Bible Translation and Cultural Transformation

April 7, 2006


Bin You

In Southwestern China, a number of ethnic minorities have very distinct cultures from that of the mainstream Han Chinese. Some are preliterate tribal societies until recently. Christian missionaries came and created the written languages as they translated the Bible for these ethnic groups. Along with its rapid growth in recent decades, Christianity has transformed these groups’ ethnic culture, ethnic identity, and social structure. Meanwhile, the indigenized Christianity has become colorful like the rainbow.


Dr. You Bin is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, China. He teaches the History of Christianity, Biblical Studies, Christian Ethics, and Religious Policies and Laws in Contemporary China. Currently he is a visiting scholar at Harvard-Yenching Institute.