Symposium: Shaping the Outlook on Life-Education and Religion in Chinese Contexts

4 May 2023, Lund, Sweden

Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University and the Lund Mission Society

Anthony Hu:

Lecture “Neo-Missionaries in the Republican China: A Study of Selected Training Materials Mostly in Bilingual Format for the Foreign Divine Word Missionaries in Shandong”


Modern Chinese education rose within the cataclysm of the collapse of the Qing dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China. The efforts of Christian missionary congregations or institutions were crucial in this educational development. This presentation introduces the Chinese language training materials commonly employed by the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) or Steyl Missionaries for their newly arrived members in southern Shandong during the Republican period. In my presentation, I will first provide a general introduction about the mission of the Divine Word Missionaries in Shandong, especially their publishing activities and their materials circulated in the field of education. The second part of my presentation centers on selected language training materials for the newcomers. The focus will be on various sources for learning Chinese published during the Republican era, i.e., grammar books, dictionaries, catechetic instructions, selected Chinese readings about local events, reports, scientific information or stories, and even a local travel guide for foreigners. While introducing the writers and compilers of these printed books in bilingual or even trilingual format to some extent, I will mainly elaborate on the contents of the above mentioned materials and the teaching and learning method applied there. The talk concludes with a reflection about the overall formation process of the neo-missionaries with regard to their educative mission.