Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China

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Overview

This book is the first to address the history and future of homegrown, mass Chinese Christianity. Drawing on a large collection of fresh sources—including contemporaneous accounts, diaries, memoirs, archival material, and interviews—Lian Xi traces the transformation of Protestant Christianity in twentieth-century China from a small, beleaguered “missionary” church buffeted by antiforeignism to an indigenous popular religion energized by nationalism and millenarianism. Lian shows that, with a current membership that rivals that of the Chinese Communist Party, and the ability to galvanize China’s millions into apocalyptic convulsion and messianic exuberance, the popular Christian movement channels the aspirations and the discontent of the masses and will play an important role in shaping the country’s future.

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Editorial Reviews

International Bulletin of Missionary Research

"Truly a landmark book. . . [a] must-read. . . written in an elegant style that makes it a pleasure to read. . . . Essential for understanding China today."--Daniel H. Bays, International Bulletin of Missionary Research

— Daniel H. Bays

Christianity in China

"A major contribution . . . a rich resource and compelling account . . . clear and convincing."--Dr. G. Wright Doyle, Christianity in China

— G. Wright Doyle

Books and Culture

"Important . . . very valuable."--David Lyle Jeffrey, Books and Culture

— David Lyle Jeffrey

American Historical Review

"Beautifully researched and sympathetically written . . . accessible and attractive . . . important and provocative . . . essential reading."--Henrietta Harrison, American Historical Review

— Henrietta Harrison

Christian Century

"Succeeds wonderfully."--Philip Jenkins, Christian Century

— Philip Jenkins

Journal of Church History

"Fascinating. . . . Lian''s work excels. . . . [A] well-executed and detailed portrayal of the formation of Christianity as a Chinese religion. This engaging and provocative book would readily provoke stimulating discussion in many undergraduate classrooms."—Jeff Kyong-McClain, Journal of Church History

— Jeff Kyong-McClain

Philip Jenkins

"Succeeds wonderfully."—Philip Jenkins, Christian Century
Jessie Lutz

"Lian Xi's book, an important contribution on a neglected subject, is the only in-depth study of popular, independent Chinese Christianity. He knows his Chinese history and philosophy and writes clearly with vivid and apt metaphors."—Jessie Lutz, author of Opening China: Karl F.A. Gutzlaff And Sino-western Relations, 1827-1852
International Bulletin of Missionary Research - Daniel H. Bays

"Truly a landmark book. . . [a] must-read. . . written in an elegant style that makes it a pleasure to read. . . . Essential for understanding China today."--Daniel H. Bays, International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Christianity in China - G. Wright Doyle

"A major contribution . . . a rich resource and compelling account . . . clear and convincing."—Dr. G. Wright Doyle, Christianity in China
Books and Culture - David Lyle Jeffrey

"Important . . . very valuable."--David Lyle Jeffrey, Books and Culture
American Historical Review - Henrietta Harrison

"Beautifully researched and sympathetically written . . . accessible and attractive . . . important and provocative . . . essential reading."—Henrietta Harrison, American Historical Review
Journal of Church History - Jeff Kyong-McClain

"Fascinating. . . . Lian's work excels. . . . [A] well-executed and detailed portrayal of the formation of Christianity as a Chinese religion. This engaging and provocative book would readily provoke stimulating discussion in many undergraduate classrooms."—Jeff Kyong-McClain, Journal of Church History
New York Review of Books - Ian Johnson

“This history hasn’t been told so authoritatively in a Western language before. Lian can range across Chinese sources with ease, even as he writes in cogent English prose.”—Ian Johnson, New York Review of Books
International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Truly a landmark book. . . [a] must-read. . . written in an elegant style that makes it a pleasure to read. . . . Essential for understanding China today."—Daniel H. Bays, International Bulletin of Missionary Research

— Daniel H. Bays

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300123395
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 2/23/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lian Xi is professor of history at Hanover College and author of The Conversion of Missionaries: Liberalism in American Protestant Missions in China, 1907–1932.  He lives in Louisville, KY.

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