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New Book Published Presenting Selected Researches on Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and Christianity

New Book Published Presenting Selected Researches on Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and Christianity

 A book named “A Selection of Studies on Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and Christianity” A book named “A Selection of Studies on Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and Christianity”
ByGrace Song March 23, 2022
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The new book A Selection of Studies on the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and Christianity was published in December 2021 by Social Sciences Academic Press in China.

With a collection of 31 articles, the book presents a wide range of arguments concerning the relationship between the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and Christianity, contributed to by remarkable scholars including Feng Youlan, Li Zehou, Luo Ergang, Jian Youwen, and Xia Chuntao.

Made up of five sections, topics investigated include the historical status of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, relationship between its God Worshiping Society and Christianity, analysis of its religious values compared with the Bible, investigations into Taiping leader Hong Rengan's “A New Treatise on Aids to Administration”, as well as comparative studies comparing Taiping Heavenly Kingdom leaders with Sun Yat-sen, Kang Youwei and Fukuzawa Yukichi.

“The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom started up with religion as its cornerstone, because of which it developed and in the end declined... Like the ‘lifeblood’ of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, religion was involved in all aspects of its activities, from the very beginning to the very end,” said Dr. Zhou Weichi, the editor of the book, a researcher at the Institute of World Religions in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “Taiping Heavenly Kingdom had a certain level of identification with Christianity and called Westerners ‘foreign brothers’. But varied arguments exist concerning the relationship between their religion and Christianity.”

In his preface, Zhou Weichi said previous studies might have been trapped in unconsciously presumed premises. The view of “Taiping Heavenly Kingdom exercising an indigenized religion” has led to a focus on relating its religion to Chinese traditional religions and neglect of biblical influence.

“If the spreading path of Western views could be clarified - from (missionaries like) Robert Morrison, William Milne, Elijah Coleman Bridgman, Walter Henry Medhurst... and James Legge, first to early Chinese converts like Liang Fa and Hoh Fuk Tong, then to common Chinese who accepted Christianity such as Hong Xiuquan and Hong Rengan (Taiping Heavenly Kingdom leaders) - it would be greatly helpful in understanding the complete process where the ‘Western word’ gained its Chinese ‘flesh’. Taiping Heavenly Kingdom is one of the earliest and most prominent examples,” commented the editor.

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