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Between Birth and DeathFemale Infanticide in Nineteenth-Century China$
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Michelle T. King

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785983

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785983.001.0001

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Saving Souls

Saving Souls

Missionaries and Redemption

(p.111) Four Saving Souls
Between Birth and Death

Michelle T. King

Stanford University Press

Chapter 4 takes the concern with Chinese infanticide to its widest global audience, that of nineteenth-century Euro-American Catholic schoolchildren, who were galvanized in humanitarian action by the pontifical charity the Oeuvre de la Sainte-Enfance (Holy Childhood Association). The charity, which was originally established in 1843 to support overseas missionaries in their rescue and redemption of heathen Chinese children through the sacrament of baptism, enjoined Catholic children around the world to make regular contributions to aid this cause, deploying images and texts that promoted the idea of widespread infanticide in China. The Sainte-Enfance’s annual tally of infant souls saved was an important marker of the growing worldwide success of the organization.

Keywords:   infanticide, China, Catholic, missionaries, orientalism, Adolphe Vasseur, Jesuit, baptism, Sainte-Enfance

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