Jesus, Mao & the foundations of values

The interview linked below is with one of the writers of River Elegy. He fled China after 1989 and became a Christian at Princeton after studying the roots of his most cherished values. Here’s the interview:

“River Elegy‘s conclusion was that the solution for China was dem0cr@cy and hum@n r!ghts. But it was only when I got to the West that I realized that the root of this was Christianity. It was the Bible. It creates something more important than rights given by a constitution or a government. It creates God-given rights— endowed by our creator. This made rights something permanent and not dependent on a leader.”

Another interview with a second prominent Chinese activist-turned-Christian is here.

P.S. – I find it interesting how some Chinese activists and intellectuals, steeped in anti-Christian communist propaganda from kindergarten, are able to approach Western history and culture, and Christianity with a more open mind than many Westerners. The interview above reminds me of sociologist of religion Rodney Stark‘s The Victory of Reason (2005): “During the past century, Western intellectuals have been more than willing to trace European imperialism to Christian origins, but they have been entirely unwilling to recognize that Christianity made any contribution (other than intolerance) to the Western capacity to dominate. Rather, the West is said to have surged ahead precisely as it overcame religious barriers to progress, especially those impeding science. Nonsense. The success of the West, including the rise of science, rested entirely on religious foundations, and the people who brought it about were devout Christians” [p.xi].

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