Sacred Webs, historian Chris White demonstrates how Chinese Protestants in Minnan, or the southern half of Fujian Province, fractured social ties and constructed and utilized new networks through churches, which served as nodes linking individuals into larger Protestant communities. Through analyzing missionary archives, local church reports, and available Chinese records,
Sacred Webs depicts Christianity as a Chinese religion and Minnan Protestants as laying claim to both a Christian faith and a Chinese cultural heritage.
Chris White, Ph.D. (2011), Xiamen University, MA (2006), University of Pittsburgh, is currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher with the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.
"The individual chapters and the framework of social networks offer much of benefit to the field, and White is to be commended on an excellent thesis volume."
Chloe Starr, Yale Divinity School (
Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies, 66:1)
"Chris White uses an impressive array of missionary sources, Chinese periodicals, court cases, artifacts, photos, and the like, to demonstrate that to become a Christian in Minnan 閩南 was to create a new social identity. [...]
Sacred Webs is a strong micro-history of Protestant Christianity in Minnan. It is well-researched and introduces English speakers to a substantial body of secondary literature that is being produced in Chinese. Most importantly, though, the book is richly illustrative of how Christianity fragmented, fostered, and fueled Chinese social networks." Daryl R. Ireland, Boston University (Journal of Chinese Religions, 46:1)
Table of contents
Note on Terms and Spelling
List of Images, Chart and Maps
Chapter 1 Setting the Minnan Stage
Section 1 Displaced Gods and Riceless Christians: The Processes of Conversion among Minnan Protestants
Chapter 2 Processing Conversion
Chapter 3 Converting Costs
Section 2 Movers and Shakers: Mobility and Conflict in Minnan Protestant Communities
Chapter 4 Minnan Protestants on the Move
Chapter 5 Understanding Chinese Protestant Conflicts
Chapter 6 Networking Conflicts
Chapter 7 Celebrating Protestant Networks
Section 3 The Liberating Gospel: Xu Chuncao and Spiritual and Social Activism of Minnan Protestants
Chapter 8 Incorporating Protestant and Secular Networks
Appendix 1: Instances of Minnan Protestant Converts Forfeiting their Employment to Join the Church, 1846–1866
Appendix 2: Index of Chinese Characters
This work would appeal to researchers interested in Chinese Christianity, scholars of Chinese religions, church historians, and students of world missions alike.