Recap of ‘James Legge and Scottish Missions to China’

Legge 2015 Group Photo

On 11–13 June 2015, the Centre for the Study of World Christianity, in collaboration with the Scottish Centre for Chinese Studies, organised a conference in honour of the Scottish missionary-scholar to China, James Legge, on the bicentennial of his birth (see conference page). The conference received generous financial support from the Confucius Institute and the New College Senate.

Pfister and Legge Family

Judy Legge, Christopher Legge, Lauren Pfister, and Anthony Legge

During the daytimes, sixteen short papers were presented to 35 delegates and, in the evenings, two public keynote lectures drew in another dozen or so from the broader public. Beginning with a personal reflection by James Legge’s great grandson Christopher Legge, short papers continued by discussing the psychological trauma experienced by the senior Legge in Hong Kong, to his experience as a non-conformist ‘foreigner’ in Anglican-dominated Oxford, to his Chinese collaborators and his work in translation and theology. The conference also drew a wide range of papers on other aspects of missions to China, providing a broader background for the discussions, from the work of the Anglo-Chinese College to the work of various Scottish men and women working in the mission field.

Yang Huilin and Iain Torrance

Yang Huilin and Iain Torrance

We learned and shared much about James Legge and the work of Scottish missionaries to China. We hope to publish many of the papers from this conference together in an edited volume, in due course.

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About Alexander Chow

Alexander Chow is a Chinese American, born and raised in Southern California. He completed his PhD in theology at the University of Birmingham, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Renmin University of China, where he was doing research in Chinese Christianity and teaching in the School of Liberal Arts, and joined the University of Edinburgh in September 2013. He is also co-director of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity and co-editor of Studies in World Christianity.

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