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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


The Development of Christianity in Late-Ming Shan xi from the Perspective of Studying Han Lin’s Duoshu (Community Compact)

Vol. 34 No. 1   3/2004


The Development of Christianity in Late – Ming Shan xi from the Perspective of Studying Han Lin’s Duoshu (Community Compact)


Yi – Long Huang









Key words

Zhu Yuanzhang, Han Lin, history of Christianity, history of Ming and Qing, community compact, Jiangzhou, Pingyang, Shanxi



    During the Ming dynasty, the so-called “Six Maxims” of the Hongwu emperor were read and expounded to inculcate moral values in the populace. The maxims asked one to perform filial duties to one’s parents, to honor and respect one’s elders and superiors, to maintain harmonious relations with one’s local community, to instruct and discipline one’s descendants, to work peacefully for one’s own livelihood, and not to commit wrongful deeds.

    In 1641, the magistrate of Jiangzhou Sun Shun decided to hold regular pact meetings to elaborate the imperial maxims. A local Christian intellectual Han Lin was invited to be one of the lecturers. Han Lin made good use of this occasion to integrate Christianity’s concept into his elaboration and publish it as a semi-official book Duoshu. Although no words of tianzhu (Deus) appeared in the text, this is no doubt a community compact book of strong Christianity flavor. Han Lin attempted in the book to remedy the deficiency of Confucianism as well as to attack Buddhism and other popular beliefs.

    Relative to the large amount of extant Christian-related literature in Chinese, Duoshu’s content is unique. Han Lin’s strategy to preach Christianity through the official practices of community compact is also extraordinary compared to other Chinese converts. Since few detailed studies have been carried out on the book, the author tries in this article to investigate how Han Lin promoted the book through his excellent social network and text presentation. The recognition or refutation of local people over the next two centuries toward Han Lin and his book is also studied.



Author: Yi-Long Huang
Genre: Article
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