On January 27, Palgrave Pivot published Christianity in Chinese Public Life edited by Joel Carpenter (Calvin College) and Kevin den Dulk (Calvin College). The publisher’s description follows.
Today a quarter of all Chinese claim a major religious tradition, yet the state remains deeply concerned about religious activity. The West tends to view religion-and-state relations in China in bipolar terms: dissidents’ resistance and government repression. But as this work shows, the interaction of religion, society, and governance in China is much more subtle and complex than that. The contributors of this volume focus on Christianity in China to examine the prospects for social and political change. Students of democratization say that when citizens escape poverty, they seek more freedom of expression and they establish agencies to express those values. The resulting ‘civil society’ helps citizens mediate between their interests and those of the state and seek the public good through non-governmental means. Christianity in Chinese Public Life deftly explores the question: does an increase of religious activity in China amount to a nudging forward of democratization?