Translation, Literature, and Publishing in Chinese Christianities — Call for Papers

The History Research Centre (Manchester Metropolitan University) and
the Centre for Sino-Christian Studies (Hong Kong Baptist University)

An international conference on translation, literature, and publishing in Chinese Christianities will be held at Manchester Metropolitan University on 18 and 19 June 2020. Scholars are invited to submit abstracts for papers exploring one or more of the conference themes.

Conference Themes

The history of Chinese Christianities is inseparable from the work of missionaries and Chinese Christians in producing and disseminating Chinese Christian texts. The religious ideas that inspired the Taiping Rebellion, for example, were rooted in Hong Xiuquan’s reading of a Chinese Bible and Liang Fa’s Good Words to Admonish the Age. While older historical works tended to stress the agency and work of foreign missionaries, more recent scholarship has brought to light the role played by Chinese individuals in the interrelated processes of translation and localisation.

Building on this foundation, the conference aims to explore the contributions of both foreign and Chinese Christians to the translation of Christian texts into the Chinese language and the creation of Chinese Christian literature. The conference also aims to explore the impact of printing technologies on the spread of Christianity among the Chinese and the ways in which Christian publishing stimulated technological innovation in Chinese printing. The conference will focus on the period from Robert Morrison’s arrival in China (1807) to the present. The organisers will, however, also consider papers that look at translation, literature, and publishing during earlier periods in the history of Chinese Christianities. 

Theoretically, the conference is rooted in a fundamental acknowledgement that Christianity is constantly transforming itself through its interactions with different languages and cultures around the world. This process of transformation has turned Christianity into a globally local religion and has contributed to the emergence of many diverse forms of Christianity in China and the Chinese-speaking world. Rather than looking at an abstract, singular Christianity in China, the conference seeks to explore translation, literature, and publishing in multiple Chinese Christianities.
Please send your paper title and a 200-word abstract to by 30 September 2019.

Contact Information

Dr Carl Kilcourse, Senior Lecturer in East Asian History, Manchester Metropolitan University,

Dr George Kam Wah Mak, Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Hong Kong Baptist University,