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In the 1980s there was a wave of introducing western thoughts in the academia of Mainland China. The significance of this movement is regarded by some Chinese scholars as another Enlightenment since the May 4th movement, 1919. In this movement there was a small group of Chinese scholars who thought that subtle interaction between Christian thought and western culture and academic should be noticed. The aim of this book is at reporting this academic movement, which is still active and dynamic today. This book includes 22 essays written by authors from Mainland China and overseas, who may be intra or extra ecclesia. But all of them are prominent in their respective geographical and academic area. This is the first book introducing to the English-speaking world the origin and development of 'Sino-Chirstian Studies' and 'Sino-Christian Theology' systematically.
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YANG Huilin, Dean of the Department of Chinese and director of the Institute of the Study of Christian Culture, Renmin University of China. He is the editor of Journal for the study of Christian Culture, and the author of Sin and redemption, Holy Word and Human Word and several books on Hermeneutics and Christian Theology. Daniel H. N. YEUNG, the director of Institute of Sino-Christian Studies, Hong Kong He is the editor of Cultural Christian (1991), Preliminary Studies in Chinese Theology (2000) and the co-editor of Translation and Adoption (2004) with Fr. Paul Rabbe.Review:
"During my different visits to China I witnessed the vigour and creativity of Chinese scholars especially in the field of religious studies. This volume is a splendid example for the high quality of factual information, intellectual penetration and historical and systematic reflection." Hans Kung, Professor emeritus and President of the Global Ethic Foundation, Tubingen University, Germany "The essays in this timely and intellectually rich volume demonstrate, both in their range and in their evident historical, philosophical and cultural attunement, the high level of sophistication of contemporary religious studies in China. Particularly for the scholarly appreciation of the remarkable history and steadily evolving contemporary role of Christian thought in Chinese intellectual life, this volume makes an invaluable, state-of-the-art contribution. No serious student of the subject can afford to overlook this book." ...Sino-Christian Studies in China is a collection of academic essays by 22 mostly established Chinese intellectuals, published in English translation in order to provide Western scholars the opportunity to overhear internal philosophical reflection amongst Chinese intellectuals themselves on the emerging role of Christianity in Chinese culture. DAVID L. JEFFREY, Professor & Vice-President, Baylor University, USA "The Universe is a "Cosmic Dance of Dialogue," from the interplay of matter and energy, protons and electrons, body and spirit, man and woman, individual and society... We humans need to be "in sync" with the Universie by engaging in the Dialogue of the Head (seeking to understand the Other), Dialogue of the Hands (joining hands with the Other to solve the world's problems), and Dialogue of the Heart (embracing the aesthetic expressions of the Other). It is to the first, the Dialogue of the Head, that this new volume of Sino-Christian Studies in China makes a major contribution in this new Age of Global Dialogue." LEONARD SWIDLER, Professor of Inter-religious Dialogue, Temple University, USA "Sino-Christian Studies in China" charters new waters at a time of increased interest in the significance of contemporary Chinese thought. The quality of the authors and the range of the contributions makes this volume indispensable for anyone interested in religious studies, cultural studies, and Chinese studies. It promises to advance comparative and inter-disciplinary in a stimulating and creative fashion." Francis Schusler Fiorenza, Stillman Professor, Harvard University "Sino-Christian Studies in China" is a speaking example of the exceptional development of scholarship in the field of religious studies in China through the past twenty years. Renowned Chinese scholars present twenty academic essays introducing the trend of religious studies in China and its growing public role in the country. Some of the authors have been leading this breakthrough in religious studies all through the 1990's: Yang Huilin, Zhuo Xinping, Zhao Dunhua, Li Pingye, Liu Xiaofeng, He Guanghu, Li Tiangang, You Xilin. These Chinese scholars are doing pioneering work to establish the relevance of theological research in Chinese society. "Sino-Christian Studies in China" illustrates that theology is on the way of being recognized as an independent field of research within the academic world of China. That definitely is a breakthrough. It challenges scholars over the world, especially also the 'faith community' of the Chinese Christian Church to join this evolution and to pass beyond the technical and scholarly language, to find the language of dialogue with the public and address the people in a meaningful way. The editors state their thesis clearly, saying: ...we believe that - Theology should become a "public discourse," providing meaning and interpretation to humankind; - Theological discourse can receive universal understanding, discussion