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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 4. At the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (NJUTS): 1952–1965


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Part 1: An Emerging Leader

In 1952, it took only three months to found NJUTS with the support of the government and TSPM, a government-sanctioned “patriotic” Christian organization, as they were eager to fine-tune the old theological seminary based on different sects and missionary societies. The Communist Party of China (CPC) had governed PRC for only three years and the so-called “War to Resist the U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea”1 broke out in 1950, while the communist government faced various challenges and believed it was threatened by the U.S. Army and United Nations Army on the border between Northeast China and North Korea. The government had to re-concentrate military forces and financial resources so as to reunite people in all walks of life, especially those who tended to affect the morale of the troops. Chinese Christianity, which came from the West, was regarded as “the opiate of the masses” by CPC while the communist government viewed Chinese Christianity as closely linked with the churches in the U.S. and U.K. that were leading representatives of imperialist powers. As the Chinese saying goes, “the lotus root breaks, the fibers still hold together”; the CPC government thought it was necessary to rectify the old China Christian Theological Seminaries as ← 67 | 68 → they were financially dependent on American and other western countries’ missionary societies, as well as their Christian theological thought.

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