Zhang Yijing (1871–1931) and the Search for a Chinese Christian Identity
Jue Wang (王珏)
Can Christian identity and national identity be reconciled? For Christians in China, this question is particularly fraught. While Sinicization offers the indigenous church one path forward, it fails to provide a tenable solution for believers unwilling to submit their love of God under love of country. Dr. Jue Wang explores an alternative roadmap for Chinese Christian identity in the writings of Zhang Yijing. The editor of True Light, a Chinese Baptist publication, Zhang was also a Chinese patriot, Confucian, and life-long proponent of science and reason. Utilizing the lens of identity studies, Dr. Wang examines Zhang’s process of reconciling faith and culture in his quest to be both authentically Christian and authentically Chinese. This study offers a fascinating glimpse into the modern history of the Chinese church, while uncovering the significance of an often-overlooked Chinese Christian apologist. Zhang’s example offers encouragement and hope for believers around the world seeking to integrate social, cultural, and national identities under the lordship of Christ.