Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Bishop K. H. Ting, 1915-2012

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Bishop K. H. Ting, 1915-2012

Article excerpt

Bishop K. H. Ting, China's foremost Christian leader over the last four decades, died peacefully in Nanjing on November 22, 2012. He had been hospitalized for several years and was 97 years of age.

Born and raised in Shanghai, Ting (Ding Guangxun) was the third of four children. The greatest influence in his early life was his mother, a devout Anglican, who encouraged her son to enter the ministry. Ting received a B.A. in 1937 from St. John's University, Shanghai, and a B.D. from its school of theology in 1942. In the same year, he was ordained to the Anglican diaconate and priesthood and married Siu-may Kuo (d. 1995). He worked for the church in wartime Shanghai, and he was one of the many YMCA student workers inspired by Y. T. Wu (1893-1979). In 1946 the Tings went to Canada, where K.H. had been appointed mission secretary for the Student Christian Movement. The following year they moved to New York to continue their studies. In 1948 Ting received an M.A. in religious education from Union Theological Seminary, New York. He then moved to Geneva to assume the position of executive secretary (responsible for mission) with the World Student Christian Federation. In this capacity, he traveled widely and got to know many men and women in the then-flourishing ecumenical movement.

The Tings returned to China in 1951, committed to the newly established People's Republic of China. Ting served for a brief time as general secretary of the Christian Literature Society (1952-53) in Shanghai before moving to Nanjing, where he became principal of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, a position he held until 2010. Ting joined in the work of the Chinese Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and became a well-known interpreter of the Chinese revolution to the West. In 1955 he was consecrated bishop of the diocese of Chekiang (Zhejiang). With the intensification of radical political movements in China beginning in the late 1950s, Ting's position became increasingly difficult. He was removed from all his church and political posts at the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966.

With the beginning of the period of "openness and reform" in the late 1970s, K. …

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