This was originally posted on the blog Orthodoxy in Dialogue on 14 May 2018.
Many have noted the recent “Orthodox Renaissance” in Western studies of Christianity. Helpfully, an increasing number of Orthodox writers have produced theological primers for Western Christians. Furthermore, Western luminaries—from Aquinas to Calvin, from Barth to Torrance—have been “rediscovered” for being closet Orthodox Christians (okay, that may be a stretch) who offer their own versions of theosis. My own work has followed this latter trajectory in many senses, although it has focused on another “Eastern” Christianity—that is, the East Asian Christianity of mainland China. Continue reading “Orthodoxy and Chinese Public Theology”
This summer, I attended two academic conferences offering a presentation about a key figure in the development of Protestant Christianity in China since the 1980s: the Reformed missionary, Jonathan Chao 赵天恩 (1938–2004). The focus of my paper was on how his theology and approach has shaped his engagement with the house church movement. The surprising thing is that most of the questions that arose from my presentation was not about Chao himself, but about why there has been a recent rise in the interests in Calvinism in China.
Of course, as Calvinism (and Christianity) is on the decline in the West, this has caught the attention of a lot of people, reporters and academics.1 Here, let me offer five reasons for these developments:
Continue reading “The Rise of Calvinism in China Today: Five Reasons”
There is a growing recognition by the media and by scholars that Calvinism is growing in China these days.1 The news has gained the attention of a number of Americans, particularly since the 16th century Reformer John Calvin is likewise having a comeback in the US in the so-called ‘New Calvinism‘ movement.2 At least one scholar has called the movement in China ‘Chinese New Calvinism’.3 Unfortunately, I think this view is problematic.
You can read my own interpretation more fully in an academic article I just published on Calvinism in China,4 but I wanted to summarise my basic points here, since I think it is an important distinction: Continue reading “New Calvinism in China?”