Item description for Christians in China: A.d. 600 to 2000 by Jean-Pierre Charbonnier & M. N. Couve de Murville...
Overview Christianity first came to China by way of the Silk Road in the seventh century, and, ever since, this great and enduring civilization in the heart of Asia has been home to brothers and sisters of Christ. Christians in China: A.D. 600 to 2000 chronicles the lives of the Chinese faithful who through the centuries have been both accepted and rejected by their own countrymen. It explores the unique religious and political situations in which Chinese Christians, Catholic and Protestant, have struggled to live their faith and give witness to Christ. This major work covers each of the historic periods in China with a focus on the development of Christianity and its cultural interaction in each period. It shows the evolution of Christianity as it occurred within the People's Republic of China. While telling the stories of various Christians throughout Chinese history, the author addresses a few key questions: How the did the Church develop over many centuries in a culture so different from the West? How do Christians in China give witness to their faith? How do they contribute to the life of the universal Church? The answer to such questions provides a meaningful historical background to the broad approach of Pope Benedict XVI in His Letter to the Catholics in China issued on June 30, 2007. Illustrated
Publishers Description This is the first major work in English on this subject with the main focus on the Chinese Christians in each historic period and the unfolding of a constant cultural interaction. Charbonnier gives real life examples of Christians in China over the centuries and how they give withness to their faith. Despite persecution by the Communist government, Christianity is growing today in China and making an impact on the culture and society."
Citations And Professional Reviews Christians in China: A.d. 600 to 2000 by Jean-Pierre Charbonnier & M. N. Couve de Murville has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Commonweal - 07/18/2008 page 25
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Studio: Ignatius Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.48" Weight: 1.9 lbs.
Release Date Nov 12, 2007
Publisher Ignatius Press
ISBN 0898709164 ISBN13 9780898709162
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Fascinating story of Christianity and China Aug 19, 2009
This long (over 600 pages) and interesting book tells how Christianity came to China. Nestorian Christianity--now perhaps better called Syrian Christianity--spread like a flood over the middle east and Asia.
Syrian Christians missionaries followed the Silk Road until they reached Chang'an in China sometime in the 7th century. The Syrian church "at its apogee led to the creation of 27 metropolitan sees and 230 bishoprics" (p 42).
By the 9th century, however, Christianity was increasingly under pressure. Even so, later on, many Mongol princes were Christian. Carved burial stones testify to Christians in the middle 1300s.
Although these facts testify to the antiquity of Christianity in China, most scholars place the time of real growth in Christianity to the Jesuits, especially Matteo Ricci. It was Ricci who brought scholarly attention to the advanced state of science in the west. Ricci "acquired a certain reputation during a debate at a banquet where he held his own against the famous (Buddhist) monk...San Huai" (p 155).
Christianity was at odds with much of the culture of China. Chinese philosophers had never sought the truth, or science, as it was known in the west. Above all, cooperation was emphasized, not the right answer. This had crippled the advance of science in the east, and the strict rules of morality annoyed many Chinese.
"To Confucians, the commandment that requires human beings to love God above all things seems to disrupt the right order required by filial piety" (p 204).
One Yang Tingyun complained about the Jesuits, "Can they not just allow me to have one concubine?" (p 168). The idea of an absolute right or wrong was foreign to the Chinese.
And yet when a Chinese did truly convert, the results were as beautiful as they were in the west. Take the story of Candida Yu, born in 1607. She fervently practiced her religion, even though her husband did not convert until two years before his death. After she became a widow she "turned her house in a workshop for embroidery on silk...and thus managed to raise fund that were sent to 25...priests" (p 181). She had Jesuits translate works of astronomy as well as religious treatises. "It has been estimated that Candida helped to establish one hundred churches, chapels, and oratories" (p 182) Most of all, she helped the poor, and even the blind.
By 19th century Protestant missionaries arrived, and a true flood of conversions began. Then came the Boxer rebellion. "On the orders of the court, government troops joined the BOxers, and the massacre of Catholic and Protestant missionaries began...tens of thousands of Chinese Christians were slaughtered" (p 224-5).
An eye opening read.
great read Sep 30, 2008
I read this over the summer, before the Games and the earthquakes. It was so good to have the knowledge of some of the history of the area. The maps were a wonderful accompaniment throughout the book. I was constantly going back and forth to understand the material presented. A really great read!
Quite interesting Sep 2, 2008
Very well written book on christianity in China. A lot of information on Christians. Less dates that you think. The only problem - Index of names reffers only to chapters not specific pages. Anyway, if you are interested in Christianity in China - IT'S A MUST!