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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 19:30

The Tianjin Massacre of 1870: Sorcery, Resistance and Religion on the Chinese coast

Jeremiah Jenne

Embassy of Ireland
3, Ritan Dong Lu Chaoyang District

朝阳区 日坛东路3号 爱尔兰大使馆




We are thrilled to announce a talk from Jeremiah Jenne on the significant but awkward role of missionaries in Chinese history, particularly during the time of the Tianjin Massacre of 1870.

Missionaries have long played an important role in China’s history. By the 19th century, the missionary promised both new forms of educational and hygienic modernity while also being seen by the people as a possible threat to the established order in this world and beyond. How did the people of late imperial China perceive missionaries?

In 1870, tales of kidnapping and sorcery swirled around the city of Tianjin. The local magistrate wanted to investigate the charges of witchcraft being made against a group of Catholic nuns. The French consul insisted the missionaries were protected from prosecution by treaties signed with the Chinese government. In the middle was a hapless Manchu official unable to keep the peace. On June 21, 1870, the city of Tianjin exploded into a day of rage and violence which shocked the world and revealed the perilous position of missionaries in 19th century China.

Jeremiah Jenne

Jeremiah Jenne is a writer and history teacher based in Beijing since 2002. He taught Late Imperial and Modern Chinese History for over 13 years and has written extensively on China for publications including The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, South China Morning Post, Journal of Asian Studies and The World of Chinese. He is frequently asked to speak or lead workshops on Chinese history, culture, and cultural adaptation to schools, organizations, and company groups from around the world. Jermiah is the proprietor of Beijing by Foot, which does research on Old Peking, hosts educational programs and organizes historic walking tours of Beijing’s most famous sites and hidden byways.


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Registration will be closed when we reach the venue’s maximum capacity. The very latest registration is midday (12.00pm) on Tuesday 15 October. We cannot accept RSVPs after this time.

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Non-members welcome for a single lecture fee of RMB 60; students with valid ID RMB 30. 

Membership desk open 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm lecture.