Beyond repression and resistance - Christian love and China's harmonious society

Wielander, Gerda (2011) Beyond repression and resistance - Christian love and China's harmonious society. The China Journal, 65. pp. 119-138. ISSN 1324-9347

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This article looks at Christianity as an official source of morality in contemporary. Specifically, this article examines the role of love as a social force in today's China with particular focus on the role of "love" as a motivational force in social reconstruction and welfare work. It argues that the use of the term in the discourse on the Harmonious Society in general and in the context of charitable work in particular, despite the official emphasis on Confucian values, has strong Christian roots. A close analysis of official and intellectual writings on the Harmonious Society, academic writing on China's "moral crisis" as well as Chinese Christian writing in a variety of contexts show how "love" has emerged as a new concept or, perhaps more pertinently, as a new term to inspire and motivate people to take part in the building of a new society. The article concludes that the use of the term "love" in today's official discourse not only constitutes a tacit acknowledgment of the importance of Christian values as formulated in a Chinese Christian theology, but also an attempt on the part of the government to control the meaning of "love". By recognising the importance of the concept and adopting it, it can also shape its definition.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Dr Gerda Wielander
Date Deposited: 28 May 2010 08:20
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2013 12:15

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