and respect; and - The "publics" of theology will finally form a generation of "public intellectuals" who present the value ideals and social justice from theological resources. The book is to be recommended to anyone who wishes to remain informed on the impressive evolution of academic research in Sino-Christian Studies in China." Jeroom Heyndrickx, Director, F.Verbiest Institute, Leuven University, Belgium "Fifteen years ago few experts of modern China would dare to think that theological studies would be recognized as a research field within the academic world and in Chinese society. The "discovery" of theology gives an idea of the tremendous changes done in China in the last times. "Sino-Christian Studies in China", whose editors and the authors of contributions are renowned Chinese scholars in the fields of religious and philosophical studies, is an impressive document of such changes, but at the same time it offers a scientific approach to the Christian studies in China, under different perspectives: the historical background, the interrelation between Christianity, hermeneutics, aesthetics and ethics, in the light of contemporary Chinese culture. Whoever deals with modern Chinese history and intellectual life, any researcher on religious studies, as well as observers of academic research in the religious fields in China, find in this book a stimulating and exciting material." Paolo Santangelo, Professor of History of China, Rome-Naples, Italy "In modern China, Christian faith is no longer a controversial choice. Christianity, along with other religions, has gained some public sphere and recognition in recent years. The present volume, written by first-class Chinese scholars of the Christian religion, is a first-class demonstration how Christianity is increasingly becoming a serious topic of public discussion and debate not only in the Chinese academic circles but also in society at large. The book at hand shows how the Christian point of view is a relevant factor in the modern debate on the reconstruction of people's world view in the rapidly changing China. The writers believe that Christian theology could make an important contribution for the development of values, morality, and social justice in this new situation. Christianity is already both a legitimate subject of university studies and a legitimate topic for public debate in China Mainland. The specific aim of the writers of this volume is to further enhance the public role of religion in China. This collection of articles is also an excellent introduction to the present state of the academic research of Christianity in China. The volume is especially strong in discussing methodology for creating Christian theology with Chinese characteristics." Miikka Ruokanen, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Helsinki, Finland "I am honored to be asked to offer a comment on the new book, Sino-Christian Studies in China. It is a remarkable collection of authors and essays. This volume offers an historic set of reflections by leading Chinese scholars who have recognized that religion has a place in the future of China, not only as an object of scientific analysis, like so many animals to be inspected by biologists, or so many plants to be studied by botanists; but as a fundamental way of understanding both the deepest dynamics of the human spirit and the internal architecture of human societies. Even more, these scholars - a number of whom I have been privileged to meet in my several trips to Chinese conferences - recognize that theology is a science that both penetrates to the depth of those dynamics and articulates decisive ethical realities that are indispensable to every enduring civilization. Warmest congratulations to the editors and contributors in this signal volume." Max Stackhouse, Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale Theological Seminary, USA "In Chinese academia, Christian theology has largely been studied and researched in an adjunct capacity. " Sino-Christian Studies in China" is a corpus of inspiring essays on this 'adjunct theology'. The authors are respected scholars in their own fields, ranging from philosophy and religion to history and sociology of intercultural relations. The result is a valuable interdisciplinary and intercultural reflection on the potentials of theology from a contemporary Chinese perspective." Carine Defoort, Professor of Sinology & Chief-director of Contemporary Chinese Thought, Leuven University, Belgium "Religion in China reflects complex and sometimes tumultuous social, political, economic and cultural circumstances for centuries. Similarly, religious studies, the study of Christianity in particular, reflects equal amounts of tension and complexity in the past decades in China on social, cultural and scholarly levels. The twenty-one intellectually stimulating essays included in Sino-Christian Studies in China reveal the status of the field in China today. Chinese scholars have come a long way to obtain this extraordinary achievement. The invaluable scholarly contribution is the collective Chinese voice in one publication. It represents the true driving force today behind the development of this innovative discipline in China that touches the minds and hearts of so many more." XIAOXIN WU, Director, Ricci Institute, University of San Francisco, USA
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