God’s Chinese Son

4 April 2015
A paper which analyzes and reviews the book God’s Chinese Son: The Chinese Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan by Jonathan Spence.

A paper which discusses Jonathan Spence’s book “God’s Chinese Son: The Chinese Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan about Chinese Christian missionary Hong Xiuquan who led the Taiping Great Peace Rebellion in a bid to gain power over China’s major cities and succeeded in seizing Nanjing in 1853. By examining Spence’s book, the paper delves into questions such as: What is the nature of Christianity and how should the missionary movement conduct itself in foreign lands? How did the Taiping Rebellion affect geopolitical forces, in China and abroad? Did the Taiping Rebellion carve the way for the Communist revolution in the following century? What does it mean to have a religious conviction and apply it with military force?
Christianity already had its claws in Asia by the 1840s, as did Western trade interests. China’s Qing dynasty faced serious challenges to its integrity as it pondered the course of the nation’s future. Protestant missionaries that had flourished in the 19th century began to distribute, on a large scale, religious tracts and Chinese-language Bibles. The impact of these missionaries and their publications might not have been foreseen by the Qing dynasty, which already had begun to splinter. It is within this chaotic and semi-stable environment, coupled with the personal stress of continuously failing his Confucian exams, that Hong Xiuquan had his spiritual visions.”

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