Dear Workshop,

On Tuesday, March 8, we will be co-sponsoring a special event with the Confucius Institute at the University of Chicago. Yi Liu, an assistant professor at Shanghai University and the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society will be presenting a paper entitled

“Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism: The American-Chinese Protestant Enterprise”

Time: 4:30pm, Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Place: Swift Hall Common Room

Food: A catered dinner will follow the talk, RSVP required. Please contact Paul at

The following is a short abstract of Dr. Liu’s talk:

During the 1900-1920s, whereas there was a debate between liberalism and fundamentalism in the US, a similar one happened among the American missionaries in China. It partly owes to the shift of the missionary enterprise itself from a conservative/evangelical theology to the social gospel, with the “new missionaries” countering their predecessors of the early 19th century. The intellectual and political changes in China, such as the Republican revolution of 1911 and the New Cultural Movement from 1915-1923, also contributed to the controversy. The establishment of the Bible Union and the North China Theological Seminary, as well as Pearl Buck’s criticisms of the missionary enterprise are prominent examples of this debate. The story in China not only had an American origin, but also contributed to the debate at home. More importantly, this debate has a long-term effect on the Protestant church in China, through the Three-self Patriotic Movement of 1950s to the division between the “official church” and the “house church” in the 1980s. However, while admitting this historical division, the author hopes to go further to argue that the “popular Christian movement” combining Pentecostal characters with the Chinese local culture, does represent the future of Christianity in China, which will also contribute to the world Christian movement.

Hope to see you there!

– Paul Chang

Persons with a disability who believe they may need assistance, please contact Paul Chang in advance at