(Dis)unity in the Church in China

Rev Joseph GuWhen I was first interested in Christianity in China, the Protestant terrain was laid out very clearly to me. There are two churches in China: (1) the true and faithful house churches who’s members endure persecution to live the faith and (2) the Three-Self churches who’s members are not really Christians because they have compromised the gospel to communism. Over time, I have come to realise that these characterisations are far from representative of these two groups, and a lot of good can come out of discarding them.1 Continue reading “(Dis)unity in the Church in China”

‘Responses to Missions: Appropriations, Revisions, and Rejections’ – Call for Papers

Responses to Missions: Appropriations, Revisions, and Rejections

Annual Meeting of Yale-Edinburgh Group
on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity

University of Edinburgh, 23-25 June 2016
Deadline: 7 March 2016

For more information, see the official 2016 meeting page.

‘Christianity and Religions in China: Past Present Future’ – Call for Papers

The ecumenical Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Network invites you to its tenth annual international conference which will take place in Hong Kong, China, between July 20-24, 2016. The main program will take place at Ming Hua Theological College and other ecumenical partners in Hong Kong. There will also be cultural and religious events incorporated as part of the main program.

The conference takes as its theme the multi-faceted topic of ‘Christianity and Religions in China: Past Present Future’ and will run from Wednesday 20-Sunday 24 July 2016. The event will explore interchurch issues, intra-church issues, interfaith issues and issues concerning interaction and dialogue between the wider world and societies in which faith communities live out their existence. While the primary focus will be very much on the Chinese context, presentations on Christianity and religion in Asia in general and in other Asian contexts are also most welcome.

The call for papers is due 31 January 2016. For more information, see the official meeting website.

Is Confucianism a Religion?

This, of course, is a highly contested question. Google searches on this question bring up a variety of answers. But here, I propose to offer the definitive answer – not really. What I really want to do is ask the questions that are behind the question. Why is this even a question to begin with, and how are the ways this can be answered? In particular, should Christians (Chinese or otherwise) be concerned about this question at all?
Confucius Continue reading “Is Confucianism a Religion?”

Chinese Christianities Mailing List

This past weekend at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, we had the inaugural session of the new Chinese Christianities program unit. I have since created a mailing list for the group and related matters on Chinese Christianities.

To subscribe to our mailing list, please send an email to sympa@mlist.is.ed.ac.uk with nothing in the body of the message and the following in the ‘Subject’ line (replacing ‘Your Name’ with your real name):

SUBSCRIBE chinese-christianities Your Name

AAR 2015: Chinese Christianities Seminar

AAR

This year, at the 2015 meeting of the American Academy of Religion, we will have our first session of the Chinese Christianities Seminar. The theme for our program unit this year is ‘Crossing Regional Boundaries’, and we have a great lineup of five papers looking at the dynamics of Chinese Christianities under this theme. It will be held on Sat, Nov 21 at 9:00 AM-11:30 AM in the Hyatt-Marietta (Atlanta Conference Level).

This seminar provides a collaborative forum for scholars of different disciplines to engage in an academic discourse about the field of Chinese Christianities. Continue reading “AAR 2015: Chinese Christianities Seminar”

Halloween, Martyrology, Chinese Ancestral Veneration

Minion-o-Lantern

For many Christians, Halloween is a deeply disdained holiday. Everything scary and dark and evil comes out and wreaks havoc for a night (or a week). The holiday originated in Celtic lands as Samhain – a day when spirits roamed the earth and the living dressed up in costume to protect themselves. Medieval Christians tried to overcome this pagan holiday with a holiday commemorating the Christian saints of old on November 1 naming it All Saints Day, and the evening before as All Saints Eve or All Hallow (holy) Eve (hence, Halloween).

Today, Christians ask themselves whether it is biblical to carve pumpkins, or to allow their children to dress up or to go out and trick-or-treat, whereas non-Christians often don’t see why there is a fuss. Though there are pagan roots, many non-Christians understand Halloween as simply a time for fun and wear costumes. In contrast, many Christians revile the ‘pagan’ roots and, in particular, Protestants are shocked at the thought of even a holiday ‘worshipping’ saints explaining it away as a Catholic heresy. Continue reading “Halloween, Martyrology, Chinese Ancestral Veneration”

Chinese Edition of Monograph Published

成神論與天人合一
I’m proud to announce that the Chinese edition of my monograph1 has now been published in Hong Kong.2 I am thankful for two of my former classmates, Yen-yi Lee and Roy Wong, for their dedication to helping make the translation possible. I hope that it can be a useful resource, and continue to grow the discussions around Chinese Christian theology. Continue reading “Chinese Edition of Monograph Published”

Christianity as a Chinese Religion

Chinese Catholicism

I have been reviewing a number of very exciting proposals for the Chinese Christianities Seminar for the upcoming meeting of the American Academy of Religion, in November 2015.  They cover so many areas of Chinese Christianities – from various contexts around the world, to various conditions within a given locale.  Though I have tried arguing this in the past, it is important to recognise Christianity as not simply a ‘foreign religion’ or ‘foreign teaching’ (yang jiao 洋教), but in many ways also a Chinese religion. Continue reading “Christianity as a Chinese Religion”

Óscar Romero, Pope Francis and Liberation Theologies

This past Tuesday, February 3, the Óscar Romero Roman Catholic Church officially recognised the martyrdom of the Salvadorian Archbishop Óscar Romero. Fifteen years after he was assassinated in the middle of mass, the Pope’s decision brings Romero one step closer in being declared a Saint. While many hoped he would be declared a martyr much earlier, some suspected this process was delayed by Romero’s association with Latin American liberation theology.1 Continue reading “Óscar Romero, Pope Francis and Liberation Theologies”