Seeking the Common Ground

Protestant Christianity, the Three-Self Movement, and China's United Front

By Philip L. Wickeri

Seeking the Common Ground

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  • ISBN: 9781610975292
  • Pages: 384
  • Publication Date: 8/5/2011
  • Retail Price: $48.00
Web Price: $38.40
Web Price: $38.40

Seeking the Common Ground

Protestant Christianity, the Three-Self Movement, and China's United Front

By Philip L. Wickeri

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781610975292
  • Pages: 384
  • Publication Date: 8/5/2011
  • Retail Price: $48.00
Web Price: $38.40

About-

This is the most comprehensive treatment ever written of the history of the Protestant Church in China over the last forty years. Philip Wickeri takes an unprecedented look at one of the most turbulent periods in Chinese history--the years from 1949 to the present. Wickeri explicates what Chinese Protestants have been saying about themselves in historical and theological perspective. His interpretation is based on one particular dynamic: how Chinese Protestants have sought to situate themselves in a socialist society within the unifying framework of the united front.
After an overview of church, Marxism, and Christianity in China, Wickeri discusses the united front. He focuses on ideology, organization, and religious policy. Wickeri then explores the Three-Self Movement as both a Chinese and a Christian movement. His conclusion: the Three-Self Movement, despite problems, has made Christianity more accessible to the average Chinese and the church more acceptable to Chinese society.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"This is the only book on China that I know of which takes seriously the principle of the united front, as developed both in theory and in practice . . . It is a sincere attempt and invitation not necessarily to agree, but to understand."
Bishop K.H. Ting

President, China Christian Council
"Whether building on or departing from the author's interpretation, everyone writing about the Protestant church in China under Marxism will have to rely on Philip L. Wickeri's study because his primary research and close personal contact with a generation of revolutionary Christians give it an authoritative foundation."
Franklin J. Woo. Director
China Program, National council of Churches

"In Christianity's 'unfinished encounter' with China the question of Chineseness has been crucially important . . . Philip Wickeri shows how Protestant Christianity through the Three-Self Movement and the united front has not merely grown in numbers but is beginning to discover its own future; and the insights which the Chinese are learning we need to learn too."
Canon David Paton
"Philip Wickeri's book is the fascinating story of four decades of dialogue and dialectics between Protestant Christianity and Marxian Communism in the context of their common response to the revolutionary upsurge of the people of China . . . The church's search for authentic Chinese self-identity and the new force of church life it has brought into being are of tremendous significance to churches everywhere, most especially to those in the revolutionary situations of the Third World." Dr. M.M. Thomas

"Soberly and clearly, Seeking the Common Ground tells the passionate arid complex story of the genesis of a new Chinese Protestant Christianity within the broader experience of the whole Chinese people . . . Historians, political scientists, missionaries, and students of contemporary China can all explore it to their own profit."
Theresa Chu
Canada China Program

"This is the best book on modern Chinese Christianity . . . Wickeri's detailed and sensitive history ties the national feelings of Chinese Christians to their religious identity, showing how they 'sought the common ground' ecumenically, not just as political dissidents. He tells much that is entirely new about these churches and these people."
Lynn T. White
Professor of Politics and International Affairs Princeton University

"History will view the resurgence of the Christian church in China after years of repression as the most important religious news of our generation . . . Philip Wickeri's comprehensive and scholarly documentation of the theological and ecclesiological process by which that church became an authentically Chinese church provides edifying reading for all who are concerned for the life of the church in what were once called mission lands."
Don MacInnis Director of China Research, Maryknoll

Contributors-

Philip L. Wickeri

Bio(s)-

Philip L. Wickeri serves on the staff of the Anglican Province of Hong Kong (Sheng Kung Hui) as Advisor to the Archbishop on Theological and Historical Studies. From 1981-1983 he taught at Nanjing University, during which time he did much of the research on which this book is based.

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