Huang, “Being Christian in Urbanizing China”

Huang, Jianbo.  2014. Being Christians in Urbanizing China: The Epistemological Tensions of the Rural Churches in the City.  Current Anthropology.  Early online publication.

Abstract: With the rapid urbanization of China in the last 20 years, hundreds of millions of rural residents surged into the cities searching for better livelihoods. Hundreds of thousands of these urban migrants have been Christians. The Christian migrants not only found themselves confronted by the same overwhelming city life and culture as other new rural-urban migrants, they also found a new church setting marked by unfamiliar expressions of their familiar faith and different ways of understanding, approaching, and experiencing God as well as new ways of understanding self and the world. Besides the “moral torment” and identity tension between being “Chinese Christian” and “Christian Chinese,” they are struggling with at least two distinct Christian epistemological styles, one of which is more inward, emotional, and practice centered and the other of which is more outward, intellectual, and text centered.