Farmers Resting

Chinese History & Culture

(30 entries)

The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present

Review by Dr. Carol Lee Hamrin April 10, 2017
This comprehensive telling of the basic dynamics of U.S.-China relations is not only highly accurate but beautifully-written, with intriguing detail and photos and cartoons of key personalities and incidents. The excellent writing is delightful, if not surprising given the author’s career as a highly-respected journalist with both study and reporting from China as a Washington Post China correspondent and China editor.

When the Barbarians Meet: The Clash of Two Great Civilizations in the Second Opium War

By Office Admin and Calvin Wang November 11, 2016
In the mid-19th century, both the Westerners and the Chinese viewed the other as a barbarians who expressed ideas, committed acts, and used expressions that offended good taste and acceptability. Their feelings of superiority cleared the path for the Second Opium War, when the “barbarians” met.

Influence of Confucian Values on the Practice of Gift Exchange in Contemporary China

By Carroll Hoffman Rhyne III November 17, 2014
The main purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of Confucian values on gift exchange in contemporary Chinese culture. A secondary purpose is to explore the implications that this research may have for Christians engaged in relationships and ministry with Chinese people.

China’s New Confucianism

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle January 22, 2014
Writing with admirable clarity and conciseness, Daniel Bell explores the rapidly-growing influence of some aspects of Confucianism in today’s China; shows why this development is basically positive; ventures a few guesses about the future; and makes some recommendations, both for the Chinese and for Westerners.

Saving Grandmother’s Face And Other Tales from Christian Teachers in China

Review by Martha Stockment June 3, 2013
This work is a collection of essays by Western teachers who have taught English in China through EERC (Education Resources and Referrals – China). Their stories vary widely – from humorous recollections of how struggles with the language barrier result in pantomime and misunderstandings, to serious reflections on how Chinese traditions surrounding childbirth produce a mother who is distant from her own baby. Each story is rich with a lesson in Chinese culture and the personal transformation that life in this Eastern country has brought about in the author.

The Art of Attainment: Quotations from Chinese Wisdom

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle December 18, 2012
This very slender volume contains a wealth of wisdom for anyone in a position of influence. It consists of hundreds of pithy maxims culled from the vast corpus of ancient Chinese classics and later literature on how to succeed as a leader, and deserves repeated rumination and reflection.

Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle July 28, 2012
Part of the growing Oxford series of Very Short Introductions, this slender volume accomplishes the impossible by presenting the reader with a comprehensive and accessible entry into the vast literature that has come from China over several millennia.

Confucius: A Life of Thought and Politics

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle May 21, 2012
Though rejected by leading intellectuals during and after the May Fourth Movement, and apparently buried beyond retrieval in the Cultural Revolution, Confucius has been making a comeback.

Peter Hessler and His Chinese Fans: A New Generation of Sino-American Relations as Seen through Chinese Cyberspace Discussions of Hessler’s China Trilogy

By Dr. Gloria Tseng October 18, 2011
Perhaps for the first time in modern Chinese history, a popular American writer is able to write thoughtfully and at times critically about China without provoking the instinctive nationalistic responses so typical of Chinese students and intellectuals, and to do so without paternalism or exoticism or revolutionary propaganda. By so doing, he has succeeded where many early twentieth-century American writers—missionaries and journalists—failed. This phase in his writing career could well be the harbinger of “normal” relations between the two peoples on an equal footing.

Tsinghua Universities and Christianity

By Stacey Bieler April 23, 2011
Tsinghua University in Beijing and National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu (Taiwan) are celebrating their 100 years anniversary on April 24, 2011. It may be insightful to see how the campus has been influenced by both American and Chinese Christians.

Article Review: Dr. Jerry Yu, “Convergence or Divergence: Chinese Culture in a Globalized World.”

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle July 20, 2010
“How should we view the changes in China’s culture and its influence in the light of the globalization of the economy during the last thirty years?”

Chinese Leadership: Moving from Classical to Contemporary

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle June 27, 2009
Despite very poor writing, this book makes a major contribution to our understanding of Chinese leadership, both ancient and modern, and repays careful and repeated reading.

The Cambridge Companion to Modern Chinese Culture

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle June 13, 2009
Just what is “modern Chinese culture”? As I read this superb collection of essays by experts in different fields, I searched for an appropriate image.

China Rising in Historical Perspective, Part II

By Dr. G. Wright Doyle June 3, 2009
In the light of all this, we can see that China’s rise presents both opportunities and challenges to the Christian church.

