From Christianity in China to Chinese Christianity: Missing History Since 1583 and Recent Academic Debates in English

Hua Li


The history of Christianity in China can be roughly divided into four periods of growth, decline, revival, and indigenisation. After briefly reviewing each period of the history of Christianity in China, I will examine a variety of influential books written by western scholars of different perspectives, reveal their disparate or even contradictory points of view, and evaluate their effectiveness in examining the three phases of the Christian presence in China: accommodation, inculturation, and indigenisation. As the historical evidence presented by these authors develops from a discussion of the introduced presence of Christianity in China to a look at indigenised Chinese Christianity, I will try to find the voids, biases and omissions, and conclude by indicating the possible directions which, I believe, scholarship should take to provide a more complete picture of the history of Christianity in China.


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© Centre for Studies in Religion and Society
University of Victoria
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ISSN (Print): 1705-2947
ISSN (Online): 1712-5634