A Theological Qua Cultural Movement in Contemporary China
Edited By Pan-chiu Lai and Jason Lam
Preliminary Survey on the New Generation of Scholars of Christian Studies in Mainland China 225
Preliminary Survey on the New Generation of Scholars of Christian Studies in Mainland China GAO Xin Introduction The academic study of Christianity has resumed in Mainland China since the 1980s under the reform and open policy of the Chinese government. During that time, along with the introduction of Western thoughts into the Chinese academia and society, Chinese scholars of various humanistic disciplines began to research into the study of Christianity or Christian studies in the course of exploring Western cultures. Owing to the special religious policy and political environment, Christian studies in Mainland China possesses several characteristics when resumed in 1980s. In terms of the characteristics of the researchers, most of the scholars of Christian studies proclaim themselves to be intellectuals rather than theologians, academicians studying Christianity rather than practicing Christians. They usually do not adhere to any Christian church. Furthermore, these scholars mainly came from different humanistic disciplines in universities instead of from denominational churches, theological seminaries or academic departments of religious studies in universities. Over the last thirty years or so, Christian studies has successfully gained public recognition in the Chinese academia due to the work of these scholars. As more and more scholars participate in Christian studies, various approaches to the study of Christianity have been developed: historical, philosophical, theological, sociological, etc. In the development of this burgeoning academic discipline, significant changes might have taken place within the discipline itself and the scholars involved. According to Prof. He Guanghu, scholars of Christian studies in Mainland China can...
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