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魏克利:In memory of Professor Zhang Kaiyuan (1926-2021)

魏克利:In memory of Professor Zhang Kaiyuan (1926-2021)

In memory of Professor Zhang Kaiyuan (1926-2021)

I learned of Professor Zhang’s death a few hours after he passed away on May 28.Prof. Zhang helped to reinvigorate the study of the history of Christianity in China at the beginning of the period of “Reform and Openness.” I was proud to know him as a scholar, a mentor and a friend.

Born in 1926, he graduated with a degree in history from Nanking University in 1946, and he has been an historian all his life. He was a professor and former president at Huazhong Normal University, specializing in the history of Republican China, especially the 1911 revolution. He was also President of the Research Center for the History of Chinese Colleges and Universities. Professor Zhang has written many outstanding books, in Chinese and in English, and he has taught and mentored students for over 50 years. His historical overview and profound insight will be deeply missed.

I first learned about Professor Zhang when I got to know his former teacher, M. Searle Bates in the mid-1970s. He spoke of Prof. Zhang as his star student when he taught at Nanking University, and told me that when I went to Wuhan I should seek him out. Prof. Zhang visited the US in the 1980s, and in Princeton he met former classmates and students of Prof. Bates including my Chinese teacher, Professor Chen Ta-tuan陈大端. There is a photograph taken in 1946 in one of his books of Prof. Bates with his students including Profs. Zhang and Chen, and also Princeton University Prof. F. W. Mote. In Princeton, he also met Prof. James T.C. Liu刘子健, who was an advisor for me as I planned to go to China. I later learned that Prof. Liu had given his library of books on Song history to HuazhongNormal University.

I was made a Zhang Kai Yuan Academic Forum Scholar in 2015, and this was the first time I had actually met the esteemed Prof. Zhang. I lectured at Huazhong Normal University and met with graduate students and colleagues of Prof. Zhang. But I also had conversations with Prof. Zhang who impressed me deeply. Although well into his eighties, he still had keen insight and a prodigious memory. He was known all over the world for his scholarship, and especially for his work on China’s Christian Colleges.

The last time I saw him was in October, 2019, at the “International Symposium on Thirty Years’ Research on the History of Christian Colleges in China”《回顾与展望:中国教会大学史研究三十年》国际研讨会. Many of Prof. Zhang’s students were there.I presented a paper on M. Searle Bates life and work after he had left China. Prof. Zhang spent an afternoon with me and his colleagues and with Bates’ granddaughter in his office. We enjoyed a warm conversation as we discussed old friends and remembered old times.

It is impossible to review the life of a great scholar in. a few short words. But he will be remembered through his students and friends, his writings and his contribution to China and the study of Christianity.

Philip L. Wickeri

2021.05.31

纪念章开沅教授(1926-2021)

在章开沅教授于5月28日去世数小时后,我得知了他的离去。改革开放初,章教授帮助重振了中国基督教史研究。我很自豪能认识他这样一位学者、导师和朋友。

章教授生于1926年。1946年毕业于南京金陵大学历史系,一生从事历史研究,是华中师范大学的教授及前校长,专门研究民国史,特别是1911年的辛亥革命。他还曾担任中国高校历史研究中心的主席。章教授撰写了许多优秀的中、英文书籍,教授和指导学生逾50年。我们将深深怀念他的历史论见和深刻的洞察力。

我第一次听闻到章教授,是在1970年代中。当时我已认识章教授以前的老师贝德士。他谈到,章教授是他在南京金陵大学任教时的明星学生,并告诉我,如果去武汉,应该去找他。章教授20世纪80年代访问了美国。在普林斯顿,他见到了自己以前的同班同学和贝德士教授的学生,包括我的中文老师陈大端教授。在章教授的一本书中,有一张摄于1946年的照片,是贝德士教授和他的学生们,里面有章教授和陈教授。以及普林斯顿大学牟复礼教授。在普林斯顿,他还结识了刘子健教授,刘是我计划去中国时的一位顾问。后来我得知,刘子健教授把他的宋史图书馆赠送给了华中师范大学。

我在2015年成为「章开沅学术讲座」学者,这是我第一次真正见到尊敬的章教授。我在华中师范大学讲课,与章教授的研究生和同事见面。也与章教授单独进行了交谈,他给我留下了深刻的印象。尽管已年过八旬,但他仍有敏锐的洞察力与惊人的记忆力。他因其学术研究而闻名于世,特别是对中国基督教大学的研究。

我最后一次见到章教授是在2019年10月,在《回顾与展望:中国教会大学史研究三十年》国际研讨会上。章教授的许多学生都在那里。我发表了一篇关于贝德士离开中国后的生活与工作的论文。章教授在他的办公室里和我、他的同事及贝德士的孙女一起度过了一个下午。我们热烈地谈论了老朋友,回忆了旧时光。

短短几句话不能回顾这位伟大学者的一生。但人们将通过他的学生和朋友、他的著作以及他对中国和基督教研究的贡献来记住他。

魏克利

香港圣公会教省档案馆

2021.05.31