RLGN 316 / RLGN 416 / HSTY 322 / CHIN 316 / ETHS 326: Christianity in China 中國天主教與基督教
SPRING SEMESTER 2017 | WED 4:00-6:30 PM | Classroom: Tomlinson 243 | Prof. Jonathan Tan | Office: 243G Tomlinson Hall | (216) 368-6446 | jonathan.tan@case.edu

This upper division 300-level undergraduate/400-level graduate seminar meets once a week to discuss and evaluate important historical and contemporary aspects of Chinese Christianity. As time does not permit an exhaustive study of all historical periods, this seminar will focus attention on key milestones within Chinese Christianity since the nineteenth century. First, we begin with the historic Taiping 太平 Christian uprising of the mid-nineteenth century, which is central to understanding the emergence of contemporary indigenous Chinese Christianity and the growth of underground indigenous house/family churches (家庭教會 jiating jiaohui). Second, we will turn our attention to Wenzhou 温州 (in southeastern Zhejiang 浙江). Wenzhou is often called “China’s Jerusalem” for the sheer concentration of Evangelical Chinese Christians in that area. We will explore the historical, social, cultural, political, and economic forces behind the emergence and growth of the phenomenon of “boss Christians” (老板基督徒 laoban jidu tu) in Wenzhou Christianity who integrate Christian evangelism and capitalist entrepreneurship. Third, we move on to Chinese Catholics, focusing on the historical emergence and ongoing developments of both the government-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (中國天主教愛國會 Zhongguo Tianzhujiao aiguo hui) and underground Catholics (地下教會 dixia jiaohui) who remain loyal to the Pope in Rome. Finally, we explore the issue of religion and politics, as well as the future of church-state relations in contemporary Chinese Christianity through the lens of Hong Kong Christians’ involvement in the Umbrella Movement (雨傘運動 yusan yundong) against the central government in Beijing.


START HERE FIRST: PDF Course Syllabus

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Required & Recommended Books

The following books are required for this seminar. As they are not available at the campus bookstore, please order them through these Amazon links below or other online or brick-and-mortar sources. As these books are expensive, do take advantage of the availability of cheap copies on Amazon - click on the "Other Sellers" tab or links to "used" copies): Students without prior background knowledge of Chinese history and culture, and/or a basic knowledge of Chinese Christianity should also read the following helpful introduction to Chinese Christianity as they progress through this seminar:

Background Readings & Resources

Recommended Resources

  • TBA


Revision 1.003. Originally created: 12 October 2016. Last updated: 15 January 2017.