Special Issue "Christianity and China in the 21st Century"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mark G. Toulouse

Emmanuel College (Principal), and Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto, 75 Queen’s Park Crescent, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: religion and public life; religion and popular culture; theological education; history and theology of North American Christianity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The purpose of the Special Issue is to promote understanding concerning the development of Chinese Christianity in the twenty-first century; to strengthen dialogue between North American scholars/church leaders and Chinese scholars/church leaders; to inspire critical reflection about Chinese Christianity and the implications associated with its rapid development.

The focus of this Special Issue will include such things as:

  • The history, context, challenges and prospects of Chinese official churches (those associated with the China Christian Council);
  • The history, context, challenges and prospects of Chinese house churches (the “unofficial” congregations and Christian movements in China);
  • The relationship of church and state in China;
  • Christianity and Chinese contemporary public affairs and public life;
  • Christianity and Chinese contemporary culture;
  • The contributions made by Canadian missionaries to the development of Chinese Christianity

Existing scholarly literature has done very little to bring these particular topics together, or to create dialogue around these topics between Chinese and North American scholars.

Prof. Dr. Mark G. Toulouse
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 papers will be 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. 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

  • China Christian Council
  • House Churches
  • Church and State in China
  • Public Life
  • Contemporary Culture
  • Missionaries
  • Chinese Christianity

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Forming Christians through Musicking in China
Religions 2017, 8(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8040050
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 12 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, authorities in mainland China have renewed their call for the sinicization of Christianity through theological discourse. Given that Christianity is largely expressed in visible, worship-based ways, such as music (songs), rhetoric (sermons), rituals (sacraments), symbols (crosses, garments, banners, etc.), posture [...] Read more.
In recent years, authorities in mainland China have renewed their call for the sinicization of Christianity through theological discourse. Given that Christianity is largely expressed in visible, worship-based ways, such as music (songs), rhetoric (sermons), rituals (sacraments), symbols (crosses, garments, banners, etc.), posture and gesture (genuflecting, lifting hands, etc.), one wonders at the implication of this development. Might there be an alternative approach to sinicization? This essay seeks to investigate the feasibility of sinicized Christianity from the ontology of musicking as purveyed through the practice of congregational song. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christianity and China in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle The Division of the Roman Catholic Church in Mainland China: History and Challenges
Religions 2017, 8(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8030039
Received: 19 October 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (464 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper offers a historical perspective on the division within the Roman Catholic Church in mainland China, focusing on the appointment of bishops, the constitution of ecclesial provinces and dioceses, and the problematic establishment of the national church organization. The current state of [...] Read more.
The paper offers a historical perspective on the division within the Roman Catholic Church in mainland China, focusing on the appointment of bishops, the constitution of ecclesial provinces and dioceses, and the problematic establishment of the national church organization. The current state of Sino-Vatican relations both reflects this division and serves as a precondition to positive steps that might heal the division. An initial concordat on the appointment of bishops may serve as a primary step, but a larger challenge confronts the Chinese church in its movement toward reconciliation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christianity and China in the 21st Century)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Trust at Work: A Study on Faith and Trust of Protestant Entrepreneurs in China
Religions 2016, 7(12), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7120136
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is much talk about the trust crisis in China and the possible role of religion in rebuilding China’s moral order. This study is an attempt to examine religion’s impact on the emerging market economy in China, focusing on trust in business relations [...] Read more.
There is much talk about the trust crisis in China and the possible role of religion in rebuilding China’s moral order. This study is an attempt to examine religion’s impact on the emerging market economy in China, focusing on trust in business relations that might be generated by the Christian faith. Based on 43 in-depth interviews with Christian entrepreneurs in China, our study shows that the majority of our respondents tend to be: (1) more willing to be trustworthy after becoming Christians; (2) trusting people who share their faith more than others; (3) perceiving religious persons, regardless of what that religion is, as more trustworthy than the non-religious. Our study shows that religiosity is used by many Christian entrepreneurs as a category to guide their decision-making and that it is significant in stimulating and maintaining trust in and from others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christianity and China in the 21st Century)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Living Goddess of Mercy at the Rape of Nanking: Minnie Vautrin and the Ginling Refugee Camp in World War II (1937–1938)
Religions 2016, 7(12), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7120150
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 17 December 2016
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Abstract
During the infamous Nanking Atrocity, some Western businesspersons and missionaries established the Nanking Safety Zone to protect about 250,000 refugees. When the Japanese army was pressing on Nanking, Minnie Vautrin, an educational missionary from the United Christian Missionary Society, took charge of the [...] Read more.
During the infamous Nanking Atrocity, some Western businesspersons and missionaries established the Nanking Safety Zone to protect about 250,000 refugees. When the Japanese army was pressing on Nanking, Minnie Vautrin, an educational missionary from the United Christian Missionary Society, took charge of the Ginling College campus. As one of the 25 refugee camps, Ginling provided shelter to about 10,000 women and children in late December 1937—the hardest time during World War II in China. With her neutral identity of American nationality, Vautrin seriously struggled with Japanese soldiers when they were seizing Chinese women for rape from the campus; thus, she helped many women avoid the possible fate of sexual violence and slaughter. The Chinese people promoted her as a “Goddess of Mercy”, in the Chinese language a “Living Buddha” (Huo pu sa) or “Guanyin Buddha” (Guan Yin pu sa). The Chinese central government awarded her the Order of Jade (Cai Yu xun zhang). Drawing from Vautrin’s diaries and other original materials, this paper narrates this Christian female missionary’s moving story in humanism, evangelism, and internationalism. Her devotion to the Chinese refugee women and children made her an eyewitness to the Nanking Massacre, a rehabilitator of refugee sufferings, and a mental and bodily victim of disastrous war. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christianity and China in the 21st Century)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Wang Yi and the 95 Theses of the Chinese Reformed Church
Religions 2016, 7(12), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7120142
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
In August 2015, a group of pastors and elders from an urban house church in Chengdu, Sichuan, posted 95 theses online. This bold move, challenging the state and the Chinese churches has created controversy in China and abroad. The theses address a series [...] Read more.
In August 2015, a group of pastors and elders from an urban house church in Chengdu, Sichuan, posted 95 theses online. This bold move, challenging the state and the Chinese churches has created controversy in China and abroad. The theses address a series of issues on sovereignty and authority with regard to God, the church and the government. This article considers briefly the historical and theological resemblances to Luther’s act, then examines three of the most controversial aspects of the document: its analysis of church–state relations, its rejection of the “sinicization” of Christianity, and its excoriation of the state-registered church. Of these three, the article focuses on church–state relations, since perspectives on the state church and sinicization stem from the same arguments. The article shows how the thinking of this Reformed church and its senior pastor Wang Yi draws on a particular reading of the bible, church tradition, and the role of conscience, and traces these to pastor Wang Yi’s earlier writings and his reading of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Reformed thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christianity and China in the 21st Century)
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