Recently, Zhang Jieke's book Sinners to Be Sinless: The Faith and Life of Wenzhou Christians was jointly published by the Chinese Christian Literature Council and the Center for Christian and Chinese Cultural Society Research of Chung Yuan Christian University.
Understanding and interpreting sin is not only the foundation of Christian anthropology but also the starting point for Chinese Christians to practice and construct their religious world images, as well as the focal point of ethical life. Through the stories of rural Christians in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, the book Sinners to Be Sinless: The Faith and Life of Wenzhou Christians analyzes the extent to which the images of the religious world around the sinner, the ethical subject, have influenced people’s ethical lives from different angles, such as their conversion to the faith, their attitude towards idols, the tenseness with the traditional moral order, their collective religious life, the power of the church over individuals, and even theodicy in practice. The book holds that the practiced self-denial around sin is actually a kind of self-affirmation of making sinners sinless. It is this special orientation that paradoxically makes it difficult for Christianity to touch itself in essence and truly change believers’ ethical lives.
Zhang Jieke holds a bachelor's degree and master's in sociology from Zhejiang University and another master's degree in divinity from the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is currently a doctoral student at the Protestant Theology Department at Munich University, Germany.
- Translated by Oliver Zuo