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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 2. New Legend of a Good Christian—K. H. Ting’s Early Life and Career in Shanghai


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K. H. Ting’s Early Life and Career in Shanghai

Part 1: Life at St. John’s University: Development of Spiritual Beliefs

When St. John’s University, Shanghai’s renowned Christian university, is mentioned in China today, people think of it as a model of late 19th century Chinese higher education. Although it no longer exists today, the spirit of St. John’s remains in the blood of K. H. Ting and many other scholars of the same generation. It was here that Ting and his classmates formed their standards of ethics, morals and modes of thought and behavior. At this time only the most privileged had the opportunity for higher education and after finishing these individuals became elites in society. Fifty years after his graduation, K. H. Ting recalled emotionally that some alumni could not help but kiss the ground when they gathered at the campus. In interviews1 with Ma Jia Ting detailed how his former classmates didn’t express such strong feelings about university life when in school, but rather complained a lot. It was only after leaving the campus that they developed a special yearning for the school, which Ting viewed firsthand when there was a reunion for students in Shanghai four or five years previously,2 as almost all graduates of St. John’s attended, from all over the world. ← 13 | 14 →

St. John’s was established in September 1879 as a Christian school...

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