Healing Henan: Canadian Nurses at the North China Mission, 1888-1947

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While volumes have been written about the Protestant missionary movement in China, scant attention has been paid to the role of nursing and nurses in these missions. Set against a backdrop of war and revolution, Healing Henan brings sixty years of missionary nursing out of the shadows by examining how Canadian nurses shaped health care in the province of Henan and how China, in turn, influenced the nature of missionary nursing.

From the time Presbyterian (later United Church) missionaries arrived in China in 1888 until the abrupt closure of the North China Mission in 1947, Canadian nurses were ubiquitous in Henan. As China underwent a tumultuous transition from dynastic kingdom to independent republic, Canadian nurses advanced a version of hospital-based nursing education and practice that rivalled modern nursing care in Canada. In Healing Henan, Sonya Grypma offers a highly readable and fresh perspective on China missions and the global expansion of professional nursing. As the first comprehensive study of missionary nursing in China, it will be of particular interest to nurses and missionaries, and to historians of Canada, China, nursing, medicine, women’s work, and missions.

University of Washington Press

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What People Are Saying

Alvyn Austin
When I first read Margaret Brown’s history of the North Henan mission, I said to myself, there’s a thesis that needs to be written. A book on Canadian missionary nurses would make an important contribution to missions history and theory, the history of medicine in Canada and China, and to feminist and post—colonial cultural studies … Sonya Grypma has done it.
Anne Marie Overgaard
Grypma constructs a historical account of Canadian nurses’ work in China while exploring the interplay of professional nursing with issues such as religion, gender, culture, health, and nation. […] Supported with excellent documentation and evidence, Healing Henan is well written and exciting reading, and it sheds new light on the significance of the efforts by nurses and doctors in a Chinese province. The book also provides the reader with a close view of the ambitions, struggles, and accomplishments of Canadian nurses in Henan, and it will appeal to anyone interested in the history of religious nursing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780774814003
  • Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Foreword Acknowledgments List of Spellings List of Abbreviations

Introduction 1. The Gospel of Soap and Water, 1888-1900 2. Visions Interrupted, 1901-20 3. Modern Nursing at Last, 1921-27 4. Golden Years, 1928-37 5. Scattered Dreams, 1937-40 6. War Years, 1941-45 7. The Last Days, 1946-47 Conclusion: Creating a Cloistered Space Epilogue: Return to Henan, 2003

Appendices Appendix 1: List of Missionary Nurses at North China Mission Appendix 2: List of WMS Nurses Who Resigned to be Married Appendix 3: Three Types of Missionary Nurses Appendix 4: Missionary Nurse Education Appendix 5: Summary of 1947 Confidential Report Notes Bibliography Index

University of Washington Press

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