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Christian Encounters with Chinese Culture

Christian Encounters with Chinese Culture: Essays on Anglican and Episcopal History in China

Edited by Philip L. Wickeri
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: 1
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Christian Encounters with Chinese Culture
    Book Description:

    Written by a team of internationally recognized scholars, Christian Encounters with Chinese Culture focuses on a church tradition that has never been very large in China but that has had considerable social and religious influence. Themes of the book include questions of church, society and education, the Prayer Book in Chinese, parish histories, and theology. Taken together, the nine chapters and the introduction offer a comprehensive assessment of the Anglican experience in China and its missionary background. Historical topics range from macro to micro levels, beginning with an introductory overview of the Anglican and Episcopal tradition in China. Topics include how the church became embedded in Chinese social and cultural life, the many ways women's contributions to education built the foundations for strong parishes, and Bishop R. O. Hall's attentiveness to culture for the life of the church in Hong Kong. Two chapters explore how broader historical themes played out at the parish level—St. Peter's Church in Shanghai during the War against Japan and St. Mary's Church in Hong Kong during its first three decades. Chapters looking at the Chinese Prayer Book bring an innovative theological perspective to the discussion, especially how the inability to produce a single prayer book affected the development of the Chinese church. Finally, the tension between theological thought and Chinese culture in the work of Francis C. M. Wei and T. C. Chao is examined.

    eISBN: 978-988-8313-25-9
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Series Introduction Sheng Kung Hui: Historical Studies of Anglican Christianity in China
    (pp. vii-viii)

    The purpose of the series Sheng Kung Hui: Historical Studies of Anglican Christianity in China is to publish well-researched and authoritative volumes on the history of Anglican-Episcopal Christianity as a contribution to the intellectual, cultural, and religious history of modern China. With an in-depth focus on one particular denominational tradition, which has been in China for almost two hundred years, the series presents an interdisciplinary perspective that will also contribute to the history of Christianity in China. The emphasis throughout is on the life and work of the Church in society. Individual volumes are written for an educated audience and...

  4. List of Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Foreword
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Paul Kwong

    The Anglican and Episcopal tradition in China has never been very large, but it has made a distinctive contribution to the broader history of Christianity in our country. This tradition continues through the work of our church in Hong Kong and Macao, and through Anglican and Episcopal churches in the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia and around the world.

    Historically, Anglicans have embraced a via media between Protestant and Catholic understandings of the Western Christian tradition. In our life and thought, we rely on scripture, reason, and tradition, rather than confessions or doctrinal teachings. We are part of the Anglican...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    Philip L. Wickeri
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. Introduction
    (pp. 1-22)
    Philip L. WICKERI

    There have been a variety of Christian encounters with Chinese culture over the last fourteen hundred years, but in one way or another missionaries have always faced challenges establishing a Chinese church. Even as they attempted to accommodate to Chinese culture and engage in dialogue, they continued to be seen as propagating a foreign religion—sometimes strange, sometimes exotic, sometimes imposing, and at times simply ignored. The adaptability and otherness of Christianity became two poles in the Christian encounter with China, and these two poles have shaped our historical understanding of the relationship.

    East Syrian Christians from the Church of...

  10. Society, Education, and Culture

    • Chapter 1 The Protestant Episcopal China Mission and Chinese Society
      (pp. 25-46)
      Edward Yihua XU

      Compared with other Protestant missionary societies in China, the Protestant Episcopal China Mission (PECM)—also known as the American Church Mission (ACM)—was noted not so much for the number of its believers but for its prominence within the broader church community and society. Not only did the PECM raise up generations of renowned priests and church workers, it also fostered first-class educators, scholars, professionals, social activists, and even national leaders in modern China. One can say, therefore, that within the PECM there was a plethora of talents unmatched by any other mission body in terms of diversity and impact...

    • Chapter 2 Female Education and the Early Development of St. Stephen’s Church, Hong Kong (1865–1900s)
      (pp. 47-64)
      Patricia P. K. CHIU

      The education of “native” girls and women had been a part of the British Protestant missionary enterprise in Asia from the early nineteenth century. From India (1800s) to the Straits Settlements (1820s), the treaty ports in China and Hong Kong (1840s), and Japan (1870s), mission schools for girls were set up soon after opportunities were made available.¹ It was believed that education as intellectual enlightenment would lead to rejection of idolatry, conversion to Christianity, and the eventual elimination of social evils, such as the practices ofsatiin India, foot binding in China, female infanticide, and various forms of slavery...

