Welsh Baptist missionary to China Timothy Richard (1845-1919) was once widely regarded as “one of the greatest missionaries whom any branch of the Church, whether Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, or Protestant, has sent to China.” Today, few have heard of Richard and his remarkable lifetime of ministry in China.
As the first critical examination of Richard’s missionary identity, this groundbreaking historical study traces the narrative of Richard’s early life in Wales and his formative first two decades of service in China. Richard’s adaptations to the common evangelistic techniques of his day, his interest in learning from grassroots Chinese sectarian religions, his integration of evangelism and famine relief during the North China Famine (1876-79), his strategic decision to evangelize Chinese elites, and his complicated relationships with Hudson Taylor and other China missionaries are all explored through the writings and personal letters of Richard and his contemporaries. The resulting portrait represents a significant revision to existing interpretations of this influential China missionary, emphasizing his deep empathy for the people of China and his abiding evangelical identity. Readable and relevant, Encountering China provides a new generation with an introduction to this lost legend of China mission.
Andrew T. Kaiser, author of Voices from the Past: Historical Reflections on Christian Missions in China, The Rushing on of the Purposes of God: Christian Missions in Shanxi since 1876, and Encountering China: The Evolution of Timothy Richard’s Missionary Thought (1870–1891) has been living and working in Shanxi with his …View Full Bio