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A New History of Christianity in China


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1. The Nestorian Age and the Mongol Mission, 635-1368 4

2. The Jesuit Mission of Early Modern Times and Its Fate 17

3. Protestant Beginnings, Catholics Redux, and China's First Indigenous Christians, 1800-1860 41

4. Expansion and Institution-building in a Declining Dynasty, 1860-1902 66

5. The "Golden Age" of Missions and the "Sino-Foreign Protestant Establishment," 1902-1927 92

6. The Multiple Crises of Chinese Christianity, 1927-1950 121

7. Christianity and the New China, 1950-1966 158

8. The Chinese Church from the End of the Cultural Revolution to the Early Twenty-first Century 183

Appendix: The Russian Orthodox Church and Ecclesiastical Mission in China 209

Bibliography 217

Index 229

About the Author

Daniel H. Bays is currently Professor of History and Director of the Asian Studies Program at Calvin College in Michigan. Previously he taught at the University of Kansas for 30 years. He is the author of several books on Chinese Christian history.


A highly readable and up-to-date introduction to thehistory of Christianity in China by a long-term expert in the field [and] very enjoyable to read. It is highly recommended notonly for students and scholars in the field of World Christianity,but also in the wider field of religion in China. ( Journal of Chinese Religions , 1 May 2013) This compact volume presents a survey of the history ofChristianity in China from the seventh century to thepresent. ( The American Historical Review , 4April 2014) Readability is one of the key strengths of this title,opening up the complexities of inculturation, missionarycompetition, centre versus periphery, and well as the changingnature of the dominant state policies governing Christianity to anaudience which would otherwise have shined away from the topic...Daniel Bays should furthermore be congratulated because his NewHistory shines a bright light into the complexities and secrets ofcontemporary Christianity in China. ( The Journal ofThe Bulletin of the School of Oriental & African Studies , 1August 2013) Given the scope and the complexity of the history ofChristianity in China, the book is remarkably wellorganized. ( China Review International , 1 April2013) This succinctly written, groundbreaking work will nodoubt become required reading for undergraduate and graduatestudents of world history and religiousstudies. ( The Journal of Asian Studies , 1September 2013) These praiseworthy books from Bays and Phan will enhancetheir readers understanding of the manifold Christianitiesof China and Asia as well as of the global history of east-westrelations. (Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 1January 2013) This is an excellent text for both undergraduate classesand more advanced scholars of the subject, and even the well-readscholar of Chinese Christianity will find here helpful reminders, adriving n arrative line, and Bays confident, collegial voiceguiding them toward future research on topics that could not fitfully into this concise volume. (Social Sciencesand Missions 25, 2012) Summing Up: Essential. Alllevels/libraries. ( Choice , 1 April2012) Daniel Bays succeeds in bringing the story ofChristianity to scholars and readers in terested in China and thestory of China to Christians and others fascinated by globalChristianity. (EMQ, 2012) "A New History of Christianity of China provides an expert overviewand reinterpretation of a complex and often-confusing subject." (Asian Review, 26 February 2012) "This short, erudite, and accessible history of ChineseChristianity is set to become the best introduction available." (Church Times, 6 January 2012) "Given the scholarly quality and historical timeliness of Bays'swork, A New History of Christianity in China is an invaluableresource for any student of Chinese Christianity or any missionarydesiring to serve the church there." (Themelios, 2011) I've really learned a lot from A New History ofChristianity in China Bays is one of the leadingscholars in the field and gives us an accessible, compact book This is a riveting history and Bays tells it fairly andevenly. Asia Blog (http://asiasociety.org/blog/asia) [Bays] offers a comprehensive narrative that covers thewaterfront, from Tibet and Mongolia in the west and north toBeijing and Macao in the east and south; from the Apostle Thomas inthe church s very first generation to Bishop K. H. Ting inour own time; with discussion not just of abstract theological andecclesiological debates but also of pragmatic political andcultural considerations He focuses not so much on the wordsand deeds of authority figures but, as much as the data permits, onthe daily experience of China s Christian masses Thisbook has my highest recommendation. It belongs in the library ofevery seminary and on the syllabus of every course on Asian churchhistory. (Journal of Asian Mission) A concise and accessible overview as well as aconvincing reinterpretation of the often tortuous transition ofChristianity from a foreign creed to an indigenized andacculturated faith in a non-Western society While recentacademic research has focused almost exclusively on prominentChinese church leaders, the lives, beliefs, experiences, andattitudes of ordinary Christians have been sadly neglected. DanielBays is, therefore, to be congratulated for having devotedconsiderable space to Chinese indigenous churches, especially thosewith Pentecostal characteristics, notably the True Jesus Church andthe Jesus Family This succinctly written, groundbreakingwork will no doubt become required reading for undergraduate andgraduate students of world history and religious studies. (The Journal of Asian Studies) It condenses a lifetime of profound engagement withChinese Christianity along with insights from the mostsignificant scholarship in the field during the past severaldecades into a single definitive volume. What he provides isnot only the most complete coverage of Chinese Christianity todate, but also a new and convincing framework for understandingChristianity as a religion of the Chinese people. Its lucid,concise, and direct prose also makes it a pleasure to read. (China Review International)

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