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China's "Christianity Fever" revisited: towards a community-oriented reading of Christian conversions in China

Chinas "Christentum-Fieber" revisited: eine community-orientierte Lesart christlicher Konversion in China
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Fiedler, Katrin

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Abstract Chinese Protestant Christianity has been continually growing over the past three decades, with an estimated one million converts per year. A number of studies have sought to explain this phenomenon. This paper critically reviews existing studies of China's "Christianity Fever" and then outlines the role of the community as one crucial factor in the conversion process. With its emphasis on communality, as a central element of both Christian theology and the fellowship activities that are part of Christian practice, Protestant Christianity fills a gap opened up by the change in traditional familial and social structures. By discussing specific aspects relating to the communal nature of Christianity, such as familism, elitism, and dynamics at work in face-to-face evangelism, this paper offers an alternative reading of existing studies.
Keywords China; Christianity; Protestant church; Protestantism; religious group; social change; conversion; social structure; cultural change; family; psychological theory; church; value-orientation; role; Far East
Classification Sociology of Developing Countries, Developmental Sociology; Sociology of Religion
Method empirical; quantitative empirical; historical; theory application
Free Keywords Social sciences; Christianity; Protestantism; community; Christianity Fever; contemporary
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 71-109
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 39 (2010) 4
ISSN 1868-4874
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works