking missionaries one also finds people of deep religious convictions. Horace Underwood was at once one of the most enthusiastic and hard-working missionaries and one of the persons who had been most actively engaged in business. Cadwallader C. Vinton, the acquisitive businessman who had been involved in highly scandalous business transactions, was also the missionary of the “Puritan-type” religion who was enraged at the violation of the Sabbath by the Russian legation near his residence. Dalzell A. Bunker, who had betrayed his missionary colleagues in pursuit of more money by working for an American miner, returned to his mission in protest of the miner’s demand for him to work on the Sabbath. The actual connection between a capitalist spirit and a Protestant ethic in individual missionaries such as these three is as mysterious as exactly how ascetic Protestantism, albeit unintentionally, led to the modern capitalistic ethos.

  • 62  R. H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, Gloucester, MA : P. Smith, 1962 ; originally pu (...)

53In fact, the causal link between the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism is missing in the original Weber thesis itself. In other words, Weber did not prove how the Protestant anxiety about the uncertainty of salvation in front of the inscrutable majesty of God was a sufficient causal factor of the set of attitudes toward economic activity that sanctioned the pursuit of acquisition as an end itself. R. H. Tawney’s and Christopher Hill’s brilliant critiques showed that Weber downplayed the influence of socio-economic changes on Protestantism.62 Weber, and for that matter proponents of his thesis, was not able to elucidate the link. Interestingly enough, however, this lack of clarity does not necessarily prove the invalidity of the thesis. Causal explanations of the connection between one historical phenomenon and another are elusive and never fully explained, and thus a thesis can stand on the basis of strong plausibility. Likewise, the link between human actions and human beliefs defies any attempt to elaborate it. The relations among the motives, purposes, action, and results of human behavior are opaque and indeterminate. One can never fully explain the puzzling behaviors of, say, C. C. Vinton. Nonetheless, itis quite feasible that the nature of his secular-religious culture was such that it allowed him to be a gentleman, a zealot, and a profit-seeker at the same time.

  • 63  This point is adapted from Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed : The Social Origins (...)
  • 64  William K. B. Stoever, “A Fair and Easie Way to Heaven” : Covenant Theology and Antino-mianism in (...)

54There can hardly be any doubt that a majority of the American missionaries in Korea were solely devoted to their primary callings. Many missionaries, as shown above, criticized some of their colleagues’ business dealings. However, what is not commonly acknowledged was the fact that both critics and the criticized were children of the same religious and cultural spirit–just like missionaries and merchants came from the same American milieu and shared as much as they differed. The former were no more a group of self-denying Puritan divines than the latter were callous mercantile capitalists.63 In all likelihood, the American missionaries in Korea at the turn of the century were heirs of the New England Puritans–not in terms of their religion per se but in terms of the overwhelming sense of their “crusading exemplarism.”64

  • 65 Stoever, op. cit, pp. .184-191 ; Robert N. Bellah, The Broken Covenant : American Civil Religion in (...)

55Horace G. Underwood, after all, was not John Cotton, and neither was Dalzell A. Bunker a Cotton Mather. If the Puritans of Cotton’s and Mather’s world struggled to balance an earthly calling with a heavenly one, that dialectic of pious worldliness has been forgotten perhaps since Charles Finney. The genius of post-Second Great Awakening Protestantism lay in the fact that it emancipated believers from that ever-precarious balancing effort by locating sanctification in outward acts of specific obedience, thereby allowing them freely to engage in the world of laissez-faire economy.65 It was in this context that evangelical churches offered plenty of options for outward signs–voluntary societies mushroomed after the Second Awakening. Volunteering to be an overseas missionary was, in this sense, a demonstration of the highest form of religious piety; but there was no longer any inherent conflict between this obedience and bourgeois values.

56Koreans tended to think of “America’s religion” in relation to advanced Western science and technology and distinguish it from French Catholicism. American missionaries’ demonstration of middle-class lifestyle obviously reinforced this. Koreans “admire,” declared George Gilmore, “the comforts–to them these are the highest of luxuries–of the home life of” American missionaries. “They go home,” he fancied:

  • 66 Gilmore, op. cit., p. 316.

to ponder on the religion which takes hold of the present life of man and makes it more enjoyable. They mark our cheerful faces and our enjoyment of life, and wonder at the cause. They listen to the tales of the achievements of Western science.... When they realize that all this is the outcome and development of our religion, the practical value of Christianity makes a powerful appeal to them.66

  • 67  See, for instance, Gojong’s decree in The Ri Dynasty Annals of Korea, vol. 54, Kojong Sillok II (1 (...)

