Daniel H. Bays: Christianity in China(2009)

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Christianity in China

Published by Wiley-Blackwell
Author: Bays
ISBN: 978 1 4051 5955 5
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
List price(s): 24.99 GBP   45.00 USD   31.30 EUR
Publication date: 9 June 2009

Short description

Explains the transformation of Christianity from being part of a
Western religion to being a thoroughly Chinese religion, indeed one
which is fast-growing and has potential for heavily influencing
China's future. This book also focuses on the European and American
foreign missionaries who went to China.

Full description

The overall aim is to explain the transformation of Christianity from
being part of a Western religion to being a thoroughly Chinese
religion today, indeed one which is fast-growing and has potential for
heavily influencing China's future. In other words, this will be a
story initially focused on the European and American foreign
missionaries who went to China, but whose focus will shift
increasingly to Chinese Christians and their lives. Yet another way to
describe the purpose is to see the whole process as a large example or
case study of the successful cross-cultural transmission of
Christianity, a phenomenon of which there are other examples as well
(e.g. much of Africa, Korea, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands, etc.).
The scope will in one sense be very broad, from the first Nestorian
missionaries and converts of the seventh century CE to the array of
Christian (and 'semi-Christian') groups, Catholic and Protestant, who
are on the scene today. The religious scene in China in the 1990s and
since has been very complex. And although Christians have a very
important role in that picture today, I believe that this cannot be
well understood without some conceptual grasp of Christianity in China
before the Communist era began in 1949. For example, one of those
concepts is that Protestant and Roman Catholic Christianity are not
viewed as being the same religion, but two different ones. This view,
shared by Chinese governments and people alike, has been the case for
several hundred years, and, like other such historical patterns, must
be kept in mind by observers today.

Table of Contents

Introduction.Ch. 1: The First Middle Eastern and European
Missions..Ch. 2: The Jesuit Mission of Early Modern Times and its
Fate.Ch. 3: Protestant Arrival and Catholic Return, 1800-1860
(approx.).Ch. 4. Missions Expansion and Institution-building,
1860-1905..Ch. 5. 1905-1925, the Golden Age of Missions and the
Christian Enterprise..Ch. 6. Mounting Crisis for Chinese Christianity,
1925-1950.Ch. 7. Christianity in the New China: the 1950s, a Crucial
Decade.Ch. 8. The Dark Valley, 1960-1978..Ch. 9. Christianity in
Recent and contemporary China. [this chapter could easily become two,
chs. 9-10]

Author's Biography

Daniel H. Bays, a native of Michigan, was trained in History and
Chinese Studies at Stanford and the U. of Michigan, taught at the U.
of Kansas 1971-1999, and in 2000 came to Calvin College as Spoelhof
Chair, where he has remained as Professor of History and director,
Asian Studies. He has published dozens of articles and several books,
including China Enters the 20th Century (1978), The Foreign Missionary
Enterprise at Home (co-ed., 2003), and China's Christian Colleges:
Trans-Pacific Connections, 1900-1950 (co-ed., 2006). He wrote two
important chapters in Christianity in China, Early Protestant
Missionary Writings, ed. S. Barnett and J. K. Fairbank (1985). He also
has major contributions on Chinese Christianity in The Cambridge
History of Christianity, vol. 14, The 19th Century, ed. Brian Stanley
(2006), and in The Encyclopedia of Protestantism, ed. Hans Hillerbrand
(2004), as well as 17 entries in Biographical Dictionary of Christian
Missions, ed. Gerald Anderson (1998).

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