In China, the study of religion as an academic discipline has been gaining momentum in recent years. Centers and institutes for the study of religion have been established at numerous top-tier Chinese universities. As research on religion in China grows, indigenous theories regarding the role of religion in Chinese society and culture are also being constructed and debated. One theoretical framework of note is the “religious ecology” model.
Anyone who has worked in China for even a short period of time has likely been warned about bringing up sensitive topics, especially political issues and certain historical events. There is great wisdom in avoiding these topics. After all, many of our initial perceptions of difficult history and current events are sure to be biased by our own media and education. It is better to observe, listen, and critically evaluate what we think we know with intentionality and in relationship. Our perceptions must be reworked in light of the real experiences of China's people.
In recent months I have been delighted by the exposure Chinese Church Voices has provided to indigenous perspectives on faith and mission. The simple blog provides an important window for non-Chinese speakers into questions Chinese Christians are raising. In turn, it provides those of us in the West with an opportunity for greater dialogue and understanding.
The second of two blogs that suggest and discuss three guidelines for developing a public theology for China today.
The first of two blogs that suggest and discuss three guidelines for developing a public theology for China today.