Next month, Oxford releases The Oxford Handbook of Christianity in Asia, edited by Felix Wilfred (State University of Madras). The publisher’s description follows:
Despite the ongoing global expansion of Christianity, there remains a lack of comprehensive scholarship on its development in Asia. This volume fills the gap by exploring the world of Asian Christianity and its manifold expressions, including worship, theology, spirituality, inter-religious relations, interventions in society, and mission. The contributors, from over twenty countries, deconstruct many of the widespread misconceptions and interpretations of Christianity in Asia. They analyze how the growth of Christian beliefs throughout the continent is linked with the socio-political and cultural processes of colonization, decolonization, modernization, democratization, identity construction of social groups, and various social movements. With a particular focus on inter-religious encounters and emerging theological and spiritual paradigms, the volume provides alternative frames for understanding the phenomenon of conversion and studies how the scriptures of other religious traditions are used in the practice of Christianity within Asia.
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I have always found this history fascinating. I have a friend in Xi’an this week and I strongly urged him to seek out the Xi’an stele, marking the first imperial Chinese recognition of the religion in 781 A.D. Hopefully I will make it there myself within the next year or so.