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God, Western Learning, and Personal Memento: Timothy Richard’s Literary Work in Late Imperial China

Kuo, Chih-wen

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the China missionary Timothy Richard’s literary work by discussing how he utilized periodical publications to achieve goals in his life and career. Literary work, according to Richard, means using publication in newspapers to promote Christianity and Western learning. Richard served as the secretary of the Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge Among the Chinese (the S.D.C.K.) from 1891 to 1915. When working in the S.D.C.K., he met the time that China started to embrace Western learning. Achieving successful literary work, Richard engaged in both Chinese and English publications so as to balance between Chinese readers, i.e. Chinese officials and intellectuals, and English readers, i.e. missionary groups in China and readers in the U.K. His literary work helped him to achieve the goal of promoting China’s modernization and spreading Christianity at the same time. The present research uses Richard’s life as the framework to discuss his efforts at literary work, so as to show how it developed in his every stage of life. In his early age, Richard regarded the media as a tool to express God’s blessing on mankind, preaching the Gospel among the Chinese; in his midlife, he utilized publication in newspapers to introduce Western learning for China; in his old age, media became a spiritual sustenance which he came to rely on. Through his literary work, Richard not only helped China to understand Western civilization, especially with regard to science and technology, but also made the British further understand China, promoting cultural interactions between the Far East and the West.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Kurtz, Prof. Dr. Joachim
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 23 December 2019
Date Deposited: 12 May 2020 06:11
Date: 2020
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Institut für Sinologie
Subjects: 200 Religion
950 General history of Asia Far East
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