In Search of the Heart of a Heartless World: Chinese Youth, House-church Christianity and the Longing for Foreign Utopias

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Abstract

In this article I shed light on the phenomenon of Chinese young people’s conversion to Christianity and argue that it is often closely tied to a utopian longing for what is missing in their lives (Bloch 1907). Through a person-centered account of two young people, I explore their quests to escape the temporal predicament of endless striving 'fuzao' and search for a better life based autotelic values abroad. Paraphrasing Marx I argue that they are in search of ‘the heart of a heartless world’ and argue that they can be seen as individual quests to find hope through more fulfilling forms of human sociality. Arguing that human experience is transitory and illusory in the same way that selves are not stable bounded entities but rather multiple and unstable, I argue that utopia is never fully achieved since it is essentially ‘no-where’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIdentities
Volume25
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)176-191
Number of pages16
ISSN1070-289X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • China
  • Christianity
  • migration
  • phenomenology
  • subjectivity
  • utopia
  • Youth

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