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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 5. Looking Back: The Time of GCR


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The Time of GCR

Part 1: Who Protected K. H. Ting?

In 1972, as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GCR) in China neared its end, the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate held a hearing attended by three experts on China. The hearing was about GCR, the focus of world attention despite not being sufficiently understood by the outside world. One of the experts cited the words of Sun Yat-sen, who had established KMT, helped to remove the last Manchu emperor from power and become the first President of the Republic of China in 1911; they remarked that the “the revolution has not yet been completed,” in reference to GCR, part of a movement which had started at the beginning of modern China and aimed to build an ideal modern society.1 His explanation sounds surprisingly positive; as the Chinese proverb expresses, he is watching a fire from the other side of the river.

It is well known that the impact of GCR has spread overseas, as individuals in Japan and France imitated the Red Guards of China. In Hong Kong, the bright revolutionary aspects of the GCR, described by newspaper journalists, overshadowed the severe criticism from opponents of GCR who escaped mainland China. As Mao Zedong said, “Revolution is not a dinner ← 81 | 82 → party!” Some people, when considering GCR, considered that revolution would destroy the existing order and cause harm to some...

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