1908  — 1984

Jiang Wenhan

Leader of the Chinese Christian Student Movement and scholar.

Originally from Hunan, Jiang came into contact with Christianity when he entered the Changsha Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) English night school at the age of 12. He was baptized in 1923 at Xinyihui Church. After he graduated from high school, he studied at Yali Institution, Huazhong University, and Jinlu University. After he graduated from university in 1930, he joined the all China YMCA. In 1934, he went to the University of Pennsylvania in the United States to further his studies and received his master’s degree in the second year. In 1945, he again went to the United States to study at Columbia University and received his doctoral degree two years later. Each time he returned home, he went back to the YMCA to work, ever making sure that Christian students were aware of the times.

During the resistance against the Japanese in 1937, Jiang was acting secretary for the All China Students Relief Committee. With the outbreak of the Pacific War, he set up student rescue work, adopting the principles of no political or religious discrimination. He also raised funds to help the Tingan Student Sanatorium. In 1949, Jiang was appointed assistant executive secretary of the YMCA National Committee. He became executive secretary of the Association for the Development of Learning in 1955 and of the United Christian Publishing House in 1957.

In 1979, Jiang was employed by the History Research Center of the Shanghai Social Science Institution as a special researcher, carrying out research into the history of Chinese Christianity. Within five years, he wrote books such as The Ancient Chinese Church and the Jews of Kaifeng and The Catholic Jesuits in China During the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Jiang was one of the initiators of the Chinese Church Three-Self Patriotic Movement and was chosen as a member when the committee of the Chinese Church Three-Self Patriotic Movement was established in 1954. He was also nominated as vice-chairman when the China Protestant Association was established in 1980.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright © 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • Wickeri, Philip, Seeking the Common Ground (1988).

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