PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2011, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (8): 1065-1072.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2011.08.014

• Original Articles • Previous Articles    

the Spatial Characteristics and the Diffusion of Foreign Religions in a Port City: A Case Study of the Protestant Churches in Fuzhou

ZHANG Yun1, WANG Bin1, ZHU Hong2   

  1. 1. School of Geographical Science, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China;
    2. College of Geography Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2010-10-01 Revised:2011-04-01 Online:2011-08-25 Published:2011-08-25

Abstract: The religious landscape study in cities is an important part of religious and cultural geography. Church, as the core of religion cultural landscape studying, is also the focus of religious geography researches, and its time and space distribution and changes can often reveal the formation and diffusion mechanism of urban religious landscapes. The paper, by extracting geographical information on religious cultural landscape such as basic spatial data of different historical periods and churches from historical literature, establishes a historical GIS database for Fuzhou. Based on it, the paper takes the Protestant churches as a clue in the interpretation of important spatial meanings connoted in the temporal-spatial changes occurred in religious cultural landscape in a port city by the means of spatial analysis and historical analysis. The results show that, before 1860, there was a small number of Protestant churches in Fuzhou and they were mainly distributed in the Minjiang River estuary and along the river sides, that is, Chating and Cangqian areas; after 1860, the churches in Fuzhou was located in along the two sides of the Minjiang River and in the old town (Gulou District); after the period of the Republic of China, along with the improvement of traffic condition, the newly-built Protestant churches began to spread quickly outward; after the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the distribution of churches in Fuzhou showed a shrinking trend. The way of Protestant missions in Fuzhou was constantly changing from the traditional way of preaching to the way of using modern media, complemented by publishing religious books and newspapers and establishing schools and hospitals. These schools and hospitals promoted the development of modern health care and education in Fuzhou.

Key words: church, Fuzhou, Protestant, spatial characteristics, the way of diffusion