Raising the Quality of Belief: Suzhi and the Production of an Elite Protestantism.

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TitleRaising the Quality of Belief: Suzhi and the Production of an Elite Protestantism.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsCao, N.
JournalChina Perspectives
Volume2009
Pagination54 - 65
Date Published2009
PublisherFrench Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC)
ISBN Number19964617
KeywordsChina, Christianity, neoliberalism, PROTESTANTISM, Religion, SPIRITUALISM, URBAN ecology (Sociology)
Abstract

The paper addresses the changing dynamics of Protestantism in contemporary urban China through the lens of the Christian discourse of quality (suzhi). Linking suzhi with processes of identity and subject formation in the Chinese Protestant community, the paper shows that the religiosity of today's Chinese Protestants is not so much related to acts of spiritual seeking in a state-centred political framework as it is shaped by desires and practices of self-making among neoliberal individuals under rapid marketisation. It also demonstrates that Chinese Protestantism has undergone not just a quantitative increase but also a qualitative change that counters the one-dimensional representation of Christian religiosity in the post-Mao era. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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