Xi Lian, David Steinmetz Distinguished Professor of World Christianity and Graduate Program in Religion

Xi Lian

Professor Lian’s research is focused on China’s modern encounter with Christianity. His first book, The Conversion of Missionaries (1997), is a critical study of American Protestant missions against the backdrop of rising Chinese nationalism in the early twentieth century. His second book, Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China (2010), winner of the 2011 Christianity Today Book Award, examines the development of missionary Christianity into a vibrant, indigenous faith of the Chinese masses. Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao’s China (2018) is his most recent book. It is the first authoritative, documented biography of the most important political dissident in Mao’s China, whose open opposition to communism was sustained by her Christian faith. Dr. Lian’s other research projects include the flourishing of Christianity among minority peoples on the margins of Chinese society and the emergence of Protestant elites and their prominent, if also precarious, role in the search for civil society in today’s China.


Office Location:  Duke Divinity School, Box 90967, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3410
Email Address: send me a message
Division:  Divinity Faculty

Teaching (Fall 2021):

Teaching (Spring 2022):


D.ArtState University of New York, Albany1993

Area studies • Article • Asia • Christianity • Church history • Doctrines • Education • History • Liberalism (Religion) • Missions • Nationalism • Patriotism • Protestant churches • Protestants • Religion • Research • Sects • Social Change • Twentieth century