Although Christianity has been a minority religion in Chinese societies, Christians have played catalytic roles in social activism for democracy and establishing rule of law in Chinese societies. The historical analysis, theological reflections, and sociological observations found in the chapters of Christian Social Activism and the Rule of Law in Chinese Societies reveal the vibrant influence of Christian individuals and groups on social, political, and legal activism in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and diasporic communities. Situating the activism narrative in a larger context, this volume examines the dynamics of Christianity-inspired activism and its contributions to democratization and rule of law in Greater China in a fresh light.
Chris White is assistant director of the Center on Religion and the Global East at Purdue University.
Fenggang Yang is professor of Sociology and director of the Center on Religion and the Global East at Purdue University.
Chapter One: A Historical Overview of Chinese Christian Activism: Institutional Change toward Democracy
Fenggang Yang and Chris White
Section One: Republic of China on Taiwan
Introduction: Chinese Christian Activism in the Republic of China on Taiwan
Chapter Two: Taiwan Under Martial Law and Presbyterian Responses
Chapter Three: To Unite as One Body: The Presbyterians and Changing Identities in Taiwan
Section Two: Hong Kong
Introduction: Chinese Christian Activism in Hong Kong
Chapter Four: Religious Discourse, Social Participation, and Identity Construction of Hong Kong Protestant Christians from 1970 to 1997: An Analysis of Three Oral Histories
Wai Luen Kwok
Chapter Five: Contesting for Religious Freedom in China: The Case of Hong Kong Christian Social Activism from 2014 to 2018
Chapter Six: Identity Negotiation and Social Activism: Hong Kong Christians during the Umbrella Movement
Jenny McGill, Kim Kuen Ip, Jeffrey Chiu, and Timotheus Mui
Chapter Seven: Hong Kong Theology as a Construction of Postcolonial Theology
Tsz Him Lai
Chapter Eight: Social Media as a Tool of Social Activism: Public Theology of the Umbrella City Cyberchurch
Section Three: People’s Republic of China
Introduction: Chinese Christian Activism in Mainland China
Chapter Nine: Facing Society from the Chinese Academy: Cultural Christians, Sino-Christian Theology, and Academics as Activists
George Dunn and Xinzhang Zhang
Chapter Ten: Religious Policy on Foreign Christians in China: International Christian Fellowships and the Regulations on Foreigners’ Religious Activities
Chapter Eleven: Gospel-leafleting, Three-Self-Affiliated Congregations and Rule of Law in the PRC
Chapter Twelve: One Foot above Liberalism: Wang Yi’s Search for Civil Society
Chapter Thirteen: Christian Faith Confessions in the Chinese Jiating Church Context: The Discourse of Sovereignty and the Political Order
Section Four: Global China
Introduction: Chinese Christian Activism in Global China
Chapter Fourteen: Baorong Duoyuan: A Proposal for Religious Freedom in China
Chapter Fifteen: Migration, Conversion, and Transnational Activism in a Vancouver Chinese Church
Chapter Sixteen: “One More Christian, One Fewer Activist” – Does Christianity Squelch Activism? Hypotheses from Studying Former Tiananmen Activists Who Converted to Protestant Christianity
The vastly outsized role of Christians in Chinese political and social activism has presented a persistent puzzle. This timely volume provides the most revealing and wide-ranging answer to date. Highly recommended.