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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


Sun Yat Sen’s Views on Evolution and Christianity

Vol. 46 No. 1   3/2016  


Sun Yat Sen’s Views on Evolution and Christianity


Fung, Chi-wang









Key words

Sun Yat Sen, Christianity, evolution, James Cantlie, Paul Linebarger, Miyazaki Toten


   Academics have long maintained that Sun Yat Sen admired the theory of evolution, a position that would seem to conflict with his Christian faith. This study combs through extant historical sources in an effort to clarify Sun’s religious views. It reaches the following conclusions: 1) Around 1906-1907, Miyazaki Toten thought that Sun Yat Sen’s faith in Christianity had reached its peak; 2) Sun Yat Sen had a deep understanding of the contemporary Western debate over “the relationship between science and religion,” and he was familiar with the existence of the Christian Evolutionists; 3) In 1918, Sun Yat Sen praised Joseph McCabe’s Religious Bankruptcy, not Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Anti-Christ; 4) Both Sun’s teacher James Cantlie and his friend Paul Linebarger recognized the achievements of Darwin, while still retaining their faith in God, and they always thought of Sun Yat Sen as a devout Christian; 5) Sun Yat Sen never changed his view that God helped him survive his detainment in London by the Chinese Imperial secret service in 1896. He maintained that Jesus Christ was God, rather than the supreme symbol of humanity, and he never denied the existence of the Christian God, confirming this view until his death.



Author: Fung, Chi-wang
Genre: Article
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