Christian Women and Modern China presents a social history of women pioneers in Chinese Protestantism from the 1880s to the 2010s. The author interrupts a hegemonic framework of historical narratives by exploring formal institutions and rules as well as social networks and social norms that shape the lived experiences of women. This book achieves a more nuanced understanding about the interplays of Christianity, gender, power and modern Chinese history. It reintroduces Chinese Christian women pioneers not only to women’s history and the history of Chinese Christianity, but also to the history of global Christian mission and the global history of many modern professions, such as medicine, education, literature, music, charity, journalism, and literature.
Li Ma is a social historian and research fellow affiliated with Calvin University.
Table of Contents
Part One: The Era of Revolutions: Missionaries, Physicians, Reformer-Educators
Chapter 1: Foreign Devils and Heathen Sisters
Chapter 2: A Confucian Christian Feminist
Chapter 3: China’s First “Christian Republic”
Chapter 4: Life and Death of Christian Colleges
Part Two: The Era of Militant Communism: Intellectuals, Resisters, Accommodators
Chapter 5: Patriotic Intellectuals and the New Regime
Chapter 6: Does the Motherland Love You Back?
Chapter 7: The Party Could Still Use You
Part Three: The Era of Developmental Communism: Influencers, Whistle-blowers, Celebrities
Chapter 8: Bibles, Hymns, and Competing Influences
Chapter 9: Exposing Abuses, Changing Narratives
Chapter 10: Consumerism, Censorship and Christian Celebrities
The book provides a wide-ranging review of recent works and points to promising directions for future research, especially on contemporary developments among Chinese Protestant women. People interested in world Christianity, modern China, and women’s history will find this book useful.
Comprehensive and up to date, this fascinating book presents the history of Christian women in Chinese Protestantism during the turbulent period of modern China. Placing gender in changing sociopolitical contexts and ideological divide, Dr. Ma demonstrates her astute social analysis and historical sensitivity. The book makes a significant contribution to Chinese history, World Christianity, gender and religion.
This is an innovative, important, and altogether fascinating history of Chinese Christian women. Stretching from the period of Western missions through the communist era and up to the current Christian celebrity culture, Ma’s provocative history presses readers to think expansively about the relationship between Christianity, gender, and the modern Chinese nation.
Li Ma has indeed skillfully presented and recovered a history of women in the context of Chinese Protestantism and modern China.19 Through her writing we discover that the women persevered, truly becoming servants of their country and the church in the best sense of the word.
MA Li’s book Christian Women and Modern China is an attempt to write women back into the history of Chinese Protestantism. Their lived experiences entailed struggles caused by the power structures within and outside of the church. The struggles Chinese Christian women have encountered, according to the author, are “due to colonialist, nationalistic, and ecclesiastical marginalization.”1 Drawing on the perspectives of Chinese Christian women, this book showcases the interplay of gender, Christianity, and power.... Ma’s book is a contribution to the historiography of Christian women in modern China. It calls attention to women’s underrepresented voices and lived experiences. The book’s rich information outshines the analytical jumps between some sections. The author’s skillful portrayal of Christian women in different periods point to the dynamic encounter of gender and power amidst the nation-building project.