China Rising in Historical Perspective, Part I

By Dr. G. Wright Doyle May 9, 2009
In this article we shall ponder the rise of China in the context of history, in order to reflect upon our possible responses and roles in this tectonic geo-political shift. Moving quickly over continents and centuries, I shall make five observations about rising China, and conclude with some suggestions for both Western and Chinese Christians.

Return to Dragon Mountain: Memories of a Late Ming Man

Review by Cole Carnesecca February 21, 2009
Return to Dragon Mountain, the most recent book from the great historian Jonathan Spence, pieces together the dreams and recollections of a man at the center of one of China’s most epic periods. The life of Zhang Dai (1597 –...

A Reader on China: An introduction to China’s history, culture and civilization

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle March 7, 2008
A Reader on China expresses much that is lovely and winsome in Chinese civilization, as well as not a little that is annoying and even scary. First, the pretty part: The book itself serves as a showpiece of Chinese visual...

Traditional Chinese Culture

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle March 5, 2008
I like this book. Of the several on traditional Chinese culture that I have read, it seems to be both the most comprehensive and the most balanced. On the one hand, the writers and editor display great appreciation for...

Changing China and You

By Dr. G. Wright Doyle July 10, 2007
In 1962, China had just stunned the world by testing its first atomic bomb. Its ruler Mao Zedong had not yet launched the Great Cultural Revolution, but would soon unleash millions of young people upon China to smash all that...

Modern China: A Guide to a Century of Change

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle October 6, 2006
Hutchings focuses on the “politics, society and economy, and the impact on them of individuals, places, organizations, and ideas ”of modern – that is, 20th century – China.

The Chinese

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle February 17, 2006
Becker’s journalistic skill is on display throughout this fact-filled work, with its combination of specific details, stories of representative individuals, and well-supported generalizations, always founded on a concise historical survey in each chapter. He reports on the vast changes that have taken place in China, especially since 1978, and notes progress made in a number of areas, especially the economy.

Patriots or Traitors: A History of American-Educated Chinese Students

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle January 27, 2005
This superb piece of historical writing traces the careers of seventeen Chinese who studied in America and then returned to serve their country. More than that, however, the book ranges widely over the course of China’s history from the late nineteenth century up to the present. Thus, each individual story fits into a coherent narrative, illustrating general trends and finding significance from the overall picture.

God’s Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle January 27, 2005
“The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom” only lasted about 14 years (1850-1864), but by the time of its demise, much of China had been ravaged, almost 20 million people had perished, the Manchu (Qing) Dynasty had nearly been toppled, and “one of China’s most remarkable megalomaniacs” had tarnished the name of Christ almost beyond repair.

Chinese Awakenings

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle January 27, 2005
This book takes a vertical slice out of different sub-groups of China’s population by following the lives of nine different people and their families. By tracing their careers over several decades, the authors expose us to the vicissitudes of China’s tumultuous history since the Communist victory in 1949.

The Sinister Way: The Divine and the Demonic in Chinese Religious Culture

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle January 18, 2005
Despite its foreboding title and evident academic audience, von Glahn’s treatment of Chinese religion offers a wealth of information and insight to students of Chinese culture.

China Remembers

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle September 20, 2004
This collection of first-hand accounts of aspects of China’s history from 1949-1999 provides rare personal glimpses of political and historical movements and trends.

Chinese Popular Religion

By Dr. G. Wright Doyle June 8, 2004
Chinese religion today defies neat categories. Though the government recognizes Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, and Christianity (both Protestant and Roman Catholic), actual practice often blurs these boundaries.

Asia’s Religions: Christianity’s Momentous Encounter with Paganism

Review by  May 12, 2004
Chang’s treatment of the main Asian religions is a distinctively Christian one. In his discussions of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Zen, Hinduism, and Islam, he includes two chapters on each, one an understanding of the religion from a Christian perspective, and the second a Christian critique of that religion.

Taiwan: Nation-State or Province?

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle April 6, 2004
At each step, Cooper seeks to fulfill the promise of the title, showing how a case can be made either for Taiwan as a nation-state or as a province of China. Given the incendiary nature of this subject, he has achieved remarkable success in maintaining a balanced and neutral approach.

To Change China: Western Advisers in China

Review by Dr. G. Wright Doyle January 28, 2002
In this fast-paced volume, China history expert Jonathan Spence studies the lives of sixteen Western advisors of various sorts who went to China to make a difference in that great nation.