The Memoirs of Jin Luxian, Volume 1

Learning and Relearning, 1916–1982

(金魯賢回憶錄 上卷: 絕處逢生 1916–1982)

Jin Luxian. Translated by William Hanbury-Tenison

ISBN : 978-988-8139-67-5

Religion, Philosophy

October 2012

332 pages, 6″ x 9″, 11 b&w illus.; 3 maps

  • HK$195.00

Also available in Hardback HK$450.00

Jin Luxian is considered by many to be one of China’s most controversial religious figures. Educated by the Jesuits, he joined the Society of Jesus and was ordained priest in 1945 before continuing his studies in Europe. In 1951 he made the dangerous decision to return to the newly established People’s Republic of China. He became one of the many thousands of Roman Catholics who suffered persecution. Convicted of counter-revolutionary activities and treason, he was imprisoned for 27 years and only released in 1982. His subsequent decision to accept the government’s invitation to resume his prior role as head of the Shanghai Seminary and then assume the title of Bishop of Shanghai without Vatican approval shocked many Catholics.

Now, some thirty years later, still serving as Bishop and regarded as one of the leading figures in the Chinese Catholic Church, Jin recounts formative experiences that provide essential insight into the faith and morality that sustained him through the turbulent years of the late 20th Century.

In this volume of memoirs Jin recalls his childhood and education, his entry into the Society of Jesus and formation as a priest, his return to China, imprisonment and, finally, his release and return to Shanghai.

Jin Luxian is the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shanghai. William Hanbury-Tenison left Britain in 1985 on a one-way ticket to study Chinese in Taiwan. He moved to Shanghai in 1994 with Jardine Matheson but left the firm in 1999 to pursue his own interests, including participation in the unfolding life of the Shanghai diocese led by Bishop Jin Luxian.

“Bishop Jin Luxian is a key figure in the history of the Catholic Church in the PRC, and in particular in its revival and struggles in the era of reform and opening. This autobiography provides unique insights into the character and formation of the man—not without his detractors, as well as strong supporters—and into the troubled times in which he has lived his priesthood and his faith.” —Richard Rigby, author of The May 30 Movement

“Jin Luxian’s career has been full of dramatic twists and turns and his actions at crucial times have been controversial. His life embodies the hopes and disappointments of the Chinese Catholic Church, and his memoirs open a fascinating perspective on many aspects of China’s social and political history.” —Richard Madsen, author of China’s Catholics: Tragedy and Hope in an Emerging Civil Society

“This autobiographical memoir, which covers Jin Luxian’s life to the beginning of the period of ‘Openness and Reform,’ is unique. No other religious leader in China has written in such detail about his own life. Jin remains controversial, but he is a thinker of singular intelligence, a deeply believing Roman Catholic and a remarkable human being. He has been a bridge person in the contentious relationships between the Vatican and China, and has been both admired and criticized in this role. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in religion in China.” —Philip L. Wickeri, author of Reconstructing Christianity in China: K. H. Ting and the Chinese Church

“The great strength of these Memoirs—elegantly translated and with a fine introduction—is that they are recounted by [Jin Luxian] himself. Perhaps Philip Wickeri is correct: ‘No other religious leader in China has written in such detail about his own life’” —Theological Studies