ZHANG Ke | 章可

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Jeudi 24 mars 2022 

The Changing Image of Martin Luther in Modern China

Among the famous personalities in European history, Martin Luther is a common figure who appears in the Chinese literature composed during the late Qing and Republican period (1840-1949). However, there was a transformation of his image in China due to the role of Christian missionaries and the reform movement in Qing China. Chinese intellectuals began to understand Martin Luther in more detail only after the Opium War, but until the 1890s his image among them was mostly negative as they thought Luther was responsible for the abruption of the Christian church. Meanwhile, the protestant missionaries praised Luther’s achievements in reforming the church and focused on shaping his image as an “reformer”. During the 1898 Reform Movement in Qing China, intellectuals such as Liang Qichao and Tan Sitong used Luther as a key historical figure, sought legitimacy for their reform movement, and repeatedly emphasized the significance of Luther to create a “myth”. The study of Luther’s mythological image is not only about exploring whether it is in line with the history of Christianity in Europe, but more importantly, about the actual purpose of these image creators and the specific Chinese historical context.



在欧洲历史上的著名人物中,马丁-路德是一个经常出现在晚清和民国时期(1840-1949)的中国文学作品中的历史人物。然而,由于基督教传教士的作用和清朝中国的改革运动,他在中国的形象发生了转变。中国知识分子在鸦片战争后才开始更详细地了解马丁-路德,但直到19世纪90年代,他在中国的形象大多是负面的,因为他们认为路德对基督教会的中断负有责任。同时,新教传教士赞扬了路德在改革教会方面的成就,并着重塑造他的 « 改革者 »形象。在1898年中国清朝的戊戌变法中,梁启超和谭嗣同等知识分子将路德作为一个关键的历史人物,为他们的改革运动寻求合法性,并反复强调路德的意义,创造一个 « 神话 »。对路德神话形象的研究,不仅要探讨它是否符合欧洲基督教的历史,更重要的是要探讨这些形象创造者的实际目的和具体的中国历史背景。