57This “practical value of” American religion was one of the reasons that the Korean government first made a treaty with the United States. King Gojong and his court throught that American missionaries, unlike French missionaries, were indifferent to politics and could bring benefits of Western civilization.67 This conviction was transmitted to the Korean populace.

  • 68 Korea Review (June 1901), enclosed in Allen to Hay, July 3, 1901, DD ; Ohlinger to Leonard, n.d., 1 (...)

58Koreans, like other church-goers anywhere in the world, came to the church for all sorts of reasons and motives. American missionaries’ impressive houses, comparatively luxurious life, strange clothes and appearance, among other things, attracted Korean inquirers. Many Koreans joined churches for food and money, for medicine, and for work. A very common question was: “Is there lots to eat in the Way?” or “How much do you pay me for believing in Jesus?” Some Koreans supposed the missionaries’ religion was a philosophy, fine and good, no doubt, which if adopted would bring them in touch with rich and influential foreigners, and find them speedy employment as language teachers and helpers. Some were interested in the Western education that missionary organizations offered and in the prestige that affiliation with missionaries brought. Many, knowing missionary churches were out of reach from the Korean government’s jurisdiction, also wanted to join the church to protect their property. The last two tendencies were particularly noticeable among the Korean middle class.68

  • 69  Moffett to Ellinwood, March 18, Oct. 20, 1890, NPR ; Sung Deuk Oak, “Chogi Hanguk Buk-gamrigyoui S (...)

59The missionaries’ emphasis on diligence, frugality, and hard work, as well as their teachings that praised honest worldly gains, gave a clear message especially to ambitious and motivated Koreans. Poverty, the almost universal condition of Koreans, just like drinking and smoking, increasingly became the prima facie evidence of sin, if not of ultimate probation. Interestingly enough, many American missionaries, including Samuel Moffett, saw that it was the “middle class of Koreans”–those freest from the moral and political decay of the kingdom–that would become the backbone of new Korea. American missionaries targeted “intelligent laboring people“ and “independent middle class.” These included merchants, lower government officials, clerks, technicians, and other professionals–mostly people at the middle of Korea’s traditional caste. Of course, missionaries welcomed people from lower and upper social strata. Nonetheless, they hoped that the emerging middle-class Koreans, just like they did in American churches, would become the driving force of the Korean churches. Missionaries observed Korea’s middle class to be as diligent and ambitious as they are.69

  • 70  See “Missionaries and the Far Eastern Question”, enclosed in Allen to SS, Sep. 15, 1900, DD ; Alle (...)

60One evidence that American missionaries’ capitalist gospel worked was the fact that better worldly conditions of the Korean Christians made them more liable to corrupt officials’ nefarious attention.70 To repeat, it is difficult to determine exactly how this capitalist gospel operated among the Korean Christians. Nevertheless, few can doubt that the missionaries’ capitalist gospel inspired many ambitious Koreans to join the church and led them to worldly success. This explains why middle-class Koreans, or the most motivated and pragmatic among the Koreans, became the mainstay of the Korean churches.

  • 71  Brown, “Reading Journey”, p. 502. For a good survey of foreign powers’ economic exploitation of Ko (...)
  • 72  Cf. Marilyn B. Young, The Rhetoric of Empire : America’s China Policy, 1895-1901, Cambridge, Harva (...)

61The irony was that Korean Christians were learning the capitalist spirit, while the Korean economy was collapsing under capitalist imperialism. One of the chief factors of the Korean economy’s failure was the unlimited influx of foreign merchandise. The Koreans were buying more and more foreign goods, many of which they used to produce themselves, whereas they had nothing to sell to balance these increasing imports. Furthermore, the customs office was under the influence of China and other foreign powers that successively held the upper hand over Korea. Therefore, it was inevitable that the Korean government could not fully secure tariff revenue.71 As creators of wants for American products, Korea missionaries, as their colleagues did so to other mission fields, contributed to the exploitation of the Korean market by American merchants and traders.72 Of course, missionaries were only a very minor, if any, factor in the imperialist exploitation of Korea. They were, no doubt, “unintentional” contributors to it. Nevertheless, it appears that they never really understood either the sacred-secular complexity of their religion or the magnitude of its repercussions.

