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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Chinese Biblical Anthropology: Persons and Ideas in the Old Testament and in Modern Chinese Literature
Jian, Cao

Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2019 pp. xxv + 180. $25.00

Series Information
Contrapuntal Readings of the Bible in World Christianity

Description: In this study that is largely intellectual history, Cao Jian observes how Old Testament motifs were introduced by Protestant missionaries and Bible translators, with the help of Chinese co-workers in the beginning, and how those motifs drew attention from local converts and led to discussions among them in light of the norms in Confucianism. Then, Cao demonstrates how Confucian reformists started reacting to missionary publications and showing interest in Old Testament motifs. After the defeat of China in 1894Ė1895 in the Sino-Japanese War, the response to the Old Testament became more active and influential among China's population. The author shows new interests and tendencies in Old Testament interpretation among educated Chinese with various political ideals at a time of national crisis. He also demonstrates how the vernacular movement in Bible translating and missionary Old Testament education popularized and modernized Old Testament reading and studies in Chinese society. After that transitional period, discussions of Old Testament motifs became even more abundant and diverse. The author concentrates on those regarding the notion of God and monotheism. In Chinaís nationalism, the Old Testament proved no less stimulating. The author deals with Moses and the prophets to understand how they became valid to those active in both religious and secular realms.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Ideological Critique

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Review by Chloe Sun
Published 10/15/2020
Citation: Chloe Sun, review of Cao Jian, Chinese Biblical Anthropology: Persons and Ideas in the Old Testament and in Modern Chinese Literature, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2020).

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