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Title:Changing the image: the presentation of Christianity in Yu Guan and Deep River
Author(s):Zeng, Hanyun
Advisor(s):Tierney, Robert T
Department / Program:E. Asian Languages & Cultures
Discipline:E Asian Languages & Cultures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Yu Guan
Deep River
Xu Dishan
Endo Shusaku
Chinese Literature
Japanese Literature
Abstract:This paper investigates and compares the presentation of Christianity in two novels by Chinese writer Xu Dishan (1893-1941) and Japanese writer Endo Shusaku (1923-1996), Yu Guan and Deep River. As a religion brought by Western missionaries, Christianity is considered “foreign” in both writers’ contexts and is not welcomed. As the two writers in the discussion are both affiliated with Christianity and are supportive of its existence in their countries, they both encounter the problem of justifying Christianity in their home cultures. Furthermore, while the two authors write the two novels in different contexts (China in the 1920s and Japan in the postwar period), they both experience a critical period of modernization in their countries. Such experiences also bring challenges to the existence of Christianity in China and Japan. Instead of studying how these two writers are influenced by Christianity, this paper argues for their subjectivity in defining Christianity by investigating how they present it in their works. The two main questions the two authors deal with in the works are the xenophobic attitude toward Christianity in their home cultures and Christianity’s relationship with modernization. The two authors tackle the questions through their active redefinition of Christianity in their cultural contexts. While Xu Dishan is more aggressive in defying foreign authority and the influence of modernization, Endo Shusaku approaches these questions in subtler ways, seeking a Christianity outside of European authority on Christianity that can co-exist with modernity.
Issue Date:2020-12-09
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Hanyun Zeng
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-03-05
Date Deposited:2020-12

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