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Christians in China: A.D. 600 to 2000 Paperback – October 15, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 605 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (October 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898709164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898709162
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,298,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeri Nevermind VINE VOICE on August 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
This long (over 600 pages) and interesting book tells how Christianity came to China. Nestorian Christianity--now perhaps better called Syrian Christianity--spread like a flood over the middle east and Asia.

Syrian Christians missionaries followed the Silk Road until they reached Chang'an in China sometime in the 7th century. The Syrian church "at its apogee led to the creation of 27 metropolitan sees and 230 bishoprics" (p 42).

By the 9th century, however, Christianity was increasingly under pressure. Even so, later on, many Mongol princes were Christian. Carved burial stones testify to Christians in the middle 1300s.

Although these facts testify to the antiquity of Christianity in China, most scholars place the time of real growth in Christianity to the Jesuits, especially Matteo Ricci. It was Ricci who brought scholarly attention to the advanced state of science in the west. Ricci "acquired a certain reputation during a debate at a banquet where he held his own against the famous (Buddhist) monk...San Huai" (p 155).

Christianity was at odds with much of the culture of China. Chinese philosophers had never sought the truth, or science, as it was known in the west. Above all, cooperation was emphasized, not the right answer. This had crippled the advance of science in the east, and the strict rules of morality annoyed many Chinese.

"To Confucians, the commandment that requires human beings to love God above all things seems to disrupt the right order required by filial piety" (p 204).

One Yang Tingyun complained about the Jesuits, "Can they not just allow me to have one concubine?" (p 168). The idea of an absolute right or wrong was foreign to the Chinese.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Diabolito on September 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Very well written book on christianity in China. A lot of information on Christians. Less dates that you think.
The only problem - Index of names reffers only to chapters not specific pages.
Anyway, if you are interested in Christianity in China - IT'S A MUST!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary B. Costa on September 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this over the summer, before the Games and the earthquakes. It was so good to have the knowledge of some of the history of the area. The maps were a wonderful accompaniment throughout the book. I was constantly going back and forth to understand the material presented.
A really great read!
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