This pathbreaking volume will force a reassessment of many common assumptions about the relationship between Christianity and modern China. The overall thrust of the twenty essays is that despite the conflicts and tension that often have characterized relations between Christianity and China, in fact Christianity has been, for the past two centuries or more, putting down roots within Chinese society, and it is still in the process of doing so. Thus Christianity is here interpreted not just as a Western religion that imposed itself on China, but one that was becoming a Chinese religion, as Buddhism did centuries ago.
Eschewing the usual focus on foreign missionaries, as is customary, this research effort is China-centered, drawing on Chinese sources, including government and organizational documents, private papers, and interviews. The essays are organized into four major sections: Christianity's role in Qing society, including local conflicts (6 essays); ethnicity (3 essays); women (5 essays); and indigenization of the Christian effort (6 essays). The editor has provided sectional introductions to highlight the major themes in each section, as well as a general Introduction.