Haut de page

Notes

1  J. Phillips Clifton, Protestant America and the Pagan World : The First Half Century of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1810-1860, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1969, pp. 20-28 ; Michael Parker, “The Kingdom of Character : The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions (1886-1926)”, Ph.D. diss., University of Maryland, College Park, 1994, 1-2 ; Valentin H. Rabe, “Evangelical Logistics ; Mission Support and Resources to 1920”, in. John K. Fairbank, ed, The Missionary Enterprise in China and America, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1974, pp. 57-60 ; William R. Hutchison, Errand to the World : American Protestant Thought and Foreign Missions, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1987, pp. 176.

2  John K. Fairbank, Assignment for the ’70’s,” American Historical Review, 74, Feb. 1969, pp 877-878 ; Ernest R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism : British and American Millenarianism, 1800-1930, Grand Rapids, Baker, 1978, p. 183 ; W.R. Hutchison, op. cit., pp. 1-14, 91-124.

3  This is a conclusion made or suggested by the following studies : Joan Jacobs Brumberg, “The Ethnological Mirror : American Evangelical Women and their Heathen Sisters, 1870-1910” in Barbara J. Harris and Joann K. McNamara, eds., Women and the Structure of Society : Selected Research from the Fifth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Durham, Duke University Press, 1984, pp. 108-128 ; Shirley S. Garrett, “Sisters All. Feminism and the American Women’s Missionary Movement”, in Torben Christensen and William R. Hutchison, eds, Missionary Ideologies in the Imperialist Era : 1880-1920, Arhus (Denmark), Aros, 1982, pp. 221-230 ; Rosemary Skinner Keller, “Lay Women in the Protestant Tradition”, in Rosemary Radford Ruether and Rosemary Skinner Keller, eds., Women and Religion in America, vol. 1, San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1981, pp. 242-253 ; Dorothy C. Bass, “‘Their Prodigious Influence’ : Women. Religion, and Reform in Antebellum America”, in Rosemary R. Ruether and Eleanor McLaughlin, eds. Women of Spirit : Female Leadership in the Jewish and Christian Tradition, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1979, pp. 281-300 ; Virginia Lieson Brereton and Christa Ressmeyer Klein, “American Women in Ministry : A History of Protestant Beginning Points", in Ruether and McLaughlin, op. cit., pp. 302-332 ; and essays in Sylvia M. Jacobs, ed., Black Americans and the Missionary Movement in Africa, Westport (C.T.), Greenwood Press, 1982.

4  See, for instance, the case of Newburyport, Massachusetts in Stephen Thernstrom, Poverty and Progress : Social Mobility in a Nineteenth Century City, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1964.

5  Ibid., pp. 167-171.

6  George Heber Jones, “Qualification and How to Apply”, George Heber Jones Papers, Missionary Research Library Collection, Union Theological Seminary Library Archives, New York, (hereafter UA).

7 Parker, op. cit., pp. 177-78 ; Rabe, op. cit., pp. 73-77.

8 Hutchison, op. cit. p. 128.

9 Parker, op. cit. pp. 178-189 ; also see William E. Griffis, A Modern Pioneer in Korea : The Life Story of Henry G. Appenzeller, New York, Fleming H. Revell, 1912, pp. 61-74 ; Jong Hyeong Lee, “Samuel Austin Moffett : His Life and Work in the Development of the Presbyterian Church of Korea. 1890-1939”, Ph.D. diss., Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 1983), pp. 16-28 ; George Marsden, The Soul of the American University : From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief, New York-Oxford University Press, 1994, pp. 265-291.

10  Yun to Candler, Oct. 24, 1895, Hyung-Chan Kim, ed., Letters in Exile : The Life and Times of Yun Ch’i-ho, Atlanta, Oxford Historical Shrine Society, 1980.

11  Henry G. Appenzeller to D. A. Sonders, May 15, 1885 ; Appenzeller to A. M. Viven, June 27, 1885, Hengy Gerhard Appenzeller Papers, UA ; Isabella L. Bishop, Korea and Her Neighbors : A Narrative of Travel, with an Account of the Recent Vicissitudes and Present Position of the Country, New York, Revell, 1898, p. 172 ; Daniel M. Davies, The Life and Thought of Henry Gerhard Appenzeller (1858-1902) : Missionary to Korea, Lewiston (N.Y.), Edwin Mellen, 1988, p. 119 ; Lillias H. Underwood, Fifteen Years Among the Top-Knots, New York, American Tract Society, 1904, 5 ; Arthur Judson Brown, “A Reading Journey through Korea”, Chautauquan 41 (1905), p. 494.

