‘The Shaping of Christianity in China’ – Call for Papers

The Shaping of Christianity in China:
A fresh look at the contribution of indigenous Christians

Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, 21-22 May 2015
Deadline: 31 December 2014

Several scholars have agreed to lend their support to an initiative from Dr Peter Rowan, the UK National Director of OMF International, to hold a two-day conference at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS), Woodstock Road, Oxford, in Spring 2015, to mark the 150 years since the foundation of the China Inland Mission/OMF. Among those supporting this initiative are Dr Patrick Fung (General Director OMF, Singapore), Dr Tom Harvey (OCMS), Professor David Killingray (School of Advanced Study, University of London), Professor Gary Tiedemann (Shandong University, formerly SOAS, London), Professor Charles Weber (Wheaton College, IL), Dr Paul Woods (OCMS), and Dr Zheng Yangwen (University of Manchester).

The focus of the conference will be on the role played by Chinese Christians in the shaping of Protestant and Catholic Christianity within China over the past century-and-a-half. This is not to ignore the significant role of foreign missionaries whose accounts have been well told, but to redress the balance and to bring to life the very important contribution of the many indigenous Christians, often marginalised in western-told histories, who spoke the language, understood the cultures, and were often the primary active agents in helping to spread a knowledge of the gospel. There are a number of indigenous Christian leaders, catechists, priests, and evangelists whose stories have been told, but also there are many other significant ‘ordinary people’ who can be retrieved from diaries and correspondence, scattered references in magazines, and from oral accounts. In doing this we hope to rescue from the condescension of posterity the voice of indigenous Christians and, in the process, provide a wider, more balanced and sufficient history than that which has tended to dominate church and academy.

It is hoped that the papers given at the Symposium would be of a standard suitable for publication in an edited volume, perhaps by OCMS.

We welcome proposals for papers from scholars working on aspects of Christianity in China. Abstracts no more than 300 words long should be sent to Dr Paul Woods (pwoods@ocms.ac.uk) at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies by 31 December, 2014.