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By Daniel H. Bays

A New historical past of Christianity in China, written via one of many world's the prime writers on Christianity in China, appears at Christianity's lengthy heritage in China, its terribly speedy upward thrust within the final half the 20th century, and charts its destiny direction. 
<ul type="disc">* presents the 1st entire  history of Christianity in China, a tremendous, understudied region in either Asian experiences and non secular heritage
* strains the transformation of Christianity from an imported, Western faith to a completely chinese language faith
* Contextualizes the expansion of Christianity in China inside nationwide and native politics
* bargains a portrait of the complicated non secular scene in China this present day
* Contrasts China with different non-Western societies the place Christianity is surging

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The Rites Controversy The so-called “rites controversy” is one of the most commonly discussed events in Chinese Christian history, but it has not been researched systematically in archives by scholars until recent years. 23 To summarize very briefly, the controversy began with the ValignanoRicci “accommodation policy” and the opposition it aroused among other Europeans, and culminated with a papal condemnation of the rites and a rejection of the Jesuits’ policy in 1704 (a rejection reiterated by papal decree in 1715 and 1742, lest there be any doubt).

Interestingly, what Jacques Gernet saw in the 1980s as insufficient understanding of Christianity on the part of these Christians, whose faith would therefore be suspect, is seen by Laamann as a simple process of inculturation. An example is Philip A. Kuhn, Soulstealers: The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990). The Qianlong emperor’s phobia here was the danger of wandering mendicant monks, which would appear to the throne to be very like the wandering Catholic priests performing pastoral duties for the scattered Christians.

This he finally did in 1602, the first missionary to do so since the Mongols left China. Perhaps best exemplified by Ricci, these strategies overwhelmingly characterized the Jesuit mission for the first few decades, when almost all of the Jesuits (and there were no non-Jesuits until the 1620s) had an urban mission, excellent language abilities, and followed the above principles. It is this group, from Ricci to Schall to Verbiest and on to seventeenth-century figures, mainly in Beijing, that has been the focus of most scholarship on the Catholic mission.

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