Some topics in this area had in fact been studied; these studies centered mainly on the foreign missionaries and the story of what they did in China. But the other, and arguably more important, piece of the picture was the rise of Chinese Christians in the joint Sino-foreign endeavor to establish and nurture the faith in Chinese soil. I have attempted to track some of the main features of this cross-cultural process over several centuries.
Both of those topics are worthy of in-depth attention by other scholars. I have been told by many that there is a need for a volume such as this.
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I myself have felt compelled to write it, if only for the sake of my own understanding. My aim has been, in the writing process, to incorporate the considerable amount of research of the last 25 years into a coherent narrative.
A New History of Christianity in China
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Sort order. May 05, Alexander Chow rated it it was amazing. This was an ironic fact since that was a book he edited which had a valuable number of new studies on Chinese Christianity, when the field was in its infancy. Prior to even that book, there has been a dearth of up-to-date histories on Christianity in China. The last major work was Kenneth Latourette's classic, which has just been reprinted, His Prior to the publication of this book, Daniel Bays' de facto magnum opus has been Christianity in China: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present.
For nearly forty years, bookshelves have been in wont for a new history that takes into account the changes in Christianity through two World Wars, a civil war, the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Square protests, etc. But Charbonnier's focus is a bit more on Catholic Christianity and, today, the fastest growing religion in China is Protestant Christianity. At last, the authority of Christian history in China has put out his well-anticipated book. To be sure, it is a thin book -- much thinner than Latourette's or Charbonnier's -- but it is also a heavy book, that carries with it great depth from decades of academic research and experience.
1. The Field and its Significance
Like any good history, it begins the story with China's first encounter with Christianity from the Persian empire in the 7th century, and progresses chronologically through the different phases of encounters. His last chapter focuses on the history from the Cultural Revolution to the 21st century, with some nice discussions about the so-called "cultural Christians" and urban Christianity.
He ends his final chapter as he begins his first -- with an insightful comments about Christianity as a world religion. While many would be content with the book as-is, Bays goes a bit farther and includes a very nice appendix giving a brief history about Eastern Orthodoxy's developments in China. Although this reviewer would have preferred to see a more integrated look at Orthodoxy intermingled with subjects of the other chapters, this appendix brings to light an important, yet often forgotten piece of history.
Bay's new history, in the short time that has already been in print, is already making headlines as the definitive guide to the history of Christianity in China for years to come. Jun 24, Mingzhi rated it it was amazing Shelves: dissertation , church-history , history , politics. It is indeed a great scholarship done by Prof. This new volume is rather comprehensive, but with good breadth and right depth, quite easy to consume the information presented.
Download PDF A New History of Christianity in China (Wiley Blackwell Guides to Global Christianity)
Good introduction for someone interested in learning about the history of Christianity in China, including both Catholicism and Protestantism. I regret, however, that Prof. Bays left out It is indeed a great scholarship done by Prof. Bays left out one important development in this book, which is the development of Reformed Christianity in China.
Dr Lars Laamann | Staff | SOAS University of London
However, contemporary issues related to Christianity was probably something not of priority for this book. Overall a very good read, and informative for a book on an expansive subject, written in mere pages. Hopefully a second edition would correct the number of typos I found in the book. Jun 17, Michael Carlson rated it really liked it. The WCD also includes information on world, regional, and national Christian communions.
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