Women make up the vast majority of Protestant Christians in China―a largely faceless majority, as their stories too often go untold in scholarly research as well as popular media. This book writes Protestant Chinese women into the history of twenty-first-century China. It features the oral histories of over a dozen women, highlighting themes of spiritual transformation, politicized culture, social mobility, urbanization, and family life. Each subject narrates not only her own story, but that of her mother, as well, revealing a deeply personal dimension to the dramatic social change that has occurred in a matter of decades. By uncovering the stories of Christian women in China, Li Ma offers a unique window onto the interactions between femininity and Christianity, and onto the socioeconomic upheavals that mark recent Chinese history.
“Li Ma has pioneered a very creative approach to understanding not only women’s lives but contemporary Chinese society and the nature of Chinese Christianity. A model of how valuable oral history can be for exploring today’s China from new perspectives.” (Carol Lee Hamrin, Senior Associate, Global China Center, USA)
“This book is refreshing and stimulating as it foregrounds Chinese women in the story of Christianity in China. Aided by theological and sociological lenses, Li Ma retells the stories of fourteen women with vivid, humane detail.” (Kooi-Chin Tong, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Purdue University)
“These stories offer personal, often painful glimpses into the lives of ordinary Chinese families in the rough waters of social change.” (Joann Pittman, Vice President, ChinaSource, USA)
“Li Ma’s multifaceted lens of analysis offers keen insight into the sociocultural upheavals in China’s recent history, including the growth of Christianity. The stories themselves are powerful testimonies to the flame of hope that so often sparks light and life in sagas of discouragement and despair.” (Jinny De Joung, Senior Administrator, retired, Calvin Theological Seminary, USA)
“These raw reflections are not for the weak of heart; they reveal webs spun in the lives of many daughters in deeply troubling relationships and expectations. But only when wounds are opened can healing begin. Li Ma’s gift to us is to honor their stories, their pain and their hope.” (Emily R. Brink, Senior Research Fellow, retired, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, USA)
“With outstanding scholarly credentials, Li Ma has presented dozens of lively and touching stories that show how the Christian faith has brought about changes for today's Chinese families. Due to drastic change in socio-political structures, conflicts and tension between two generations of Chinese women are inevitable and sometimes subtly alleviated.” (Grant Chen, Founding President of Blessings Foundation, USA)
About the Author
Li Ma is Research Fellow at the Henry Institute, Calvin University, USA. Her other books include Surviving the State, Remaking the Church; The Chinese Exodus; and Religious Entrepreneurism in China's Urban House Churches.
Series: Palgrave Studies in Oral History
Hardcover: 205 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st ed. 2019 edition (December 11, 2019)