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An Adventure In Cooperation: The Church of Christ in China and Church-State Relations in Nationalist China

Posted on:2012-10-19Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:The George Washington UniversityCandidate:Xiong, YanFull Text:PDF
Beginning in the mid-1920s, the Chinese Nationalist Party (Guomindang/GMD), and the central government it established in 1927, were actively involved in anti-Christian activities in many parts of China. In the 1930s, though, the Church of Christ in China (CCC) joined other Chinese Christian organizations in organizing relief programs. Coming to appreciate the efforts of these Christian groups, when the Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937, the GMD solicited their help more directly, initiating a change toward a more cooperative relationship with the Chinese Christian community.;A main example of this new cooperation was the joint CCC-GMD effort, in December 1939, to establish the Border Service Department (BSD) to carry out medical and educational work in the Sichuan-Tibet-Xikang border areas. Funded by the central government but under the direct leadership of the CCC's General Assembly, the greater purpose of the BSD was to construct a solid anti-Japanese rear area in the Southwest, to improve the border peoples' livelihood, and to integrate these border peoples into the nation of China. While the BSD was successful in bringing many benefits to the border peoples, as a cooperative venture it also helped the government to achieve its broader goals for "border construction" (bianjiang jianshe) even as it provided opportunities for the CCC to evangelize among the border peoples. The successful cooperation between the CCC and the GMD in the BSD thus challenges the conventional understanding of the historic relationship between the Chinese state and religion as one of consistent hegemonic state dominance and manipulation.
Keywords/Search Tags:Chinese, China, Cooperation, BSD
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