Authentic Chinese Christianity: Prelude to Its Development (19th-20th Centuries)

authenticAuthentic Chinese Christianity: Prelude to Its Development (19th-20th Centuries), Leuven University Press, 2001. Eds Ku Wei-Ying, Koen De Ridder.

This volume intends to tackle two problems. The first is the historical framework of imperialism – until now widely applied by Western and Chinese scholars as an approach to the Christian evangelization movement in China. The theological aspect of the missionary action is seldom taken into account, nor is religion treated as an authentic human experience. In this volume two authors try to place the position of the Christian mission in its broader context. Scott Somers reflects on the changing image of the Japanese occupation in Taiwan, based on protestant missionary sources; Koen De Ridder discusses the early diplomatic contacts between China and Belgium and the position of the Belgian missionaries.

A second problem dealt with is that of the native Christians. While Jessie Lutz attempts to sketch a profile of the Chinese Protestant evangelizers, Jean-Paul Wiest focuses his attention on the Roman Catholics among the Chinese Hakka minority. Gary Tiedemann explains the material, spiritual and political incentives for conversion among the inhabitants of North China, paying special attention to the socio-political profile of the converts. In the contribution of Ann Heylen we return to Taiwan, where we are offered a better understanding of the Protestant contribution to the study of the Min language. Finally, Karel Steenbrink describes the changing religious affiliation of assimilated Chinese in Indonesia during the period 1900-1942.

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