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Abstract

Focusing on Chinese Christians’ engagement with popular religions, this chapter explores the complexity of indigenization as a window onto larger intellectual, cultural and religious issues confronting China during a time of rapid change. In particular, popular religious traditions of millenarian Buddhist and Daoist origins and which predated the teachings of foreign missionaries greatly impacted the indigenization of the Chinese Church. This study investigates the culture of fear and insecurity in rural China by reviewing the spiritual responses of both Catholic and Protestant missions towards demon possession and exorcism from the end of the Taiping wars to the Japanese invasion. Such a popular and often subconscious form of syncretism still characterizes many Catholic and Protestant communities in China today.

In: The Church as Safe Haven

Abstract

Focusing on Chinese Christians’ engagement with popular religions, this chapter explores the complexity of indigenization as a window onto larger intellectual, cultural and religious issues confronting China during a time of rapid change. In particular, popular religious traditions of millenarian Buddhist and Daoist origins and which predated the teachings of foreign missionaries greatly impacted the indigenization of the Chinese Church. This study investigates the culture of fear and insecurity in rural China by reviewing the spiritual responses of both Catholic and Protestant missions towards demon possession and exorcism from the end of the Taiping wars to the Japanese invasion. Such a popular and often subconscious form of syncretism still characterizes many Catholic and Protestant communities in China today.

In: The Church as Safe Haven

Abstract

The relationship between the Anglo-Scottish Ultra-Ganges Mission and the Dutch missionaries in South East Asia, both missions based at Batavia and at Melaka (Malacca), could be described as “distant but cordial” – even during times of colonial conflict – but the same cannot always be said about the internal conditions of the British mission. This article will attempt to place the relationship between the Anglo-Dutch missionary enterprises into a historical context which includes the complex networks built up by the missionaries with the colonial administrations, as well as with the local Malay and Chinese communities. Ultimately, the success of their mission depended as much on such external factors as on the internal cohesion between the individual missionaries. Much of the historical sources for this article has been derived from the Special Collections archives kept at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Open Access
In: Exchange

Abstract

This chapter conceptualizes the rise of Chinese Christianity as a new civilizational paradigm that encouraged individuals and communities to construct a sacred order for empowerment in times of chaos and confusion. Once global Christianity had enrooted itself in Chinese society as an indigenous religion, local congregations acquired much autonomy, which enabled new faith-based institutions to take charge of community governance. In an increasingly autonomous managerial public sphere, Christian China assumed the role of a quasi-state, channeling aid from afar and rehabilitating severely affected localities during emergencies. Local churches did not just survive disasters, wars, revolutions and persecutions throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They skillfully adjusted their faith to the existing political, social and cultural climates of specific periods. Instead of being passive recipients of Christianity from foreign missionaries, Chinese Christians became active evangelistic agents, and played a critical role in the promotion of inter-religious dialogue, the establishment of native churches and faith-based institutions and the transmission of religious values between the generations.

In: The Church as Safe Haven
In: The Church as Safe Haven