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Author: Alexander Chow

Abstract

This chapter offers a comparative analysis of the role evangelicalism plays in three movements of ethnic Chinese – to Britain in the 1960s–70s, to the United States in the 1970s–90s, and to urban centres of mainland China in the 1990s–2010s. The basis of comparison is found in the fact that urbanisation and diaspora are fundamentally two forms of migration, though they may differ in the extent of physical and cultural distance travelled. In each of these movements, Chinese migrants encounter forms of evangelicalism which offer existential and material resources to understand, interpret, and engage the shifts towards one’s new home. Furthermore, this chapter argues that what is understood as ‘evangelicalism’ is contextualised in ways that somewhat differ from British or American evangelicalisms, and offers a unique form of Chinese evangelicalism.

In: Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity
Author: Alexander Chow

Abstract

This chapter offers a comparative analysis of the role evangelicalism plays in three movements of ethnic Chinese – to Britain in the 1960s–70s, to the United States in the 1970s–90s, and to urban centres of mainland China in the 1990s–2010s. The basis of comparison is found in the fact that urbanisation and diaspora are fundamentally two forms of migration, though they may differ in the extent of physical and cultural distance travelled. In each of these movements, Chinese migrants encounter forms of evangelicalism which offer existential and material resources to understand, interpret, and engage the shifts towards one’s new home. Furthermore, this chapter argues that what is understood as ‘evangelicalism’ is contextualised in ways that somewhat differ from British or American evangelicalisms, and offers a unique form of Chinese evangelicalism.

In: Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity
In: Scottish Missions to China
Author: Alexander Chow

Abstract

This essay will explore the so-called “term question” associated with major attempts at providing a Chinese rendering of the name of God. It will focus on two foundational missionary-scholars to China, Matteo Ricci and James Legge, and examine the different philosophical and theological contexts that ultimately resulted in the same conclusion – that is, to identify an equivalence between the Christian God and the ancient Chinese understanding of Shangdi 上帝 (“Lord on high”). This essay will also suggest that, for James Legge, this conviction offered a major rationale for producing English translations of Chinese philosophical and religious works: his monumental Chinese Classics.

In: Scottish Missions to China
Commemorating the Legacy of James Legge (1815-1897)
Author: Alexander Chow
This volume explores the important legacy of Scottish missions to China, with a focus on the missionary-scholar and Protestant sinologist par excellence James Legge (1815–1897). It challenges the simplistic caricature of Protestant missionaries as Orientalizing imperialists, but also shows how the Chinese context and Chinese persons “converted” Scottish missionaries in their understandings of China and the broader world.

Scottish Missions to China brings together essays by leading Chinese, European, and North American scholars in mission history, sinology, theology, cultural and literary studies, and psychology. It calls attention to how the historic enterprise of Scottish missions to China presents new insights into Scottish-Chinese and British-Chinese relations.

Contributors are: Joanna Baradziej, Marilyn L. Bowman, Alexander Chow, Gao Zhiqiang, Joachim Gentz, David Jasper, Christopher Legge, Lauren F. Pfister, David J. Reimer, Brian Stanley, Yang Huilin, Zheng Shuhong.
Author: Alexander Chow

Abstract

Studies on mission and migration have often focused on the propagation of Christianity from a home context to a foreign context. This is true of studies of Christian mission by Catholics and Protestants, but also true in the growing discussion of “reverse mission” whereby diasporic African and Korean missionaries evangelize the “heathen” lands of Europe and North America. This article proposes the alternative term “return mission” in which Christians from the diaspora return to evangelize the lands of their ancestral origins. It uses the case study of Jonathan Chao (Zhao Tian’en 趙天恩), a return missionary who traveled in and out of China from 1978 until near his death in 2004 and is considered an instrumental figure in the revival of Calvinism in China. This article suggests that “return mission” provides a new means to understand the subjects of mission and migration, and raises new challenges to questions about paternalism and independency.

In: Mission Studies
Author: Alexander Chow

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.

In: International Journal of Public Theology