Month: August 2018

New book: Protestantism in Xiamen, edited by Chris White

The volume, titled Protestantism in Xiamen: Then and Now, edited by Chris White is published with Palgrave.

About this book:

This interdisciplinary volume represents the first comprehensive English-language analysis of the development of Protestant Christianity in Xiamen from the nineteenth century to the present. This important regional study is particularly revealing due to the unbroken history of Sino-Christian interactions in Xiamen and the extensive ties that its churches have maintained with global missions and overseas Chinese Christians. Its authors draw upon a wide range of foreign missionary and Chinese official archives, local Xiamen church publications, and fieldwork data to historicize the Protestant experience in the region. Further, the local Christians’ stories demonstrate a form of sociocultural, religious and political imagination that puts into question the Euro-American model of Christendom and the Chinese Communist-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement. It addresses the localization of Christianity, the reinvention of local Chinese Protestant identity and heritage, and the Protestants’ engagement with the society at large. The empirical findings and analytical insights of this collection will appeal to scholars of religion, sociology and Chinese history.

More information can be found at:

I contribute a chapter, titled “The passing of glory: urban development, local politics and Christianity on Gulangyu.” See:

New publication: “Consuming missionary legacies in contemporary China” by Jifeng Liu and Chris White

The article “Consuming missionary legacies in contemporary China: Eric Liddell and evolving interpretations of Chinese Christian history”, co-authored with Chris White, is now published with China Information.


Unveiling ceremony of the granite stele in honor of  Eric Liddell in 1991. Photos from www., used with permission.

As a significant theme running through China’s modern history, Christianity’s inglorious role has helped redefine the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) self-proclaimed role as the liberator of the long-suffering nation from imperialist forces. The association between missionaries and Western imperialism has predominated the Chinese communist historiography. Nevertheless, recent years have witnessed a burgeoning movement to reinvent China’s Christian past and reconstruct historical memories of stigmatized missionaries. This article suggests that local governments in China are increasingly recognizing value in the history of Chinese–missionary encounters. This is evident in how local authorities have organized and promoted commemorative activities for Scottish missionary and Olympic champion Eric Liddell (1902–45). In presenting the case of Liddell, this article reveals how the Chinese government takes the initiative in consuming historical memories of Western missionaries, and finds instrumental value in the legacy of such figures despite their religious connections.

It is available at: