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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 10 – Conclusion


Chapter 10


The purpose of this thesis is to study the Christology of the Chinese Protestant thinker, T. C. Chao in the social context of China from 1920 to 1949. It has explored how Chao interpreted Jesus Christ to make him relevant to China’s context and social thought, and has examined the transformation, characteristics and significance of Chao’s Christology. The thesis has aimed to make a contribution by understanding Chao’s Christology as a model upon which we can continue his work, and as a reference for contemporary Chinese theologians to continue their work on contextualization.

The research method has been, in effect, to study Chao’s Christology from two dimensions, that is, from mission history to its social context, and from mission theology to its contextualization, and to extend the study with analysis, evaluation, and comparison in order to discover its significance and uniqueness for today’s Chinese theology. It has attempted to understand Chao’s thought with sympathy rather than to offer a biased critique.

This thesis has used the methodology of taxonomy for providing a useful and systematic structure for an in-depth study. Part One and Part Two have first provided information on the background and content of Chao’s interpretations of Jesus Christ, and then gone on comprehensively to clarify its meaning. Part Three has continued to extend the study of Chao’s contextualization by analysis, synthesis, evaluation and application. It has first analysed the characteristics and patterns of Chao’s Christology on the...

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