1859  — 1937

Carl Johannes Voskamp

German missionary in China and prolific writer.

Born in Antwerp, Belgium, and raised in Duisburg, Germany, Voskamp studied in a local gymnasium (high school) and then transferred to the seminary of the Berlin Mission in 1879. Completing his studies in 1884, he left at once for service in the South China field. He was ordained in Canton (Guangzhou) in 1887 and ministered in various communities in the area, where he learned to relate to both simple folk and Confucian intellectuals. He married Maria Lutze in 1887 (she died in 1902) and Emmy Palm in 1907. While home on furlough in 1897 and 1898, Voskamp was named superintendent of the new mission station at the German Kiaochow (Chiao Hsien) Bay naval base in Shantung (Shandong) Province. By 1899 he and his Berlin co-workers had built a church and mission house in Tsingtao and soon were operating schools, preaching stations, and even a hospital in the enclave.

He was a prolific writer; his major works include Unter dem Banner des Drachen und im Zeichen dec Kreuzes (c. 1892), Zerstorende und aufbauende Machte in China (1898), Cestalten und Gewalten aus dem Reiche der Mitte (1906), and Das Alte und das neue China (1914). His son was killed during the Japanese siege of Kiaochow in fall 1914, but he was allowed to stay in Tsingtao under house arrest and continue a limited work. After the war the work suffered from financial exigency and in 1925 Berlin turned over much of it to the American Lutherans. In 1931 Voskamp retired in the field. He died in Tsingtao.


This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright (c) 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of The Gale Group; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • C. J. Voskamp, Aus der belagerten Tsingtau (1915). Julius Richter, Geschichte der Berliner Missionsgesellschaft (1924) and Berliner Missionsbericht 114 (1937): 157-158 (obit.).

About the Author

Richard V. Pierard

Professor of History, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, USA