    • Chapter 3 R. O. Hall and the Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion
      (pp. 65-78)
      Fuk-tsang YING

      The year 1957 marked the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Ronald Owen Hall as Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Hong Kong and Macao. Bishop Hall was the longest-serving bishop in Hong Kong, where he did a great deal for both church and society. He had an ecumenical spirit, and he cultivated deep and lasting friendships with Chinese Christians and people from all walks of life. After 1949, he devoted his energies to Hong Kong and brought together the church, social welfare, and education in his efforts to contribute to the reconstruction of the territory....

  11. The Prayer Book

    • Chapter 4 Rethinking Church through the Book of Common Prayer in Late Qing and Early Republican China
      (pp. 81-102)
      Chloë STARR

      A history of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) in China has yet to be written. There are chronologies of texts and research into editions, but no long study devoted to this remarkable work as an entity in itself—and as a lens through which to view the history of church struggles and debates.¹ This chapter considers the role of the Prayer Book in wider church life through an analysis of its textual evolution in the late Qing and through the murky politicking surrounding it. To produce a translation of the BCP was a rite of passage for Protestant missionaries...

    • Chapter 5 An Analysis of the Compilation and Writing of the Book of Common Prayer in the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui
      (pp. 103-116)
      Feng GUO

      On April 18, 1912, delegates from the eleven juridical areas of the mission societies of the Church of England, the American Protestant Episcopal Church Mission (PECM), and the Church of England in Canada assembled in Shanghai. They declared their unity, and, on April 26, the General Synod of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui (CHSKH) was inaugurated.¹ From its inauguration in 1912 until the Tenth General Synod (1947), the CHSKH prioritized the writing and compilation of a Book of Common Prayer (BCP). This emphasis stemmed from the recognition on the part of the General Synod of the Chung Hua Sheng...

  12. Parishes

    • Chapter 6 Christianity and Chinese Nationalism: St. Peter’s Church in Shanghai during the War against Japan
      (pp. 119-134)
      Qi DUAN

      Shanghai’s St. Peter’s Church was originally located at the intersection of Beijing West Road (formerly Aiwenni Road) and Chengdu North Road. Because of the construction of the Chengdu Road overpass, it was torn down in 1994. The church was an edifice of great historical significance. Had it survived it would be more than one hundred years old today.

      The church is famous not only for its architecture but, more importantly, for producing many persons of great historical influence in the history of the Chinese Christian church. Several leaders of the Chinese Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement came from St. Peter’s, including...

    • Chapter 7 Contextualization and the Chinese Anglican Parish: A Case Study of St. Mary’s Church, Hong Kong (1912–41)
      (pp. 135-152)
      Philip L. WICKERI and Ruiwen CHEN

      St. Mary’s Church has a history of more than a century. Since its founding in 1912, church and society in Hong Kong and in China as a whole have experienced dramatic changes. But the parish has maintained a sense of continuity through the faith of the people, the life of the diocese, and the work of the church.

      This chapter examines the early history of St. Mary’s in the period between its founding and the beginning of the Japanese occupation in 1941. We will show how the parish developed from the Eyre Diocesan Refuge to a contextualized Chinese Anglican church...

  13. Theology

    • Chapter 8 Bei Zhao Nan Wei: A Study of Two Chinese Anglican Theologians in Republican China
      (pp. 155-168)
      Peter Tze Ming NG

      In 1989 I heard the sayingBei Zhao Nan Wei(北趙南韋), meaning “for Protestant theologians in China, we have Zhao Zichen (趙紫宸, T. C. Chao) in the north and Wei Zhuomin (韋卓民, Francis C. M. Wei) in the south,” from Chinese historian Zhang Kaiyuan (章開沅), then-president of Central China Normal University.¹ I later discovered that the saying was popular within the Anglican-Episcopal Church in China, as well as among the Chinese Anglicans who regarded these two professors highly in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

      T. C. Chao was a professor and dean of the School of Religion at Yenching...

    • Chapter 9 T. C. Chao and the Sheng Kung Hui: With Particular Emphasis on Theology, as Exemplified by His Later Soteriology
      (pp. 169-192)
      Yongtao CHEN

      T. C. Chao (趙紫宸, Zhao Zichen, 1888–1979) was a widely known and deeply respected Chinese Christian theologian, religious philosopher, writer, poet, and Christian educator of the twentieth century. He also enjoyed great popularity and prestige in the ecumenical movement. Chao was baptized during his student years at Dongwu University (also known as Soochow University), and was for many years thereafter a member of the Methodist Church. In 1941, at the age of fifty-three, Chao converted to the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui (CHSKH). He was confirmed and ordained in Hong Kong by Bishop R. O. Hall (1895–1975); following...

  14. Appendix 1: The Succession of Anglican and Episcopal Bishops in China, 1844–2014
    (pp. 193-208)
  15. Appendix 2: Timeline of Anglican-Episcopal History in China
    (pp. 209-214)
  16. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 215-222)
  17. Index
    (pp. 223-236)