Though the vast majority of Christians in China today are converts, or first-generation Christians, a significant and influential number of Chinese Christians trace their faith back to earlier generations. Some Chinese families count a Christian heritage six, seven, or even more generations back. In the contemporary Western tradition, Christianity is often framed as an individualized religion—conversion is an individual’s choice and having a “personal relationship” with God is emphasized. However, outside of the West where Christianity has experienced rapid growth, particularly in collectivist cultures, such a framing may not fit. In China, the family, rather than the individual, has traditionally been the most basic unit. The family is integral to the understanding of Chinese religious life, but this has not been a major focus of much of the research on Chinese Christianity, particularly Protestantism. By focusing on the importance of the family in Chinese Christianity, we see that this religion is not simply a Western implant, but truly a Chinese religion.
This special issue will publish select articles that provide fresh perspectives on how understandings of the family may shed new insights onto Chinese Christianity. Topics may include (but are not limited to):
· Commemoration of family history by Chinese Christian families
· How Chinese Christianity is linked to kinship or lineage networks
· Religious influence of (great) grandparents on young generations
· “Sinification” of Chinese Christian families
· Intergenerational challenges for Chinese Christian families
· Multi-religious or mixed religious Chinese families
· How Chinese Christian families perform life course rituals
· How Chinese Christian families express their religious identity
· Complete drafts: March 20, 2021. Drafts should be 5,000-8,000 words (including bibliography and notes). Please refer to the journal website for paper formatting details. Also, please include abstract (10-200 words) and a brief CV. Submit these materials and any questions to Chris White: email@example.com.
· Decisions will be made by April 1. Those selected will be invited to participate in a workshop that will take place on April 26, 2021, 9:00-11:30 am EST. The goal of this workshop is for all contributors to offer constructive suggestions on the papers and better allow the articles to dialogue with each other. (Attendance at the workshop is not mandatory for consideration.)
· Final draft: May 31, 2021. After final submission, all papers will go through the normal, rigorous blind peer-review process with the journal. The tentative plan is that the special issue will be published in late 2021 as issue 8.2 of Review of Religion and Chinese Society.