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Objectives and Brief History

As an ecumenical research institution, the Study Centre is committed to further the study of Chinese religions and culture and to disseminate the fruits of research and theological reflection to local clergy and laypeople as well as Christians and academic communities worldwide.

The objectives of the Study Centre are :

  • to deepen the understanding of the religions and culture of China (including Hong Kong);
  • to undertake interdisciplinary research of historical and contemporary Chinese Christianity in its religious, cultural, social and political contexts;
  • to promote ongoing dialogue, and mutual understanding, between Christianity and other religious and cultural traditions in Asia;
  • to contribute to the development of indigenous and contextual theology among Chinese Christians.

Brief History

Founded in 1957, the Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion and Culture is one of the well-established Hong Kong–based ecumenical research institutes specializing in Chinese culture and religions. After 1949, not a few Christian missions moved their Chinese bases to Hong Kong. Among them a group of Protestant missionaries and church leaders in Hong Kong felt the pressing need to deepen the understanding of Chinese cultural and religious traditions, and to bring these traditions and the Christian faith into continuous and gospel-advancing dialogue. Under the active support of Ronald O. Hall, the then Anglican bishop of Hong Kong, they turned this vision into action, by founding the Study Centre at Tao Fong Shan, Shatin, in 1957. Under the directorship of a succession of church leaders and scholars, the Study Centre gradually acquired its character as an ecumenical institution dedicated to the disciplined study of Chinese culture and religions.

The first Chinese director, Peter K. H. Lee, led the Study Centre into its third and fourth decades as a renowned East Asian research centre of Christianity and Chinese culture. The Study Centre further developed its strengths in such areas as contextual theology and interreligious dialogue. Joined by Deng Zhaoming, it also promoted in-depth and first-hand understanding of Christianity in China – especially of contemporary Protestant churches in mainland China.

The Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion was from the beginning located in the premises of the Christian Mission to Buddhists sited at Tao Fong Shan, Shatin.

The Study Centre was renamed the 'Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion and Culture'.

From 1980 to 1985, there was a merger between the Study Centre and the Christian Mission to Buddhists, to become the Tao Fong Shan Ecumenical Centre.

After the merger dissolved, the Study Centre moved out of Tao Fong Shan and acquired its new office on Nathan Road, Yaumatei, Kowloon.

The Study Centre moved into its new home at the Theology Building, Chung Chi College.

After it moved to its present home at Chung Chi College in 2000, the Study Centre has continued its commitment to education, research and publication and its service to both local and overseas churches. Since the Divinity School (formerly Theology Division) of Chung Chi College is the only theological faculty in a Chinese public university, the move represents the development of deeper collaboration between the Study Centre and scholars of various disciplines in a wider academic circle in Hong Kong. It also betokens the ever-closer partnership between the Study Centre and the Divinity School in the new millennium.