Where is China in World Christianity?

Dorottya Nagy

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Recent years have witnessed an articulated attention given to ‘China’ as a rising economic power. Parallel to this economic perspective, a renewed attention to the relationship between China and Christianity has also started to become verbalised in speeches of such prominent persons as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope and the general secretary of the World Council of Churches. China is accentuated on the agenda of missionary organizations. Where do fascination and passion for China come from? How does this China-fever influence certain processes within contemporary World Christianity? Where is China in World Christianity today? The present article aims to contest the oversimplifications exercised in the China question and maps the complexity of trajectories involved in the question of the China-World Christianity nexus. Looking at certain examples of global-local dynamics, the article aims to localise ‘China’ in its relation to World Christianity and vice versa. In doing so, the article focuses on issues such as transnational communities, ecumenical understanding, contextualisation and theological pluralism. The present contribution argues that the ‘where’ question in this case poses the challenge of moving beyond the geographical and numerical mappings. In order to understand the multiple theological connotations of the 'where' questions, the article proposes a new missiological-ecumenical approach which perceives ‘super-diversity’ as a guiding principle for the integrity of World Christianity.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Nagy, Dorottya. Where is China in World Christianity?. Diversities. 2010, vol.12, no. 1, pp. 70-83, UNESCO. ISSN 2079-6595.

About the author:

Dr. Dorottya Nagy is a theologian and post-doctoral research fellow at the MPI. She is the author of Migration and Theology: The Case of Chinese Christian Communities in Hungary and Romania in the Globalisation-Context (Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum, 2009).

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