Alexander Chow is an American-born Chinese who was raised in Southern California. He completed his PhD in theology at the University of Birmingham (UK), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Renmin University of China (Beijing), where he was doing research in Chinese Christianity and teaching in the School of Liberal Arts. Alex joined the University of Edinburgh in September 2013 and is Senior Lecturer in Theology and World Christianity and co-director of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity. He is co-editor of the journal Studies in World Christianity (Edinburgh University Press) and editor of the Chinese Christianities book series (Notre Dame Press).

Alex has written a number of articles on Christianity in China, and more broadly, in East Asia. He has written two books, Theosis, Sino-Christian Theology and the Second Chinese Enlightenment: Heaven and Humanity in Unity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013; Chinese edition: Institute of Sino-Christian Studies, 2015) and Chinese Public Theology: Generational Shifts and Confucian Imagination in Chinese Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2018).

What is World Christianity?

Generally speaking, ‘World Christianity’ speaks about the developments of the global expanse of Christianity, although it tends to imply Christianity in the non-Western world (i.e., Africa, Asia, and Latin America) and Christianity amongst indigenous and non-Western diasporic communities in the West (e.g., British Chinese Christianity). My particular area of focus is Asia, with most of my research dealing with Mainland China.

There are Christians in China?

Yes. The first archaeological evidence of Christianity in China can be traced back to the 7th century, when the Church of the East entered via the silk roads (almost contemporaneous to the Gregorian mission to the Anglo-Saxon barbarians on the British Isles). There would subsequently be major waves of Roman Catholic (16th century) and Protestant (19th century) missionaries who entered China, as well as a small group of Russian Orthodox (17th century). Protestant Christianity is often identified as the fastest growing religious tradition in China today.