Born into the family of a pastor in Anhui Province, Zheng first studied in Shanghai’s Dongwu University and then at St. Joseph University Theological Seminary. After his graduation in 1944, he became the secretary of Shanghai’s Christian Youth Society. In 1946 he was ordained pastor of St. Peter’s Church. In 1948 he went to Toronto University in Canada to study theology. He returned home in 1949 and became editor of Tian Feng Weekly and Protestant Books, advocating that Chinese churches should be managed independently by Chinese Christians.
Zheng was one of the initiators of the Chinese Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). In 1952 he was appointed assistant bishop of the Anglican Church in the Henan District. In 1953 he went to Shanghai again and became executive secretary of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Chinese Anglican Church. He was chosen as a committee member when the TSPM Committee was set up in 1954. After the Cultural Revolution and the establishment of the China Protestant Association in 1980, he was again nominated as vice chairman cum executive secretary, taking charge of rebuilding the church and other church affairs.
Zheng also worked hard on research on religious discourse. In 1979 he was chosen for the steering committee and as assistant secretary of the China Religious Association, and in 1982 was chosen by the Shanghai Religious Association to be vice chairman. He was also coeditor of the Dictionary of Religion, served on the editorial committee for the Ci Hai, and was vice head of the editorial board for the Chinese Encyclopedia’s volume on religion.
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.