12  Moore to Ellinwood, Oct. 30, 1893, Jan. 6, 1895, Board of Foreign Missions, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Missions Correspondence and Reports, Microfilm Series, Korea (hereafter NPR) ; Annie Laurie Baird to “Gussie” [Augusta McCoy], April 12, 1894, Annie L. A. Baird Papers, Department of History, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ; Allen to Ellinwood, Oct. 24, 1893, NPR ; Ellinwood to Gifford and Gardner, Aug. 29, 1888, NPR ; Ellinwood to Gifford, Oct. 4, 1888, NPR ; Ellinwood to S. F. Moore, Nov. 4, 1894, NPR ; Gifford to Ellinwood, Sep. 1, 1898, NPR ; Jones, “Qualification.”

13  Annie Baird to “Gussie,” April 12, 1894, Annie Baird Papers.

14  George W. Gilmore, Korea From Its Capital, with a Chapter on Missions, Philadelphia, Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1892, p. 283 ; Diary, Nov. 2, 1897, William B. Harrison Papers, Department of History, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Montreal, North Carolina ; Diary, Sep. 20, 1885, Horace N. Allen Papers, Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, New York Public Library, New York, New York ; Allen to Ellinwood, July 16, 1982, Jan. 5, 1893, July 10, 1898, Jan. 5, 1899, NPR ; Lee to Ellinwood, Aug. 7, 1895, NPR ; Martha Huntley, To Start a War : The Foundations of Protestant Mission in Korea (1884-1919), Seoul, Presbyterian Church of Korea, 1987, pp. 436-437. On the popularization of sports and club activities among the middle-class men and women during the Gilded Age, see Robert H. Walker, Life in the Age of Enterprise, New York, Capricorn Books, 1971, pp. 139-174, especially 145-150.

15  William F. Sands, Undiplomatic Memories, New York : Whittlesey House, 1930, pp. 93-94.

16  Angus Hamilton, Korea, New York, Scribner’s, 1904, p. 264 ; Walter C. Hilier, “Preface,” Bishop, 3 ; Allen to Ellinwood, Oct. 2, 1886, NPR.

17  Mrs. William Baird [Annie Laurie Baird], “The Relation of the Wives of Missionaries to Mission Work”, Korean Repository 2, Nov. 1885, p. 417.

18  Information on salaries are from : Underwood to Ellinwood. Feb. 18, 1889 ; Graham Lee to Ellinwood, Oct. 28, 1893. NPR ; Moffett to Ellinwood, Nov. 1, 1893, NPR ; Ellen Strong to Ellinwood, Nov. 28, 1893, NPR ; Gifford to Ellinwood, Jan. 20, 1894, NPR ; Foulk to SS (Secretary State), June 18, 1885, Dispatches from United States Ministers to Korea. 1883-1905, File Microcopies of Records in the National Archives, Washington, D.C. (hereafter DD) ; Allen to SS, April 5, 1904, DD ; Jones, “Qualification.”

*  This appears to be a fair indication of American workers’ income at the turn of the century. As Table 4 shows American employees’ wages and their purchasing power did not fluctuate much during the period under consideration.

19  Baird to Ellinwood, Aug. 29, 1894, NPR ; Gale to Ellinwood, Nov. 22, 1895, NPR. For a case of privately funded house, see L. Underwood to Ellinwood, Nov. 22, 1889, NPR ; Allen to Ellinwood, Jan. 6, 1899, NPR ; Ellinwood to Underwood, May 4, 1901, NPR ; Ellinwood to Korea Mission, May 7, 1901, NPR ; Jones, “Qualification.”

20 Hamilton, Korea, op. cit., p. 264 ; Brown, “Reading Journey”, op. cit., p. 527 ; L. Underwood, Top-Knots, 131, pp. 234-235 ; Horace G. Underwood, The Call of Korea, Political-Social-Religious, New York, Fleming H. Revell, 1908, pp. 110-111, 120 ; L. Underwood to Ellinwood, Oct. 27, 1893, NPR ; Huntley, op. cit., p. 440.

21  See L. Underwood, Top-Knots, p. 33 ; Bishop, p. 65 ; Heard to SS, Jan. 16, 1893, DD ; Allen to SS, Sep. 17, 1897, DD ; Horace G. Underwood, Call of Korea, p. 129.

22  Bishop, p. 65 ; also see Allen to SS, May 22, 1902, DD ; Moffett to Ellinwood, July 24, 1890, NPR ; Heard to SS, Feb. 10, April 4, 1893, DD ; Brown, “Reading Journey”, op. cit., p. 527 ; Allen to Josiah Strong, Aug. 30, 1888, NPR ; Allen to Ellinwood, Aug. 30, 1888, NPR ; Allen to Gillespie, Aug. 20, 1888, NPR ; Sands, op. cit., p. 91.

23  “Are Missionaries Worthy of Protection ?.” Foreign Missionary 42 (Oct. 1883), p. 190 ; Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New York, Touchstone, 1997, p. 65.

24 Huntington, op. cit., p. 310.

25  Arthur J. Brown, The Mastery of the Far East : The Story of Korean’s Transformation and Japan’s Rise to Supremacy in the Orient, New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1919, p. 471.

26  Hillier, op.cit., p. 4.

27  Thomas J. McCormick, China Market : America’s Quest for Informal Empire, 1893-1901, Chicago. Quadrangle Books, 1969, p. 66.

28 Sands, op. cit., p. 94.

29 Hamilton, op. cit, p. 263.

30  Allen to Ellinwood, June 6, 1899, NPR.

31  Quoted in Independent, Aug. 16, 1898.

32  “The Trade Report of the United States Consul-General”, Korean Repository 5, Aug. 1898, pp. 305-308.

33  Independent, Aug. 20, 1898.

34  On paid medical practice, see Allen Diary, Feb. 20, March 18, March 22, March 27, March 31, April 10, April 19, July 19, Sep. 11, Oct. 4, 1885 ; Allen to Ellinwood, May 13, 1886, Oct. 17, 1888, NPR ; cf. Heron to Ellinwood, Jan. 28, 1889, NPR. For Korean antiques, see “Allen Collection” and correspondence with the institution during 1889-90 in Allen Papers. Allen’s collection of about 70 items became part of “The Bernadou, Allen, and Jouy Korean Collections in U.S. National Museum,” see, Kwang-rin Lee, Gaehwadang Yeongu [A Study of the Progressive Party], Seoul, Iljogag, 1996, pp. 227-230. On the gold mine concession, see Allen to Everett, July 2, 1887, Allen Papers ; Allen to Ellinwood. July 11, Aug. 2, 1887, Allen Papers and NPR ; Dinsmore to Assistant Secretary of State, March 5, 1888, Dispatches from United States Consuls in Seoul, 1886-1906, File Microcopies of Records in the National Archives, Washington, D.C. (hereafter CD). Also see Fred Harvey Harrington, God, Mammon, and the Japanese : Dr. Horace N. Allen and Korean-American Relations, 1884-1905, Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1944, pp. 132-133.

35  Allen to John M. Moore, Feb. 25, 1898, CD.

36  Independent, Aug. 23, 1898.

37  Lillias Underwood, With Tommy Tomkins in Korea, New York, Fleming H. Revell, [1905], pp. 249-250 ; Underwood to Ellinwood, Aug. 25, 1888, NPR.

38  William H. Stevens [Treasurer of the ATC] to Townsend & Co., Feb. 25, 1898, enclosed in Allen to Moore, Aug. 27, 1898, CD. Also see Independent, Aug. 27, 1898 and Homer B. Hulbert, Hulhert’s History of Korea, vol. 2, ed. Clarence Norwood Weems, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962 [first published in 1905], p. 34.

39  Allen to Ellinwood, June 7, 1900, NPR.

40  Ibid.

41  Allen to Ellinwood, Jan. 6, 1899, NPR ; Bunker to Leonard, July 6, 1909, Missionary Collection, General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church, Madison, New Jersey (hereafter MR).

42  Bunker to Leonard, June 14, 24, 17, Aug. 11, 1910, Merryman C. Harris to Leonard, Oct. 6, 1911, Emma Ernsberger to Leonard, Jan. 29, 1910, Otto G. Foelker to C. J. Carnahan, Oct. 5, 1911, MR.

