Thomas Torrance (1871–1959), born in Shotts, Scotland, was a Scottish Protestant missionary to China. He was first sent there by the China Inland Mission (CIM), and later by The American Bible Society. He married Annie Elizabeth Sharp (1883–1980) of the CIM in 1911. He was the father of the 20th century theologian, Thomas F. Torrance.
Shotts is a town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is located almost halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The town has a population of about 8,840. A local story has Shotts being named after the legendary giant Bertram de Shotts, though toponymists give the Anglo-Saxon derived 'sceots' as the real source of the name. Shotts is the home of the 2015 world champion pipe band, Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the fourth largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
Torrance was born in Shotts, Scotland in 1871. He came from a strong evangelical Church of Scotland background.He attended Hulme Cliff College in Derbyshire from 1892 to 1894, and then studied at Livingstone College, London from 1894 to 1895. After finishing his training at Cliff and Livingstone Colleges for missionary service, he was first sent to Chengdu, Sichuan in 1895, by the China Inland Mission (CIM). Torrance was stationed in Western Szechuan, from 1896 to 1910 as a missionary. While he was there, the Boxer Uprising of 1900 occurred.
Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. A substantial portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire, containing the southern extremity of the Pennine range of hills which extend into the north of the county. The county contains part of the National Forest, and borders on Greater Manchester to the northwest, West Yorkshire to the north, South Yorkshire to the northeast, Nottinghamshire to the east, Leicestershire to the southeast, Staffordshire to the west and southwest and Cheshire also to the west. Kinder Scout, at 636 metres (2,087 ft), is the highest point in the county, whilst Trent Meadows, where the River Trent leaves Derbyshire, is its lowest point at 27 metres (89 ft). The River Derwent is the county's longest river at 66 miles (106 km), and runs roughly north to south through the county. In 2003 the Ordnance Survey placed Church Flatts Farm at Coton in the Elms as the furthest point from the sea in Great Britain.
Chengdu, formerly romanized as Chengtu, is a sub-provincial city which serves as the capital of the Chinese province of Sichuan. It is one of the three most-populous cities in Western China, the other two being Chongqing and Xi'an. As of 2014, the administrative area housed 14,427,500 inhabitants, the largest in Sichuan, with an urban population of 10,152,632. At the time of the 2010 census, Chengdu was the fifth-most populous agglomeration in China, with 10,484,996 inhabitants in the built-up area including Xinjin County and Deyang's Guanghan City. Chengdu is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification, according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.
Sichuan is a landlocked province in Southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains in the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. Sichuan's capital city is Chengdu. The population of Sichuan stands at 81 million.
Torrance had a number of disagreements with the CIM and eventually left and returned to Scotland in 1910. While at the Edinburgh 1910 World Missionary Conference, he met Dr. John R. Hykes, who was head of the American Bible Society (ABS) in Shanghai. Hykes persuaded him to return to China to take over the West China agency of the ABS in Sichuan, based in Chengdu.
The 1910 World Missionary Conference, or the Edinburgh Missionary Conference, was held on 14 to 23 June 1910. Some have seen it as both the culmination of nineteenth-century Protestant Christian missions and the formal beginning of the modern Protestant Christian ecumenical movement, after a sequence of interdenominational meetings that can be traced back as far as 1854.
The American Bible Society (ABS) is a United States–based nondenominational Bible society which publishes, distributes and translates the Bible and provides study aids and other tools to help people engage with the Bible. Founded on May 11, 1816, in New York City, it is probably best known for its Good News Translation of the Bible, with its contemporary vernacular. They also publish the Contemporary English Version. The American Bible Society is also a member of the Forum of Bible Agencies International. ABS's headquarters relocated from 1865 Broadway in New York City to Philadelphia in August 2015.
In 1911, Torrance married Annie Elizabeth Sharp who was also a member of the CIM, and was stationed in Kuanshien.The couple had six children who were all born in China: Mary, Thomas F., Grace, Margaret, James, and David.
