The Chinese Face of Jesus Christ - Vol. 1

“The Chinese Face of Jesus Christ is a fascinating collection of value both to those interested in the history of China and to those concerned with the current expansion of Christianity in Asia and Africa and in the inevitable inculturation and/or syncretism that results.”

Timothy Light in International Bulletin of Missionary Research


This collection in five volumes tries to realize the desideratum of a comprehensive interdisciplinary work on the manifold faces and images of Jesus in China, which unites the Sinological, mission-historical, theological, art-historical, and other aspects. The first three volumes (vols. L/1-3) contain articles and texts which discuss the faces and images of Jesus Christ from the Tang dynasty to the present time. In a separate volume (vol. L/4) follows an annotated bibliography of the Western and Chinese writings on Jesus Christ in China and a general index with glossary. The iconography, i.e., the attempts of the Western missionaries and the Chinese to portray Jesus in an artistic way, will be presented in the fifth volume of this collection (vol. L/5).


Contents of Volume 1

Introductory Essays

ROMAN MALEK, S.V.D.: Faces and Images of Jesus Christ in Chinese Context. Introduction

PAUL H. WELTE, O.P.: Does Jesus Christ Need A Facelift? A Critical Voice to the Project "The Chinese Face of Christ." Remarks on Some Problems of Inculturation

Preliminary Contextual Considerations: Dao - Logos - Yesu

LIVIA KOHN: Embodiment and Transcendence in Medieval Taoism

JOSEPH H. WONG, O.S.B. CAM.: Tao - Logos - Jesus. Lao Tzu, Philo, and John Compared

J.D.M. DERRETT: St. John's Jesus and the Buddha

JOST O. ZETZSCHE: Indigenizing the "Name Above All Names": Chinese Transliterations of Jesus Christ


Part I: Faces and Images of Jesus Christ from Tang to Yuan

YVES RAGUIN, S.J. (1912-1998): China's First Evangelization by the 7th and 8th Century Eastern Syrian Monks. Some Problems Posed by the First Chinese Expressions of the Christian Traditions

STEVE ESKILDSEN: Christology and Soteriology in the Chinese Nestorian Texts

GUNNER B. MIKKELSEN: "Quickly guide me to the peace of the Pure Land": Christology and Buddhist Terminology in the Chinese Manichaean Hymnscroll

HANS-JOACHIM KLIMKEIT (1939-1999): Jesus' Entry into Parinirvana. Manichaean Identity in Buddhist Central Asia

HANS-JOACHIM KLIMKEIT (1939-1999): Das Kreuzessymbol in der zentralasiatischen Religionsbegegnung. Zum Verhältnis von Christologie und Buddhologie in der zentralasiatischen Kunst

FRANZ XAVER PEINTINGER: In Nomine Domini. Ein christlicher Grabstein in Yangzhou (1344)


Anthology I

Hsü-t'ing Messiah Sutra or Jesus Messiah Sutra (ca. 635)

The Lord of the Universe's Discourse On Alms-Giving (ca. 640)

The Sutra on Mysterious Rest and Joy (ca. 780)

The Luminous Lord of the Universe. From the "Nestorian Monument" (781)

A Nestorian Motwa Hymn in Adoration of the Holy Trinity (8th c.)

King Messiah: Syriac Texts from Gaochang (9th-12th c.)

Manichäische Jesus-Hymnen aus China (8.-9. Jh.)

Christ described in a Poem by Li Bai (701-762).
Interpretation proposed by WU QIMING. Presented by ADRIAN DUDINK



Monumenta Serica
Monograph Series L/ 1