The Formation of Two Global Chinese Revivalists: Timothy Dzao and Andrew Gih

Activity: Conference/talk/lecture/symposium/speech/workshop, etcEvent organized by non-HKBU units

Description

Part of ‘Asian Christians, Global Networks and Cross-cultural Connections’ Panel organised by Barbara Andaya

Abstract:
This paper traces the careers of two prominent global Chinese revivalists in the twentieth century—Timothy Dzao (1908–1973) and Andrew Gih (1901–1985). Both Dzao and Gih were amongst the first in their generation to establish transnational Chinese evangelical organizations during the 1940s. In this paper, I examine how the two men’s appropriation of evangelicalism enabled them to construct ethnic-centered versions of their faith that became global in outlook and transnational in scope. Three arguments will be proposed for this study. First, the deep involvement of Dzao and Gih in China’s independent Christian sector during the 1930s played a formative role
in their conversion to a revivalistic evangelicalism which placed particular stress on the itinerant evangelism model. Second, the study demonstrates how this model served as a mobilizing tool for the two men to create their own transnational institutions and networks for Chinese migrants and refugees during and after the Second World War. Gih, in particular, worked closely with his wife to establish social organizations for the Chinese refugees in places like Hong Kong, Macau andTaiwan after 1949. Third, I show how their connections with Western evangelicals enabled them to extend their revivalistic agendas into North America and Europe. Importantly, the projection of this influence enabled them to cultivate a perception that they had reached a certain level of global appeal and maturity as professional revivalists that put them on par with their Western counterparts like Billy Graham.
Period23 Mar 2019
Event titleAssociation for Asian Studies (AAS) 2019 Annual Conference
Event typeConference
LocationDenver, Colorado, United States
Degree of RecognitionInternational

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese Christianity
  • Modern China
  • Evangelicalism
  • Chinese Religious Transnationalism
  • Revivalism