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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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A Note on the Text


Chinese personal names are usually given in their original order, with the family name preceding the given name, for example, Chen Duxiu, Hu Shi. However, when individuals are better known under some other form of their name, for example, Confucius rather than K’ung-fu-tzu, Chiang Kai-shek rather than Jiang Jieshi, T. C. Chao rather than Chao Tzu-ch’en, the more familiar form is followed.

According to the official Pinyin Romanization recently adopted in China, Chao’s name should be spelled Zhao Zichen. However, as Chao himself used the older form, Tzu-Ch’en Chao, and usually published internationally under the name T. C. Chao, this is the form used here.

Many Chinese referred to in this thesis lived and were known before the Pin Yin system was popularly adopted from 1979, so transliteration of their Chinese names usually follows the Wade-Giles system. However, a glossary is provided on page iii to viii after the text, and this includes both systems for reference.

All translations from Chinese are by the present author, unless otherwise indicated.←xix | xx→ ←xx | xxi→

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