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Christianity and Chinese Culture: Past and Future

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Dr. Jing (Cathy) Zhang

April 8, 2014 zhang_inside-FINAL-2
3:30 PM
Armstrong Browning Library/Cox Lecture Hall

This is event is co-sponsored by Baylor ISR and Baylor University Press.

Christianity has had a long history of spreading the good news in China, but membership did not  blossom until  the 1980s. Facing the giant number and fast growth, many have wondered about the reason for this phenomenon, given the complicated political and ideological context in China. What is more, the differences and conflicts between Christianity and Chinese culture has always been a critical issue and major challenge for missionaries from Christian countries and converted Chinese Christians. This lecture hopes to compare several historical and present day cases, showing the changes in the relations between Christianity and Chinese culture and the new challenges for Chinese Christians today.

Dr. Jing (Cathy) Zhang took the position of Assistant to the Director at the School of Liberal Arts, Renmin University of China in July 2012. She was educated at a rural high school in Hunan Province in the early 1980s. She went to Shanghai East China Normal University in 1986, and four years later became a college English teacher in Nanjing. She studied her first master’s degree in American Literature at Nanjing University from 1997 to 2000. Then she worked for the China Christian Council Nanjing Office as an interpreter until she went to St. Louis to pursue her second master’s degree (MTS, focusing on New Testament) at Eden Theological Seminary in 2003. After this training, she continued to work for the church in China and Nanjing Union Theological Seminary as an ecumenical officer as well as a teacher of theological English and feminist theology. In 2008 she went to Beijing for her doctoral studies in Renmin University of China. She is interested in exploring the ancient wisdom in world literatures and civilizations. While studying and working in the academic circle, she keeps serving the churches in China. She is a member and lay leader of Haidian Christian Church, which has 10,000 members. She tries to integrate her gifts given by God so that she can better serve the church and the intellectuals in China. As the first convert in a family influenced by Chinese traditional religions, and as an intellect trained and educated in an atheist context, she understands well the challenges and barriers for believing in Christ in China. She hopes to help those people and contribute to the contextualization and construction of Chinese theology in the future.