Constructing China's Jerusalem

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-11-04
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr
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Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth life history interviews, this illuminating book provides an intimate portrait of contemporary Chinese Christianity in the context of a modern, commercialized economy. In vivid detail, anthropologist Nanlai Cao explores the massive resurgence of Protestant Christianity in the southeastern coastal city of Wenzhou--popularly referred to by its residents as "China's Jerusalem"--a nationwide model for economic development and the largest urban Christian center in China. Cao's study of Chinese Christians delves into the dynamics of activities such as banqueting, network building, property acquisition, mate selection, marriage ritual, migrant work, and education. Unlike previous research that has mainly looked at older, rural, and socially marginalized church communities, Cao trains his focus on economically powerful, politically connected, moralizing Christian entrepreneurs. In framing the city of Wenzhou as China's Jerusalem, newly rich Chinese Christians seek not only to express their leadership aspirations in a global religious movement but also to assert their place, identity, and elite status in post-reform Chinese society.

Author Biography

Nanlai Cao is a research assistant professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Hong Kong.

Table of Contents

List of Maps, Illustrations, and Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: Putting Christianity and Capitalism in Their Placep. 1
The Rise of "Boss Christians" and Their Engagement with State Powerp. 24
Of Manners, Morals, and Modernity: Cosmopolitan Desires and the Remaking of Christian Identityp. 42
The Business of Religion in the "Wenzhou Model" of Christian Revivalp. 74
Gendered Agency, Gender Hierarchy, and Religious Identity Makingp. 97
Conversion to Urban Citizenship: Rural Migrant Workers' Participation in Wenzhou Christianityp. 126
Conclusion: Religious Revivalism as a Moral Discourse of Modernityp. 163
Character Listp. 173
Notesp. 181
Referencesp. 197
Indexp. 209
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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