Chinese Christianity: From Society to Culture

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 4068

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Religion, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
Interests: church history in China, both catholic and protestant; Jesuits’ contributions on intellectual perspective; popular religion of China; confucianism as religion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since Nestorian came into China during the Tang Dynasty, and then Jesuits built a Catholic Church in the 16th century, Christianity has had a constant nationwide influence on China’s society and culture. For at least 400 years, Christianity, including the branches of Catholicism (with different orders), Protestantism (with different denominations) and the Russian Orthodox Church, has affected China’s process of modernization and globalization until today. Modern scholars from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Europe and America, in the fields of history, literature, philosophy and religion, have made impressive progress in the studies of Chinese Christianity. In this Special Issue, published in Religions, we propose that Christianity is not a foreign concept, but one of the most important factors in Chinese society and culture.

We are pleased to invite you to submit research to a Special Issue entitled “Chinese Christianity: From Society to Culture”, to demonstrate and promote the achievements of the research in this field.

To fit in our academic interests, the subject of the submitted papers may vary: conversions, conversations, communications, translations, accomondations or confrontations related Christian churches and organizations in China’s local society are all welcomed. Theological studies related to local society and culture are encouraged, as well as other topics. Articles which use multiple methodologies, such as anthropological, sociological or archival, are suitable too.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1.  Jesuits’ contribution in translation and their role in the transition of Late Ming and Early Qing culture and society;
  2.  Protestant missionaries’ activities and their effects on national, regional and local levels since the Late Qing period to modern day;
  3. Christian communities and their relations with local society and culture;
  4. Studies regarding the nativization or contextualization of theology, rite, architecture, arts and customs.

I am looking forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Tiangang Li
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • jesuits
  • protestant missionaries’ activities
  • christian communities
  • nativization
  • contextualization of theology
  • rite, architecture, arts, customs

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 841 KiB  
Article
The Indigenization Policy of Propaganda Fide: Its Effectiveness and Limitations in China (1622–1742)
by Rui Zhang
Religions 2023, 14(12), 1453; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14121453 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1319
Abstract
The papal Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide, founded in 1622, marks a milestone in the history of Christianity by promoting a new way of organizing “apostolic missionaries”, which represented a major shift from colonial missions to purely ecclesiastical missions. The emphasis on the [...] Read more.
The papal Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide, founded in 1622, marks a milestone in the history of Christianity by promoting a new way of organizing “apostolic missionaries”, which represented a major shift from colonial missions to purely ecclesiastical missions. The emphasis on the indigenization of clergy was a central element in its vision right from the founding documents. Propaganda Fide, bypassing the old patronage system, sought to extend the indigenization policy worldwide, though it faced difficulties and obstacles from religious orders and secular powers. This article introduces the history of the development of Propaganda Fide’s indigenization policy and analyzes the early attempts to apply the policy in China, evaluating both its effectiveness and limitations across the first 120 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chinese Christianity: From Society to Culture)
19 pages, 877 KiB  
Article
Central Hunan Lutheran Church’s Progress toward Self-Reliance (1902–1951): A Study Based on the Archives of the Norwegian Missionary Society
by Wuna Zhou
Religions 2023, 14(9), 1135; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14091135 - 4 Sep 2023
Viewed by 867
Abstract
In 1902, the Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS) sent its first missionaries to central Hunan, China, to preach and set up a local Lutheran Church. Missionaries in China traditionally had a sense of religious superiority. At that time, Chinese Christians were experiencing a series [...] Read more.
In 1902, the Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS) sent its first missionaries to central Hunan, China, to preach and set up a local Lutheran Church. Missionaries in China traditionally had a sense of religious superiority. At that time, Chinese Christians were experiencing a series of national crises, and their desire for self-reliance correlated with a rise in the national consciousness. Hunan’s Christians demanded autonomy for the Church, causing tension with the Western missionaries’ sense of superiority. The Central Hunan Lutheran Church realized a balanced transfer of authority through contradiction and dialogue. The establishment of a Chinese and Western Council aided gradual realization of Hunan Christians’ demand for self-reliance, and in 1922, the rise of an anti-Christian movement with strong anti-imperialist sentiments triggered further moves toward Church independence. However, local churches faced many difficulties and progress was slow, owing to the economic situation, the lack of material foundation, local Christians’ weak theological foundation and a highly mobile population. This article examines how Christians in Hunan responded to the huge gap between their own will and the conditions they faced, illustrating the historical process of cross-cultural cooperation as cultures collided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chinese Christianity: From Society to Culture)
13 pages, 785 KiB  
Article
Is There Life? Is There Spirit? Debating Belief and Being a Good Christian in Watchman Nee’s ‘Little Flock’
by Christine Lee, Yujing Ma and Jianbo Huang
Religions 2023, 14(7), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14070844 - 27 Jun 2023
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Christian, especially Protestant, identity is often framed through the lens of belief, particularly belief understood as an interior orientation. Through an examination of the non-denominational Protestant group, the ‘Little Flock’, founded by Watchman Nee in the early 20th century, we trace enduring aspects [...] Read more.
Christian, especially Protestant, identity is often framed through the lens of belief, particularly belief understood as an interior orientation. Through an examination of the non-denominational Protestant group, the ‘Little Flock’, founded by Watchman Nee in the early 20th century, we trace enduring aspects of Little Flock theology in contemporary Chinese Protestant practice. In particular, we attend to conceptions of and debates surrounding belief and how to determine the quality of one’s faith—whether or not one might be considered not just a Christian, but a ‘good’ one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chinese Christianity: From Society to Culture)
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