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NEW: Chinese Christianities Book Series

Notre Dame Press

I’m pleased to announce that there is a new book series being started through Notre Dame Press entitled the Chinese Christianities Series. I will be serving as its series editor, with Stephen Little of the press as acquisitions editor.

Feel free to get in contact with either of us if you have any questions. Continue reading “NEW: Chinese Christianities Book Series”

Melissa Inouye’s ‘China and the True Jesus’—An Interview

I interviewed Dr Melissa Inouye (University of Auckland) about her latest book, China and the True Jesus: Charisma and Organization in a Chinese Christian Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). Drawing on historical and oral sources, Inouye presents a fascinating analysis of the well-known yet understudied Chinese Christian group, the True Jesus Church.

Why did you want to produce this study on the True Jesus Church?

I first encountered the True Jesus Church in China when a woman struck up a conversation with my husband and my baby son on a bus in a city. She invited him to church that evening. At the time we were attending a local Three-Self congregation, so he asked, “Is it a Three-Self church meeting?” She said no. So he asked, “Is it a house church meeting?” She said no. I was intrigued to hear about this church that defied the categories I had in my mind for Chinese Christianity. I went to the meeting place in a sort of commercial building and found that it was in fact a True Jesus Church. I had previously encountered the True Jesus Church in Taiwan but was surprised to find them here, in the PRC. In addition to being intrigued by the True Jesus Church’s out-of-the-box identity, I also wanted to investigate the relationship between native religious culture and transplanted Christian culture within the church. It struck me as extremely Chinese, but also very like other global forms of restorationist Christianity such as Mormonism. 

Continue reading “Melissa Inouye’s ‘China and the True Jesus’—An Interview”

AAR 2019: Chinese Christianities Seminar – Call for Papers

American Academy of Religion, 2019 Meeting
Chinese Christianities Seminar CfP
Deadline for proposals: 4 March 2019

This seminar provides a collaborative forum for scholars of different disciplines to engage in an academic discourse about the field of Chinese Christianities. Christianity is the fastest growing religion in mainland China today, and arguably the religion of choice for a growing number of diasporic Chinese. “Chinese” is an expansive term, including mainland China proper as well as a large, linguistically, and culturally diverse diaspora, and encompassing more than a fifth of the world’s population; the Han Chinese people are sometimes described as the world’s largest ethnic group. Hence, with the increasing critical mass of Chinese Christians, there has likewise been a growing academic interest in various instantiations of Chinese Christianities, as understood across geographies (e.g., mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, North America, etc.) and groupings (e.g., house and state-sanctioned churches, Catholic, Pentecostal, etc.). Chinese Christianities both transcend and hinder a number of regional, social, religious, etc. boundaries. Over the course of these five years, this seminar will offer a unique opportunity for scholars to engage and to debate the implications of the multiplicity of Chinese Christianities with regards to the boundaries they engage.

In the first four years of this program unit, the sessions have explored how the multiplicity of Chinese Christianities both transcend and hinder a number of boundaries: (1) regional, (2) social, (3) religious, and (4) ecclesiological. In this fifth and final year, the program unit would like to explore the broader conceptualization of the field, itself. Namely, why is it important to speak about Chinese Christianities? Papers can engage micro- or macro-case studies, focus on theoretical concerns, or challenge methodological presuppositions. We welcome papers in the following or related areas:

Continue reading “AAR 2019: Chinese Christianities Seminar – Call for Papers”

AAR 2018: Chinese Christianities Seminar

AAR

At the 2018 meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Denver later this month, we will have our fourth year running of the Chinese Christianities Seminar. This year, we are glad to have TWO sessions around the theme of the church—on ‘Crossing Ecclesial Boundaries’ (Sat. 1-3pm; Convention Center-204) and ‘Asserting Ecclesial Boundaries’ (Sun. 3:30-5pm; Convention Center-107). Continue reading “AAR 2018: Chinese Christianities Seminar”

Adrian Pei’s ‘The Minority Experience’ – A Book Review

The Minority Experience: Navigating Emotional and Organizational Realities. By Adrian Pei. Downers Grove, IL, USA, IVP Books 2018. Pp. 208. $17.00.

The Minority Experience
Few books evoke the kind of deep reaction I had when reading this volume for review. Adrian Pei’s The Minority Experience articulates in writing experiences and emotions that I have felt all my life, as a ‘Chinese’ in Southern California, as an ‘American’ in China, and as a ‘Chinese’ in the UK. In each of these places, my presence as a minority has been magnified by others, intentional or not. Pei’s work wrestles with these kinds of experiences and explains how organisations can do more in addressing the deep-seated challenges of the minority experience. Continue reading “Adrian Pei’s ‘The Minority Experience’ – A Book Review”