Christianity and Modernization: A Chinese Debate

Edited by: Philip L. Wickeri, Lois Cole

Published by: DAGA Press

Date: 1995

From the Foreword by Dr. Wenzao Han:

It is a very great pleasure for me to welcome the publication in English of this volume of writings from the international consultation on "Christianity and Modernization" which was held in Beijing last year. I have heard very favorable reports about the consultation, both from within China and overseas. We are grateful to the Institute of World Religions of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which co-hosted this gathering in cooperation with the Amity Foundation. I sincerely hope that this has laid the foundation for further cooperation in the future.

The role of Christianity and of the church in China’s modernization continue to be an important topic of discussion within China’s Christian community. The Amity Foundation wishes to encourage the church’s participation in service and development work. For too long, Chinese Christians have focused their attention exclusively on questions of individual salvation and internal spiritual life. As important as these questions are for Christians, we believe that the church must also be involved in society, encouraging overall social development and participating in social service. Many of the papers presented at last year’s consultation have contributed to our understanding of the importance of this aspect of our mission.

The fact that ours was an international consultation was also significant. Christianity in China has grown and developed through our adherence to the Three-Self principle. But as we have said over and over, Three-Self does not mean self-isolation. We have learned a great deal from last year’s consultation about other countries’ experience with modernization, and we hope that we will be able to adapt what we learn for use in China. China will choose its own way forward in social development, but we welcome exchanges from Christians and churches overseas who are willing to work in true partnership with us. The consultation on "Christianity and Modernization" is a good example of mutually beneficial genuine partnership and exchange.

To purchase this book, please contact:

The Amity Foundation
13/F. Ultragrace Commercial Building
5 Jordan Road
Hong Kong