Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

Before T.C. Chao: A Contribution to Barth’s early Reception in China

Author: YANG Junjie, Associate Professor, School of Chinese Language and Literature, Beijing Nomal University



T. C. Chao has long been held to be the first to introduce Karl Barth into China, publishing a book on Barth’s theology in 1939. But this is not accurate, since Peter Peng at Cheeloo Theological Seminary wrote a paper introducing Barth and the Barthian School in 1933. More importantly, the writings of Barth had already been translated into Chinese before Chao’s introduction. Under the guidance of T.T. Lew, the Christian magazine Amethyst published Chinese translations of eight sermons of Barth and his friend Eduard Thurneysen between 1935 and 1937, which were translated from the German via English. The first Chinese translation of Barth’s sermon “Repentance,” was done by T.H. Chen, a Master of Theology candidate in Yenching University at that time, and published in Amethyst in 1936. Given that repentance is one of the most important key words in Barth’s theology, it is salient to note that this important concept was introduced into China quite early.



Karl Barth; T. C. Chao; Peter Peng; T. T. Lew; T. H. Chen


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