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Learning Chinese: Walter A. Taylor, an American Architect in China (1923–27)

Burette, Stephanie (2022) 'Learning Chinese: Walter A. Taylor, an American Architect in China (1923–27).', Journal of Anglican studies., 20 (1). pp. 40-66.


The American architect Walter A. Taylor, who was an Episcopal missionary in China from 1923 to 1927, intended to ‘desig[n] churches and other buildings that were Chinese and belonged to China’. Taylor found himself at a crossroads, between Christian architecture in his home country, the USA, which was experiencing a time of transition, and the birth of the Chinese Republic and its strong rejection of Western hegemony. This article investigates how Taylor tried to undertake his task, where he found inspiration and what this indigenized architecture looked like. I argue that, although his work aimed at participating in the shift towards indigenization, it bore the signs of Chinese culture as seen through the eyes of a Westerner and imperialism.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:13 August 2021
Date of first online publication:17 May 2021
Date first made open access:13 August 2021

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