The Torrance family includes several well-known modern Scottish theologians and clergymen, primarily associated with the Church of Scotland. The patriarch of the Torrance family of theologians is Thomas Torrance (1871–1959), a Scottish missionary to China and father of Mary, Thomas F., Grace, Margaret, James, David.
Thomas Forsyth Torrance,, commonly referred to as T. F. Torrance, was a Scottish Protestant theologian. Torrance served for 27 years as professor of Christian dogmatics at New College, in the University of Edinburgh. He is best known for his pioneering work in the study of science and theology, but he is equally respected for his work in systematic theology. While he wrote many books and articles advancing his own study of theology, he also edited the translation of several hundred theological writings into English from other languages, including the English translation of the thirteen-volume, six-million-word Church Dogmatics of Swiss theologian Karl Barth, as well as John Calvin's New Testament Commentaries. He was a member of the famed Torrance family of theologians.
James B. Torrance was a Scottish theologian, biblical scholar, and academic. He was Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Aberdeen. He was a younger brother to Thomas F. Torrance and father of Alan Torrance. He gave the 1994 Didsbury Lectures, and the 2001 Warfield Lectures at Princeton.
Due to communist troubles under Chiang Kai-shek, the Torrance family left China in 1927. They settled in Scotland.Thomas Torrance would return to China to continue his missionary work, without his family, for seven years, but leave China for the final time in 1934 due to the Chinese Civil War.
The Communist Party of China (CPC), also referred to as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It also controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army.
Chiang Kai-shek, also known as Generalissimo Chiang or Chiang Chungcheng and romanized as Chiang Chieh-shih or Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese nationalist politician, revolutionary and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and then in Taiwan until his death.
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC) lasting intermittently between 1927 and 1949. Although particular attention is paid to the four years of fighting from 1945 to 1949, the war actually started in August 1927, after the KMT-CPC Alliance collapsed during the Northern Expedition. The conflict took place in two stages, the first between 1927 and 1937, and the second from 1946 to 1950; the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945 was an interlude in which the two sides were united against the forces of Japan. The Civil War resulted in a major revolution in China, with the Communists gaining control of mainland China and establishing the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, forcing the Republic of China (ROC) to retreat to Taiwan. A lasting political and military standoff between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait ensued, with the ROC in Taiwan and the PRC in mainland China both officially claiming to be the legitimate government of all China.
Torrance is known for discovering the Chi'ang people,who he believed belonged to the Lost Tribes of Israel. He was also instrumental in establishing the West China Union University Archaeological Museum.
The Qiang people are an ethnic group in China. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by China, with a population of approximately 310,000 in 2000. They live mainly in a mountainous region in the northwestern part of Sichuan on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau.
The West China Union University (WCUU), also called West China University or Huaxi University, was a private university in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. It was the product of the collective efforts of four Protestant, denominational, missionary boards and eventually became a division of the West China Educational Union (WCEU), which was created in 1906.
He died in Edinburgh in 1959.
David Livingstone was a Scottish physician, Congregationalist, and pioneer Christian missionary with the London Missionary Society, an explorer in Africa, and one of the most popular British heroes of the late 19th-century Victorian era. He had a mythical status that operated on a number of interconnected levels: Protestant missionary martyr, working-class "rags-to-riches" inspirational story, scientific investigator and explorer, imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader, and advocate of British commercial and colonial expansion.
Percy Cunningham Mather was a pioneer British Protestant Christian missionary to China, the second China Inland Mission missionary to Xinjiang.
James Hudson Taylor was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission. Taylor spent 51 years in China. The society that he began was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions, as well as the establishment of more than 300 stations of work with more than 500 local helpers in all eighteen provinces.
Karl Friedrich August Gützlaff, anglicised as Charles Gutzlaff, was a German Lutheran missionary to the Far East, notable as one of the first Protestant missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand (1828) and in Korea (1832). He was also the first Lutheran missionary to China. He was a magistrate in Ningpo and Chusan and the second Chinese Secretary of the British administration in Hong Kong.
