The emergence of scholars studying christianity in mainland China
Religion, State and Society
The study of Christianity in universities and research institutes is nothing unusual. It is rather remarkable, however, that Christian studies have become established in the cultural and educational system of communist China and have been developing rapidly since the late 1980s. A considerable number of scholars are now pursuing the serious academic study of Christianity and publishing their findings, and are doing so not in seminaries or other ecclesiastical settings but in institutions of the
... institutions of the social and human sciences run and financed by the state. Their research includes not only studies of Christianity from historical and sociological perspectives, which may often be considered value-neutral from a religious point of view, but also the production of confessional theology, although the latter is much smaller in quantity than the former. Some scholars who are interested in religion even become committed Christians. In this article I introduce the phenomenon of the production of theology in these circumstances, articulating the factors that make it possible, analysing the nature of the theology produced in this situation and making a theological reflection on the orientation of theology relevant for Asian countries.