Han-Mongol Encounters and Missionary Endeavors
A History of Scheut in Ordos (Hetao), 1874–1911
Han Mongol Encounters and Missionary Endeavors traces the history of the Belgian Scheut mission within the ecological, geopolitical, socioeconomic and ethnocultural context of the Mongol-Han borderlands during the height of European colonialism and the collapse of the Qing dynasty.The main subjects of this study are over 100 Roman Catholic Missionaries form the Low Countries (Holland and Belgium) who worked in the Southwest Mongolia apostolic vacariate. The vicariate constitutes the geographical boundaries of the study. The time frame extends from the origins of the mission in 1874 until the end of the Qing dynasty in 1912.
The study describes the origins of the Southwest Mongolia vicariate beyond the Great Wall and along the Yellow River Bend during the transition period from Lazarist missionary activities in the 1840s up to the endeavors of the Scheutists in the early 1870s.The author outlines the historical development of the Ordos Mongols and Chrisitan missions within their respective Qing imperial and European national contexts. The text also analyses not only the European background, the double ecclesiastical and religious organization of the mission,but also the relations between domestic and overseas mission fields, and the missionary motives within the late Qing socioeconomic context, and the life of localized Catholic communities.
These are described within the ethnocultural context of the Han-Mongol mixed-living area of the Ordos, and as seen mainly through the eyes of the missionaries. The desertification of the Ordos steppes, as well as the aftermath and impact of the popular Boxer movement in Inner Mongolia on the development of the Scheut mission and the local church are also summarized.