Date of Award

8-2001

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Comparative Religion

First Advisor

Dr. H. Byron Earhart

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian C. Wilson

Third Advisor

Dr. David Ede

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Protestant Christianity has recently emerged as one of the fastest growing religions within China. Many government officials refer to its growth as "Christianity fever." The predominate number of converts to the Chinese Protestant Christian Church are women.

This study proposes that women find within the Chinese Protestant Christian Church a social community that provides many benefits that society at large in China does not provide. The Church provides women with a road to power, a psychological paradigm, education, a community with meaningful social activities, and social services.

This study presents a historical overview of Christianity in China and then focuses on the conversion of Chinese women to Protestant Christianity. It first explains the conversion of Chinese women at the end of the nineteenth century and then using life histories, examines the reasons for conversion at the end of the twentieth century.

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