Professor of World Christianity
Professor Lian’s research is focused on China’s modern encounter with Christianity. His first book, The Conversion of Missionaries (1997), is a critical study of American Protestant missions against the backdrop of rising Chinese nationalism in the early twentieth century. His second book, Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China (2010), winner of the 2011 Christianity Today Book Award, examines the development of missionary Christianity into a vibrant, indigenous faith of the Chinese masses. Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao’s China (2018) is his most recent book. It is the first authoritative, documented biography of the most important political dissident in Mao’s China, whose open opposition to communism was sustained by her Christian faith. Dr. Lian’s other research projects include the flourishing of Christianity among minority peoples on the margins of Chinese society and the emergence of Protestant elites and their prominent, if also precarious, role in the search for civil society in today’s China.
Lian, X, and Xi, L. Redeemed by fire : the rise of popular christianity in modern China: the rise of popular christianity in modern ChinaRedeemed by fire: the rise of popular Christianity in modern China. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 2010.
Lian, X. The conversion of missionaries : liberalism in American Protestant missions in China, 1907-1932: liberalism in American Protestant missions in China, 1907-1932. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.
Lian, X. "A New Journey in the Study of Christianity in China." The Chinese Historical Review 20.1 (2013): 1-4.
Lian, X. "Cultural Christians' and the Search for Civil Society in Contemporary China." The Chinese Historical Review 20.1 (2013): 71-88.
Xi, L. "Paul P. Mariani. Church Militant: Bishop Kung and Catholic Resistance in Communist Shanghai." The American Historical Review 117.5 (2012): 1563-1564. Full Text
Xi, L. "A Messianic Deliverance for Post-Dynastic China: The Launch of the True Jesus Church in the Early Twentieth Century." Modern China 34.4 (2008): 407-441. Full Text
Lian, X. "Western Protestant Missions and Modern Chinese Nationalist Dreams." East Asian History 32 (2006): 199-216.
XI, L. "The Search for Chinese Christianity in the Republican Period (1912-1949)." Modern Asian Studies 38.4 (2004): 851-898. Full Text
Wacker, G. "The conversion of missionaries: liberalism in American Protestant missions in China, 1907-1932." International Bulletin of Missionary Research 23.4 (October 1, 1999): 178-178.