Religious and Political Contestation in Chinese Contexts
Whilst religion and politics are not meant for polite dinner conversations, they have frequently been present at the table amongst scholars of world Christianity, and especially for those who research Chinese contexts. To a great extent, religion and politics have been intertwined throughout Chinese history. We see this in the three major religions or teachings of China – Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism – all of which have vied for space amongst the masses and in the political arena. This has been complicated even further with the rise of the Communist Party of China, which has since the 1980s held a position of tolerance for religion as being a ‘private matter’ with little to no public significance. Adding Christianity into the mix only complicates the picture, given its own multifaceted relationships with religion and politics. Christianity’s historical emphasis on evangelism inevitably invokes reaction in this pluralistic society. Furthermore, despite any restrictions imposed by the ruling party, strands of Chinese Christianity have always had a significant proclivity to exist as a public religion. The four articles in this issue of Studies in World Christianity offer snapshots into various aspects of Christianity’s religious and political contestation in Chinese contexts.
- Amy Yu Fu, Religious Rivalry in the Seventeenth Century: A Buddhist–Christian Case in China
- Kevin Xiyi Yao, The Hunan Bible Institute (Biola-in-China): A Stronghold of Fundamentalist Bible Training in China, 1916—1952
- Ximian Xu, The Scientific Calling of the Church: Herman Bavinck’s Exhortation for the Churches in Mainland China
- Jason Lam, Reading Bonhoeffer amid the Hong Kong Protests
The four articles in this issue demonstrate how religious and political concerns in Chinese contexts are ripe soil for conflicts and contestations, but also offer important resources for the critical and constructive growth of Christianity.
This is an excerpt from the editorial for SWC 27.2, entitled ‘Religious and Political Contestation in Chinese Contexts’.