Watchman Nee, his teaching, and the imagined influence of Chinese context



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Within the subject of the history of Christianity in China, although scholars have begun of late to examine Catholic and Protestant missionary activity therein, still little has been written on the focus of that missionary activity—native Chinese Christians. One native Chinese Christian who has received some academic attention is Watchman Nee (1903-1972), perhaps one of China’s most famous ministers; and yet, what little study Nee has received frequently paints him as sinicizing Christianity for the sake of his Chinese audience, a picture based on scholars’ assumptions regarding Nee’s particular context and the supposed role it played in shaping his ministry. This thesis, using archival material, as well as Nee’s nigh-unexplored sixty-two volumes of collected works, not only demonstrates that Nee deliberately resisted and rejected his context’s influence on his ministry, but also sheds much-needed light on the hitherto neglected subject of native Chinese Christianity. The reader will find Nee’s writings an extensive and untapped source of information on Christianity in China.



Watchman Nee, Chinese Christianity