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A Study of T. C. Chao’s Christology in the Social Context of China (1920–1949)

Daniel Hoi Ming Hui

The aim of this book is to show that during the early half of the twentieth century, Chinese society was disillusioned by both internal dissension and external invasion, and the churches experienced many challenges. In response to the traumatic events of 1920–1949, the Chinese theologian Prof. T. C. Chao tried to construct a ‘new religion’ for China, believing that an indigenous Christianity would offer a solution to the national crisis. Chao searched for a new interpretation of Jesus Christ to make him relevant to China’s context and social thought, and tried to develop Christology based on the encounter of Western Christianity, Chinese culture and social change. A personality-focused interpretation of Jesus Christ was developed, and an image of Confucian Jesus was found in his thought. Chao tried to explore his contextual Christology with the purpose of being faithful to Christian faith, and being relevant to Chinese classical culture and the contemporary context in order to enable intellectual Christians to contribute to the national reconstruction of Country.

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Chapter 4 – A Personality-Focused Interpretation of Jesus Christ and the Anti-Christian Movement (1922–1927)


Chapter 4

A Personality-Focused Interpretation of Jesus Christ and the Anti-Christian Movement (1922–1927)

This chapter aims to show how Chao interpreted Jesus Christ under the impact of the Anti-Christian Movement during the period 1922 to 1927. A significant question to be asked is: ‘Was Chao’s interpretation of Jesus Christ shown to be relevant to the Ant-Christian Movement?’ If the answer is ‘yes’, we will continue to explore in what respect the person of Jesus could be relevant to Chinese society and Chinese culture when they were under the influence of the Anti-Christian Movement. Another question to be considered is: ‘How did Chao interpret Christian faith, as well as the person of Jesus Christ, in such a tough situation?’ This chapter tries to deal with the above questions and answer them.

4.1 The Social Context and its Interaction with Chao’s Thought

During the period 1922 to 1927, China continued to be in an unstable situation as it went on experiencing tension among the warlords. The northern expedition set out under the leadership of Chiang and mustered widespread popular support throughout much of China.183 Then the confrontation between the Nationalist Government and the Communist Party arose.184 All←81 | 82→ this weakened the country and stimulated Chinese intellectuals to think how to strengthen their nation. Furthermore, the sense of opposition and struggle on the political front affected other aspects of China’s society to a greater or lesser extent. The Anti-Christian Movement emerged...

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