Journal Article

Christian Entrepreneurs and the Post-Mao State: An Ethnographic Account of Church-State Relations in China's Economic Transition*

Nanlai Cao

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 68, issue 1, pages 45-66
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/68.1.45
Christian Entrepreneurs and the Post-Mao State: An Ethnographic Account of Church-State Relations in China's Economic Transition*

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This paper examines the rise of a group of affluent urban Christians in the post-Mao market transition to shed light on China's church-state relations in the reform era. Based on ethnographic data collected in Wenzhou, the most Christianized Chinese city and a pioneer in developing China's current market economy, this study portrays how local believers, many of whom are private entrepreneurs, engage postsocialist state power. It shows that these Christian entrepreneurs actively seek the state's recognition and renegotiate the boundaries of religion and politics in the context of development....

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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