Calvin history professor Daniel Bays recently released A New History of Christianity in China, the first comprehensive history of Christianity in China to come out in years.
Daniel Bays has written a book on the history of Christianity in China.
Bays' book explores the period before Western countries first established missions in China. He also writes about the first-known Christians in China, Nestorians—adherents of the Church of the East—who entered the country in the seventh century.
In his book Bays corrects many misconceptions that Western Christianity has about Chinese Christian culture and about the political climate Chinese Christians live in today.
While a history professor at the University of Kansas in the 1970s, Bays earned a grant to conduct research on China. In 1996, he collected 20 scholarly essays on the history of Christianity in China in a book titled Christianity in China From the 18th Century to the Present. In 2000, Bays came to Calvin and began building the college's Asian Studies Program.
"Dan Bays is one of the world's leading scholars on the history of Christianity in China," said Larry Herzberg, professor of Chinese and Japanese languages for Calvin. "His latest book on the subject is not only an important contribution but is extremely interesting and readable."
Bays hopes the book will fuel an interest in China: "For Christians, it should be of interest because it's one of the places Christianity is booming in numbers, in self-confidence," he said. "China has a lot to offer the world."