Protestant Christianity entered China in the early 19th century, taking root in a significant way during the Qing dynasty. Some historians consider the Taiping Rebellion to have been influenced by Protestant teachings. Since the mid-20th century, there has been an increase in the number of Christian practitioners in China. According to a survey published in 2010 there are approximately 40 million Protestants in China.
The Cambridge Seven were six students from Cambridge University and one from the Royal Military Academy, who in 1885, decided to become missionaries to China through the China Inland Mission. The seven were:
OMF International is an international and interdenominational Protestant Christian missionary society with an international centre in Singapore. It was founded in Britain by Hudson Taylor on 25 June 1865.
Benjamin Broomhall was a British advocate of foreign missions, administrator of the China Inland Mission, and author. Broomhall served as the General Secretary of the China Inland Mission (CIM),. A boyhood friend of James Hudson Taylor, he became husband to Hudson Taylor’s sister Amelia. As General Secretary of the CIM, he was involved in fund-raising and recruiting missionaries to send to China and acted as editor of the mission magazine, "China's Millions".
Mary Geraldine Guinness, often known as Mrs. Howard Taylor, was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China, and author of many missionary biographies on the history of the China Inland Mission (CIM). She was the daughter of the revivalist preacher and author Henry Grattan Guinness, a friend of James Hudson Taylor, founder of the CIM. She became Taylor's daughter-in-law when she married his son, fellow CIM missionary Frederick Howard Taylor.
Marshall B. Broomhall, was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China with the China Inland Mission. He also authored many books on the subject of Chinese missionary work. He was the most famous son of the anti-opium trade activist and General Secretary of the CIM Benjamin Broomhall and Amelia Hudson Taylor. Thus he was also the nephew of the founder of the mission, James Hudson Taylor.
Henry (Harry) Grattan Guinness was an Irish Protestant Christian preacher, evangelist and author. He was the great evangelist of the Evangelical awakening and preached during the Ulster Revival of 1859 which drew thousands to hear him. He was responsible for training and sending hundreds of "faith missionaries" all over the world.
In the early 19th century, Western colonial expansion occurred at the same time as an evangelical revival – the Second Great Awakening – throughout the English-speaking world, leading to more overseas missionary activity. The nineteenth century became known as the Great Century of modern religious missions.
Frederick William Baller was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China, Chinese linguist, translator, educator and sinologist.
Charles Henry Judd, was a British Protestant missionary to China with the China Inland Mission. He was among the first to bring news of the Gospel to Guizhou, Hunan, and Hebei during the late Qing Dynasty when travel was limited to walking or river boat journeys.
Emil Fischbacher巴醫生 was a Scottish Protestant Christian missionary to Xinjiang. He served with the China Inland Mission.
David Wishart Torrance, commonly known as David W. Torrance, is a retired Church of Scotland minister and part of the well-known Torrance family of theologians and Christian ministers. He is the youngest of six children to Rev Thomas Torrance (1871-1959) and Annie Elizabeth Torrance (1883-1980), both missionaries to Chengdu, Sichuan of West China. Like his two brothers, Thomas F. Torrance and James B. Torrance, David became a church minister in the Church of Scotland. Unlike his two brothers, he did not go onto academic work. David continued in church ministry until his retirement in 1991.
Mary Bell and Annie (Ann) Bell were pioneering Christian Missionaries and members of the China Inland Mission (CIM). They were born in Great Waltham, Essex, the twin daughters of William Bell and his wife Sophia. The family were raised as members of the Little Waltham Independent Congregational Church. Mary travelled to China as a member of the Lammermuir Party in 1866 and subsequently married William David Rudland, a fellow missionary and member of the CIM. Annie followed her sister to China a year and a half later, sailing on the Clipper Taitsing. She subsequently married Edward Fishe, also a fellow missionary with the CIM. Both Mary and Annie worked alongside their husbands in the various mission stations where they were based. They gave Bible classes to the local women and established and ran schools for local children. Their work was instrumental not only in spreading the gospels, but crucially, in establishing and building trust within the local communities.
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