Constructing China's Jerusalem
Christians, Power, and Place in Contemporary Wenzhou
By Nanlai Cao
(Stanford University Press, Hardcover, 9780804770804, 232pp.)
Publication Date: November 15, 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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This book depicts the revival of Protestant Christianity among diverse groups of people in the commercially prosperous coastal city of Wenzhou, and shows how resurgent and innovated Christian beliefs and practices in the reform era reveal emerging patterns of power formation, place making and morality building in the context of a market-oriented, modernizing China..
Nanlai Cao is a research assistant professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Hong Kong.
"In Constructing China's Jerusalem, Nanlai Cao provides one of the best thickly descriptive studies of Christianity's emerging role in contemporary Chinese society . . . Cao makes an important contribution to the study of Christianity in China specifically and religion in China more broadly. Additionally, his discussion of Christian identity as a symbolic resource would seem to have interesting implications for similar studies on either religion in emerging economies or the symbolic uses of religion in modern society."—Cole Carnesecca, Sociology of Religion
"An anthropologist, Cao shows how the Christian faith works in one population center of China: Wenzhou, the huge commercial metropolis that has been called China's Jerusalem . . . [A] beautifully textured study."—Christian Century"Cao's work effectively shatters the 'foreign' face of Christianity and presents a religion that is highly indigenized, depoliticized and highly interpenetrated with capitalist economic behavior. . . Cao's work is extremely well-written and clearly presented. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in contemporary religions in China, China studies, and the anthropology of Christianity in General."—Wu Keping, Asian Anthropology
"Cao excels in describing the structural features of local church and economic life: its interlacing networks, the financial support flowing from patrons to local clergy, and the business-style operations of evangelism in the city. . . . This is an excellent, informative case study, with many insights not seen elsewhere and rich with possibilities for future research."—Chloë Starr, The China Quarterly
"As yet, [Constructing China's Jerusalem] is the most comprehensive account of the complex dynamics characterising everyday life in Chinese Protestant house churches."—Marie-Eve Reny, China Perspectives
"[Cao's] book happily is not another narrative of Christian revival in China, but research by a social-scientist. It is a research too rare, yet stimulating enough for an understanding of the process of new "makings" in Chinese society."—Thaddée Henry, Chinese Cross Currents