Christianizing Maritime Chaozhou-Shantou

  • Joseph Tse-Hei Lee


Christianity flourishes in areas suffering profound dislocations amid regime change and warfare. This introductory chapter explains the appeal of Christianity in the Chaozhou-Shantou (Chaoshan) region as it transitioned from a stage of disintegration in the late imperial era into the cosmopolitan and entrepreneurial area it is today. By historicizing Western missionaries and native Christians as effective forces in maintaining global–local religious ties and the state–society balance, Lee argues that the trajectory of Christianization in Chaoshan should be seen as a process of civilizational change that inspired individuals and communities to construct a sacred order capable of empowerment in times of widespread chaos and confusion. Once global Christianity rooted itself in Chaoshan through the Christianization of family genealogies and lineage networks, native congregations acquired a level of autonomy that permitted a greater role for faith-based institutions in community governance.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Tse-Hei Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Pace UniversityNew YorkUSA

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