43 Hamilton, op. cit, pp. 263-265 ; “Fruit in Wonsan”, Korean Repository 5, Feb. 1898, pp. 76-77.

44 Hamilton, op. cit., p. 265.

45  For the situation and nature of the rumors see Weems, op. cit., pp. 49-50. For previous problems related to Hulbert’s purchase of Korean property, see Dinsmore to President of Korean Foreign Office, Oct. 3, 1888, in Spencer J. Palmer, ed., Korean-American Relations : Documents Pertaining to the Far Eastern Diplomacy of the United States, vol. 2, The Period of Growing Influence, 1887-1895, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1963, (hereafter Documents II), 217 : Allen to Hay, Aug. 19, Nov. 18, 1902, DD ; Allen to Chey Yung Ha [Acting FM], May 31, 1902, enclosed in idem : Allen to You Key Whan [FM], April 14, 1902, enclosed in idem.

46  Allen to Hay, May 26, 1903, DD ; Allen to Lee, May 25, 1903, enclosed in idem ; cf. C. A. Kearns to Allen, March 12, 1905, NPR ; cf. Allen Diary, June 1, 19, 1903 ; Brown, “Reading Journey”, pp. 558-559.

47  Hamilton, op. cit., p. 264.

48  Appenzeller to Bunker, April 16, 1898, Appenzeller Papers

49  Wells to Ellinwood, April 28, 1899, NPR.

50  Appenzeller to Bunker, April 16, 1898, Appenzeller Papers

51  Ibid. ; Jones to Smith, Dec. 8, 1899, MR.

52  Paul A. Varg, Missionaries, Chinese, and Diplomats : The American Protestant Missionary Movement in China, 1890-1952, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1958, p. 84.

53  Reginald Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1981, pp. 272-303.

54  William A. Williams, Tragedy of American Diplomacy, New York, Random House, 1972, p. 63.

55  Arthur J. Brown, Mastery, op. cit., p. 471 ; Francis E. Clark, “Do Foreign Missions Pay ?”, North American Review, March 1898, p. 280 ; Margherita A. Hamm, “The Secular Value of Foreign Missions”, New York, Independent, April 26, 1900, p. 1001. Similarly, Charles Denby, “The Influence of Mission Work on Commerce”, New York, Independent, Dec. 12, 1901, p. 2960 ; Theodore Roosevelt, “The Awakening China”, Outlook 84, Nov. 28, 1908, p. 666 (all quoted in Varg, Missionaries, 85). Also see Emily S. Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream : American Economic and Cultural Expansion, 1890-1945, New York, Hill and Wang, 1982, pp. 32-33 ; Albert F. Schenkel, “The Rich Man and the Kingdom : John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the Protestant Establishment, 1900-1960”, Ph.D. diss.. Harvard University, 1990.

56  Paul A. Varg, Missionaries, pp. 84-85 ; Rosenberg, op. cit., pp. 28-33. For an argument against this interpretation see James A. Field, Jr., “Near East Notes and Far East Queries”, in John K. Fairbank, Missionary Enterprise, op. cit., pp. 23-27.

57  Charles A. Clark, “Fifty Years of Mission Organization, Principles and Practice”," in Harry A. Rhodes and Richard H. Baird, eds., The Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration of the Korea Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Seoul, n.p., 1934, p. 56 ; Arthur J. Brown, The Mastery of the Far East : The Story of Korean’s Transformation and Japan’s Rise to Supremacy in the Orient, New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1919, pp. 547-549.

58  Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, tran. Talcott Parsons, London, G. Allen & Unwin, 1930 ; reprinted, 1993 ; especially pp. 63, 70, 73, 172 on the meaning of “modern” capitalist spirit, and pp. 180-181 on “inner-worldly asceticism.” For a fine survey of Weber’s major works on capitalism and their relation to the Protestant ethic thesis, see Gianfranco Poggi, Calvinism and the Capitalist Spirit : Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic, Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press, 1983, pp. 13-39.

59  Michael H. Lessnoff, The Spirit of Capitalism and the Protestant Ethic : An Inquiry into the Weber Thesis, Brookfield (V.T.), E. Elgar, 1994 ; Gordon Marshall, In Search of the Spirit of Capitalism : An Essay on Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic Thesis, New York, Columbia University Press, 1982. p. 82 ; Herbert Wood, “Puritanism and Capitalism”, Congregational Quarterly 29, 1951, pp. 104-1 14. For criticisms based on various misunderstandings of the thesis, see Stanford W. Reid, Skipper from Leith : The History of Robert Barton of Over Barnton, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962, p. 9 ; Winthrop Hudson, “Puritanism and the Spirit of Capitalism”, Church History 18, 1949, p. 6 ; Kurt Samuelsson, Religion and Economic Action : The Protestant Ethic, the Rise of Capitalism, and the Abuses of Scholarship, tran. E. Geoffrey French, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1993, pp. 8-26 ; Syed Hussein Alatas, “The Weber Thesis and South East Asia”, Archives de sociologie des religions 23, 1967, pp. 21-34 ; Gillian Lindt Gollin, “The Religious Factor in Social Change : Max Weber and the Moravian Paradox”, Archives de sociologie des religions 23, 1967, pp. 92-97.

