Bringing Chinese Christianity to Southeast Asia: Constructing Transnational Chinese Evangelicalism Across China and Southeast Asia, 1930s to 1960s

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Abstract

This paper takes its cue from studies in Chinese religious transnationalism to offer an interpretation of how a group of Chinese evangelical leaders constructed their visions and versions of transnational Christianity across China and Southeast Asia through the 1930s and 1960s. Two representative organisations are examined. The first concerns the transnational network of Chinese evangelistic bands that the prominent revivalist-evangelist John Sung established across China and Southeast Asia in the 1930s and 1940s. The bands’ sources reveal how they played a key role in imbuing a transnational landscape and communal sense of spiritual revival into the imaginations of the Chinese churches. The second case evaluates the cross-border institutional-building work of the Evangelize China Fellowship, a major transnational Chinese evangelical grouping founded by Sung’s colleague Andrew Gih after World War II. The analysis reveals how the Fellowship utilised a faith-based developmental agenda to promote Christianity among the overseas Chinese communities across Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 1950s to 1960s. In all, paying attention to Chinese Christian imaginaries of Southeast Asia enables us to understand how they formed faith adherents across Asia into transnational ethno-religious communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number773
Number of pages17
JournalReligions
Volume13
Issue number9
Early online date24 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese Christianity
  • Evangelicalism
  • John Sung
  • Andrew Gih
  • Religious Transnationalism

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