Calvinist Public Theology in Urban China Today

in International Journal of Public Theology
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Abstract

Christianity in mainland China has often been characterized as a religion for the marginalized of society. However, since the 1990s, there has been a growing phenomenon within the country’s burgeoning urban metropolises with an increasing number of urban intellectuals converting to Protestantism. This article explores the theology of several representatives of these urban intellectual Christians who make use of the teachings of John Calvin and his followers. This article will show that there is a strong theological interest in engaging in the public sphere around subjects like the rule of law, constitutionalism and a civil society. Although the representatives cited in this article have been described as ‘Chinese New Calvinists’ or ‘Christian public intellectuals’, it is proposed here that a more appropriate understanding of this growing and significant group is as Chinese public theologians.

Calvinist Public Theology in Urban China Today

in International Journal of Public Theology

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References

1

Wu Yiyao and Cui Xiaohuo‘House Churches Thrive in Beijing’China Daily17 March 2010 <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2010-03/17/content_9600333.htm> [accessed 25 September 2013].

13

Ibid. p. 52.

16

Ibid. p. 273.

22

See Gerda WielanderChristian Values in Communist China (London: Routledge2013) pp. 108–29.

24

Wang Yi‘The Possibility of Political Theology: Christianity and Liberalism’Chinese Law and Religion Monitor8:1 (2012) 96–118 at 113–14.

25

Ibid.106. See Witte John ‘Blest Be the Ties That Bind: Covenant and Community in Puritan Thought’ Emory Law Journal 36 (1987) 579–601 at 584 fn 11 and 590–8.

27

Wang‘The Possibility of Political Theology’115.

28

Fällman‘Calvin Culture and Christ’ p. 154.

30

Fällman‘Calvin Culture and Christ’ pp. 161–2.

36

Fan Yafeng‘On the Transition Mode of the Relationship Between the State and the Church: The Mode from Rights Defense by the Church to Rights Defense in Mean Course’Chinese Law and Religion Monitor6:2 (2010) 17–28 at 22.

38

Ibid.23–4.

41

Fällman‘Calvin Culture and Christ’ pp. 153–68.

46

Sun Yi in discussion with author April 2013.

48

ChowTheosis Sino-Christian Theology and the Second Chinese Enlightenment pp. 7–13.

49

See ibid. pp. 85–128.

51

Thérèse F. TierneyThe Public Space of Social Media: Connected Cultures of the Network Society (New York: Routledge2013) pp. 22–38.

55

Daniel Bays‘Chinese Protestant Christianity Today’China Quarterly174 (June 2003) 494.

56

ChowTheosis Sino-Christian Theology and the Second Chinese Enlightenment pp. 52–4 and 120–4.

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