2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Sources of Aggression Against the Catholic Church in Early Mao-Era China
Bradley J. Sova
Prof. Julie Minn, Faculty Mentor

After the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) quickly moved to fortify the new state. To do so, it established hegemony over all independent areas of society including religious groups. Although a small minority, the Chinese Catholic Church was an aggressive target of this policy and paradoxically one of its strongest resisters. This paper examines why the CCP considered the small and insular Chinese Catholic Church such a threat to the new state order and why this group was able to stave off government intrusion for so long. To explain this phenomenon the political, ideological, and historical legacies of the Catholic Church in China and the new regime are compared. Together these analyses demonstrate that the factors that provided Catholic solidarity were the very sources of the CCPs aggressive desire to assimilate the Church into the state apparatus.

Keywords: Religious Policy, Christianity in China, Modern Chinese History, Christianity, China

Topic(s):Asian Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 29-2
Location: OP 2113
Time: 10:00

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