The Divine and Mystical Realm

Removing Chinese Christianity from the Fixed Structures of Mission Church and Clergy

in Social Sciences and Missions
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Indigenous Chinese preacher Watchman Nee is considered to have had the greatest theological influence on China’s vibrant house church movement, yet there are few studies detailing his influence on church practices. This paper analyzes the writings of Watchman Nee and other Local Church members to show how Nee contextualized the message of Western missionaries to China, using subaltern strategies of returning to scriptural fundamentals and reducing the scale of organization and worship. He divested mission Christianity of its hegemonic trappings and created flexible Christian practices, which take place in the ‘divine and mystical realm,’ out of reach from ‘worldly’ power structures.

Social Sciences and Missions

Sciences sociales et missions (Formerly: Le Fait Missionnaire)




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