China's Catholic Church and the French Religious Protectorate
Ernest P. Young
Reviews and Awards
"Ernest P. Young has given us a deeply researched, wide-ranging, and highly judicious account of the rise and fall of the French Religious Protectorate, a mechanism whereby the French government took it upon itself to be the "guardian" of Catholic interests in China.
In doing so, he has added yet another excellent work to a growing body of new literature that explores Christianity in China in all of its complexity. ... Young wisely gives us an overview of the wide sweep of the history as well as a tight focus on the key events and personalities. The result is a history that is both "institutional and personal" and composed of "dramas" (p. 2) - dramas that show how the Catholic community in China went from being an "ecclesiastical colony" to an increasingly indigenous church." --American Historical Review
"[A] skillful and lively narrative of the painstaking French upholding of the religious protectorate, and of its withering but still obstructive impact in the course of some major events on the Chinese scene, in the Vatican's policies, and inside Catholic missions in China during the first half of the twentieth century. ... This is indeed a forcefull book, written with great talent, full of detailed and reliable information: a most useful background reference on Chinese Catholicism to have on one's shelf." --Sino-Western Cultural Relations Journal
"Ecclesiastical Colony is a fascinating study of the system of foreign privilege institutionalized in China through the French Religious Protectorate of the Catholic church. Ernest Young's astute use of the voluminous archival record provides a vivid account of the church's slow and painful progress toward indigenization." --Joseph W. Esherick, Professor Emeritus of History, University of California, San Diego
"A tour de force, Ecclesiastical Colony is the best overall synthesis of the history of Catholicism in modern China, between the Opium Wars in the mid-nineteenth century to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. The genius of Young's study is to focus on perhaps the central aspect of this history: the declaration of political protection for all Catholic missionaries, regardless of nationality, by a French diplomacy in China that was backed up by the use of force. Ecclesiastical Colony is an original and deep work of scholarship that will be one of the best books in the field in a long time." --R. Po-chia Hsia, author of A Jesuit in the Forbidden City: Matteo Ricci, 1552-1610