60 Weber, op. cit., p. 157. Similar points are made in Charles George and Katherine George, The Protestant Mind of the English Reformation, 1570-1640, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1961, p. 172 ; Michael Walzer, The Revolution of the Saints : A Study in the Origins of Radical Politics, London, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1966, pp. 12-13 ; Leo F. Solt, “Puritanism, Capitalism, Democracy, and the New Science”, American Historical Review 73, 1967, pp. 25-26.

61  Gordon Marshall, Presbyteries and Profits : Calvinism and the Development of Capitalism in Scotland, 1560-1707, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1980 ; Christopher Haigh, Reformation and Resistance in Tudor Lancashire, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1975 ; William Hunt, The Puritan Moment : The Coming of Revolution in an English County, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1983 ; Paul Seaver, Wallington’s World : A Puritan Artisan in Seventeenth-Century London, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1985 ; A. J. Fletcher, “Puritanism in Seventeenth Century Sussex”, in M. J. Kitch, ed., Studies in Sussex Church History, London, Leopard’s Head Press, 1981 ; Kenneth A. Lockridge, A New England Town : The First Hundred Years, Dedham, Massachusetts, 1636-1736, New York, Norton, 1970 ; Darren Rutman, Winthrop’s Boston : Portrait of a Puritan Town, 1630-1649, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1965.

62  R. H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, Gloucester, MA : P. Smith, 1962 ; originally published, 1926, especially pp. 212-13, 227-53, 316-17 ; Christopher Hill, Reformation to Industrial Revolution : A Social and Economic History of Britain, 1530-1780, London, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1967, especially pp. 26-27, 134. Ernst Troeltsch, on the other hand, basically accepted Weber’s argument. See Ernst Troeltch, The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches, vol. 2. tran. Olive Wyon, Louisville, Westminster/John Knox, 1992 ; original German edition, 1912, especially pp. 641-650.

63  This point is adapted from Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed : The Social Origins of Witchcraft, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1974, especially pp. 103-107, 209.

64  William K. B. Stoever, “A Fair and Easie Way to Heaven” : Covenant Theology and Antino-mianism in Early Massachusetts, Middletown (C.T.), Wesleyan University Press, 1979, p. 191 ; Theodore Dwight Bozeman, To Live Ancient Lives : The Primitivist Dimension in Puritanism, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1988, p. 119.

65 Stoever, op. cit, pp. .184-191 ; Robert N. Bellah, The Broken Covenant : American Civil Religion in Time of Trial, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1992, pp. 74-78. Also see, Paul Johnson, The Shopkeeper’s Millennium : Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837, New York, Hill and Wang, 1978, especially ch. 1.

66 Gilmore, op. cit., p. 316.

67  See, for instance, Gojong’s decree in The Ri Dynasty Annals of Korea, vol. 54, Kojong Sillok II (1875-1888) Tokyo, Gakushuin Institute of Oriental Culture, 1967, p. 202.

68 Korea Review (June 1901), enclosed in Allen to Hay, July 3, 1901, DD ; Ohlinger to Leonard, n.d., 1889, MR ; Allen to Ellinwood, July 10, 1898, NPR ; James S. Gale, Korean Sketches, 246-47 ; idem, The Vanguard : A Tale of Korea, New York, Fleming H. Revell, 1904, pp. 86, 127 ; Yun Diary, Jan. 15, 1898 ; Hunt to Brown, Feb. 1, 1909, NPR ; L. Underwood, Top-Knots, 84-85 ; Sands, 96 ; Horace N. Allen, Things Korean : A Collection of Sketches and Anecdotes, Missionary and Diplomatic, New York, Fleming H. Revell, 1908, p. 181 ; L. Underwood, Top-Knots, op. cit., pp. 85-86 ; L. B. Tate, Missionary 31, Sep. 1898, p. 391 ; William Reynolds, “Enemies of the Cross in Korea”, Missionary 32, Oct. 1899, pp. 459-461 ; Junkin, “The Gospel at Kunsan”, Missionary 33, Nov. 1900, p. 509 ; F. S. Miller to Brown, Oct. 22, 1905, NPR ; Morgan to Root, Nov. 16, 1905, DD ; Bishop, 349.

