The Liu Institute Series in Chinese Christianities with Notre Dame Press launches with the release of "Schism: Seventh-day Adventism in Post-Denominational China" by Christie Chui-Shan Chow.
“Schism” is the first ethnographic and historical study of Seventh-day Adventism in China. Scholars have been slow to consider Chinese Protestantism from a denominational standpoint. In “Schism,” the first monograph that documents the life of the Chinese Adventist denomination from the mid-1970s to the 2010s, Chow explores how Chinese Seventh-day Adventists have used schism as a tool to retain, revive, and recast their unique ecclesial identity in a religious habitat that resists diversity.
Based on unpublished archival materials, fieldwork, oral history, and social media research, "Schism" demonstrates how Chinese Adventists adhere to their denominational character both by recasting the theologies and faith practices that they inherited from American missionaries in the early twentieth century and by engaging with local politics and culture. This book locates the Adventist movement in broader Chinese sociopolitical and religious contexts and explores the multiple agents at work in the movement, including intrachurch divisions among Adventist believers, growing encounters between local and overseas Adventists, and the denomination’s ongoing interactions with local Chinese authorities and other Protestants. The Adventist schisms show that global Adventist theology and practices continue to inform their engagement with sociopolitical transformations and changes in China today.
“Schism” will compel scholars to reassess the existing interpretations of the history of Protestant Christianity in China during the Maoist years and the more recent developments during the Reform era. It will interest scholars and students of Chinese history and religion, global Christianity, American religion, and Seventh-day Adventism.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A native of Hong Kong, Christie Chui-Shan Chow earned her Ph.D at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her research interests include World Christianity, Chinese Religions, gender, and church-state relations. She is the first female Seventh-day Adventist researcher who combines ethnography and history to investigate the Seventh-day Adventist movement in contemporary China. She has written a number of book chapters and her work also appears in the Journal of World Christianity, Social Sciences and Missions, and Exchange. More recently, she is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Seventh-day Adventism.
ABOUT THE BOOK SERIES
The Liu Institute Series in Chinese Christianities by the University of Notre Dame Press examines several denominations of Christianity in modern China. “Schism” is the first book of the series, and it is expected that nine books will follow, released approximately one per year. Alexander Chow, senior lecturer in theology and world Christianity at the University of Edinburgh, serves as the series editor.
Christianity is the fastest growing religion in mainland China and a large, linguistically and culturally diverse Chinese diaspora, which encompasses more than a fifth of the world’s population. Still, the academic world has been slow to take into account the role of Chinese Christians and their distinctly Chinese interpretation of Christianity in examining world Christianity. This series will feature titles that offer new perspectives on the vast and expanding field of Chinese Christianities in all their diverse forms, providing a forum for cross-disciplinary conversation.
Christie Chui-Shan Chow
Princeton Theological Seminary
Senior Lecturer in Theology and World Christianity University of Edinburgh
Christopher White Assistant Director, Center on Religion and Chinese Society Purdue University
Moderator Alexander Hsu Adjunct Assistant Teaching Professor & Liu Institute Academic Advisor Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame