Abstract/Details

Miraculous Mundane: The True Jesus Church and Chinese Christianity in the Twentieth Century

Inouye, Melissa Wei-Tsing. 
 Harvard University ProQuest Dissertations Publishing,  2011. 3446123.

Abstract (summary)

This dissertation centers on the history of the "miraculous mundane": the worldview within the True Jesus Church, informed by its exclusivist claims and an emphasis on literal Biblical adherence, in which supernatural efficacy is a central aspect of ordinary believers' lived religious experiences.

At the time of the church's founding in 1917, the visions and miracles attributed to the church's early leaders provided the basis for the divine authority claimed by the True Jesus Church as its members sought to overturn existing ecclesiastical hierarchies. Influenced by the transnational Pentecostal movement, the church's emphasis on the miraculous mode of Christianity allowed Chinese Christians within the True Jesus Church to engage directly with the Bible and to assert superior spiritual authority over well-established rival denominations.

This miraculous mode of Christianity is not unique to the True Jesus Church but is also a central feature of the history of Chinese Christianity. While previous studies of the significance of supernatural efficacy in Chinese Christianity have rightly called attention to "congruence" with Chinese popular religious practices, this study contributes an in-depth consideration of the church's transnational Pentecostal influences and believers' experience of Christianity on their own terms.

During the Republican era (1912–1949), the miraculous mundane worldview was especially significant in disrupting traditional hierarchies within the world of Chinese Christianity, giving native churches the opportunity to claim greater legitimacy than Western denominations and giving women the opportunity to exercise spiritual authority usually reserved for men.

Throughout the Maoist era (1949–1976), the miraculous mundane worldview persisted within the True Jesus Church at the grassroots level long after the church's institutional structures had been co-opted or eliminated by the party-state.

The historical centrality of this miraculous mode and its compatibility with grassroots practice helps to account for the robust resurgence of miraculous worldviews in contemporary Chinese Christianity.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Religious history;
History;
Asian history;
Asian studies
Classification
0320: Religious history
0332: Asian History
0342: Asian Studies
0578: History
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; China; Chinese Christianity; Christianity; Miraculous; Pentecostal; True Jesus Church
Title
Miraculous Mundane: The True Jesus Church and Chinese Christianity in the Twentieth Century
Author
Inouye, Melissa Wei-Tsing
Number of pages
313
Degree date
2011
School code
0084
Source
DAI-A 72/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
978-1-124-50024-9
Advisor
Harrison, Henrietta
University/institution
Harvard University
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertation or Thesis
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3446123
ProQuest document ID
856603282
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
https://www.proquest.com/docview/856603282/