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Incorruptible Love

The K. H. Ting Story


Jia Ma and Suyun Liao

K. H. Ting (1915–2012) was an important Christian leader and theologian in China. Indeed, since the late-1970s, he has been seen as the spokesperson for Christianity in China. Many stories surround his life, but it is sometimes unclear which ones are true, making him a mysterious figure.

K. H. Ting became the principal of Jinling Theological Seminary in 1952 and remained in this position until his death, making him the longest-standing principal of any theological seminary in the world. He experienced many difficult times in his 97 years, and in any ways the history of Christianity in China is reflected through the ups and downs he experienced. In Incorruptible Love: The Story of K. H. Ting, the authors offer Christians, as well as people of other spiritual beliefs, intellectuals, and the general public, a greater understanding of K. H. Ting’s life and beliefs. This biography will help people learn not only about K. H. Ting, but also about the fundamentals of Chinese Christianity.

Written in a blend of creative and academic writing styles, Incorruptible Love makes the story of K. H. Ting vivid and convincing. This text can be used in courses on Christianity in China, the Chinese Church, religion in China, and modern Chinese history.

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Chapter 1. The Wind Blows When It Chooses


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Part 1: Where the Story Begins: Interviews with K. H. Ting

The common Chinese idiom, “The waterfront pavilion gets the moonlight first”, can be applied here to describe how Ma Jia1 built up a friendship with the Bishop K. H. Ting. More than 20 years ago in 1994, Ma Jia was a lecturer at Nanjing University, one of the most recognized universities in China. As an active Ph.D. scholar, Ma Jia also taught a survey course about Chinese literature at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (NJUTS), China’s most prestigious seminary. Ma Jia soon realized that the president of NJUTS, K. H. Ting, just happened to also be the vice-president of Nanjing University. Ma Jia and K. H. Ting also shared a common friend, Professor Wang Weifan,2 the Academic Dean of NJUTS. While familiar with Ma Jia, Wang Weifan was also K. H. Ting’s colleague and old friend; Wang described their friendship and partnership as one that “waxed and waned but endured over fifty years.”3

On one occasion, Ma Jia inadvertently expressed to Professor Wang the difficulties of publishing his doctoral dissertation that explored Christian cultural influence on modern Chinese literature. Wang Weifan had been a well-recognized scholar in the field of Christian culture in China, as well as an expert on Chinese literature. During the 1940s, Wang studied Chinese ← 1 | 2 → literature at National Central University, which led to a desire...

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