Friars, Fairies, and the War of Immortals: Rethinking Cultural Conflict in Late-Imperial China


American Research in the Humanities in China




This project brings to light the personal lives of several European Franciscan women and Chinese women at Shanxi on the eve of the July 9, 1900, "Taiyuan Incident." Private letters, diocesan records, and the copious Processus and Positio compiled for ecclesial canonization provide a more nuanced view of the Taiyuan Incident of 1900 than the previously hagiographical accounts published immediately after the event. By consulting local Chinese gazetteers and recently opened archival materials in Shanxi, this project investigates the factors that contributed to Yuxian’s decision to suppress the Franciscan mission, and the Franciscan decision to remain in Taiyuan as Boxer activities grew more intense.