Christian studies in China, perhaps more than other academic disciplines, bring those who are engaged in it into close contact with the outside world, including Chinese scholars in the diasporas. The Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was formally launched in May 1998. Besides having broad networking relationships with other academic institutions in the country, it has established links with some top universities abroad, including Oxford, Harvard and Munich.30 The universities and academic institutions in Hong Kong have played a significant role also. This ever-widening contact and networking with the global community has provided enormous opportunities for mainland scholars to broaden their horizons and constantly upgrade their knowledge and academic credentials, including the acquisition of respectable doctoral degrees in theology whether at home or abroad. A small number of the official seminaries have also engaged some
Zhuo Xia Ping, Ji Du Jiao Yan Jiu [Christian Studies], vol. I (Beijing: She Hui Ke Yue Wen Xian,
university academics to help teach in some of the theological and social science courses.
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