69  Moffett to Ellinwood, March 18, Oct. 20, 1890, NPR ; Sung Deuk Oak, “Chogi Hanguk Buk-gamrigyoui Seongyo Sinhakgwa Jeongchaek [Franklin Ohlinger and Methodist Evangelical Mission Theology in Korea, 1885-1894],” Hangukgidokgvowa Yeoksa [Christianity and History in Korea], vol. 11, Oct. 1999. pp. 30-3).

70  See “Missionaries and the Far Eastern Question”, enclosed in Allen to SS, Sep. 15, 1900, DD ; Allen to Hay, Dec. 9, 1902, DD ; Allen, Things Korean, op. cit., p. 231.

71  Brown, “Reading Journey”, p. 502. For a good survey of foreign powers’ economic exploitation of Korea, see Yong-ha Shin, “Hanbandoeseoui Yeolgangui Igwonhoekdeuk Oegyo” [Foreign Powers’ Commercial Diplomacy in the Korean Peninsula], in Hangugoegyosa [Diplomatic History of Korea], vol. 1, ed. Society of Politico-Diplomatic History of Korea, Seoul, Jipmundang, 1996, pp. 287-324. For texts of tariff and trade regulations, see Henry Chung, Treaties and Conventions between Corea and Other Powers, New York, H. S. Nichols, 1919, pp. 47-56 (China), 91-103 (France), 117-129 (Germany), 143-162 (Britain), 209-212 (Japan).

72  Cf. Marilyn B. Young, The Rhetoric of Empire : America’s China Policy, 1895-1901, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1968, p. 76.

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Titre Table 1 – The Total Number of Protestant Missionaries in Korea, 1884-1910.
Légende (*) Indicates approximate numbers.
URL http://assr.revues.org/docannexe/image/20190/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 4,4k
Titre Table 2 – The Number of New American Missionaries in Korea.
Légende (*) Indicates approximate numbers. NP=Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); NM=Methodist Episcopal Church; SP=Presbyterian Church (U.S.); SP=Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
URL http://assr.revues.org/docannexe/image/20190/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 16k
Titre Table 3 – The SVM Volunteers among Korea Missionaries.
Légende (*) Indicates approximate numbers.
URL http://assr.revues.org/docannexe/image/20190/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 8,2k
Titre Table 4 – Average Salary of American Minister (1906).
Crédits Source: Bureau of the Census (1910, vol. 1), 94-97, quoted in Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, The Churching of america, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992), 156.
URL http://assr.revues.org/docannexe/image/20190/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 8,6k
Crédits Source: Willford I. King, et al., Income in the United States: Its Amount and Distribution, 1909-1919, New York, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1921, pp. 98-104.
URL http://assr.revues.org/docannexe/image/20190/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 7,2k
Titre Table 6 – Wages and Purchasing Power of American Employees.
Crédits Source: U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1911, n° 34 Washington (D.C.), Government Printing Office, 1912, p. 272. Statistical Abstract began including information on labor and wages in 1907. A similar statistics is found in U.S. Department of Commerce, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1957: A Statistical Abstract Supplement Washington (D.C.) Bureau of the Census, 1960, pp. 132-133, 139.
URL http://assr.revues.org/docannexe/image/20190/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 11k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Dae Young Ryu, « Understanding Early American Missionaries in Korea (1884-1910): Capitalist Middle-Class Values and the Weber Thesis », Archives de sciences sociales des religions, 113 | 2001, 93-117.

Référence électronique

Dae Young Ryu, « Understanding Early American Missionaries in Korea (1884-1910): Capitalist Middle-Class Values and the Weber Thesis », Archives de sciences sociales des religions [En ligne], 113 | janvier-mars 2001, mis en ligne le 19 août 2009, consulté le 30 mars 2017. URL : http://assr.revues.org/20190 ; DOI : 10.4000/assr.20190

Haut de page

Auteur

Dae Young Ryu

School of Christian Culture and Communication, Handong University – Korea (South)

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

© Archives de sciences sociales des religions

Haut de page
  • Logo Éditions de l’EHESS
  • Revues.org