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Albrecht Dürer: Artist in the Midst of Two Storms

The artist and entrepreneur Albrecht Dürer, lived in Germany in the early 1500s, when two storms were threatening the Holy Roman Empire. First, Suleiman the Magnificent and his army of Ottoman Turks were expanding from Constantinople to Vienna, the doorstep of Europe. Second, Martin Luther, a German monk and professor, wrote his Ninety-Five Theses identifying corruption within the Roman Catholic church. This challenged the authority of both Emperor Charles V and Pope Leo X, who responded by accusing Luther of heresy.


Albrecht Dürer influenced art and media throughout Europe as strongly as Martin Luther influenced people’s views of life, death and their relationship to God. Dürer’s art and writing reveal how this creative and thoughtful man responded to the changes offered by Luther.


Both of these men inspired changes in art, religion, and politics that still underlie the foundation of today’s social structures and Western culture.


“Stacey Bieler’s beautifully (and intelligently) illustrated study of Albrecht Dürer shows convincingly why he is such an important guide to the reformation era. Her text and well-chosen Dürer prints and paintings explain with particular clarity why Luther became such an important figure in the artist’s life. It is a book to broaden historical understanding but also delight the eye.”

Mark Noll, McAnaney professor of History emeritus at the University of Notre Dame

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Salt and Light: Lives of Faith that Shaped Modern China, Vol. 3

Volume three focuses on the revolutionary Huang Naishang, the YMCA leader Yu Rizhang, the professor and editor of Life Journal Liu Tingfang, the general Zhang Zhijiang, the founder of a girls school Zeng Baosun, the judge Wu Jingxiong, the activist Wang Liming, the author Lin Yutang, and Zhang Fuliang, who helped poor refugees during WWII.


“The third volume of Salt and Light provides invaluable information on the centrality of Christian leadership in the making of modern China. The Chinese Christians profiled here pioneered the first civic and social reform movements of the twentieth century. The recovery of their stories is a fabulous contribution to the history of Christianity as a dynamic force in Chinese history. This inspiring and informative book belongs on the bookshelf of everyone who cares about Chinese Christianity.”

Dana L. Robert, Boston University

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Salt and Light: Lives of Faith that Shaped Modern China, Vol. 2

Volume 2 includes two families. The New York Chinese pastor, Xu Qin (Huie Kin) family whose six daughters married Chinese students and went to China to work in rural reconstruction, education, medicine and the church. The other family is Yan Yongjing, who helped to found St. John’s University in Shanghai, and his son, Yan Huiqing, who became Prime Minister and Foreign Minister during the tumultuous early Republican period.


The other biographies focus on Ma Xiangbo who founded Fudan and Furen universities in Shanghai, Kuang Fuzhuo who served as the chief English editor for the Commercial Press,  Zhou Tingxu, an early modernist painter, Yin Renxian, who served as an economics official during the Republican period, Sun Mingjing and Lü Jin’ai who taught film making and photography, and Zhang Boling, the founder of Nankai University.


“Carol Hamrin and Stacey Bieler have brought together another set of illuminating portraits of historical Chinese Christian leaders. We see here the men and women who sowed the seeds of spiritual, psychological and physical transformation that helped make the Chinese church – and indeed China itself – what it is today. A truly fascinating book.”

Rob Gifford, NPR Shanghai correspondent, formerly London and Beijing, author of China Road

“Living up to the high standards of Volume 1, this book offers new, finely written portraits of Chinese Christian patriots of the 20th century. Their stories are both fascinating and inspiring, and they open new windows for viewing the history of modern China. They help us see the moral challenges and cultural transformations that underlay the political and economic struggle of the Chinese revolution.”

Richard Madsen, Chair, Department of Sociology University of California, San Diego

Author of Democracy’s Dharma and China’s Catholics

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Salt and Light: Lives of Faith that Shaped Modern China, Vol. 1

Salt and Light presents the life stories of outstanding Chinese Christians who, as early modernizers, promoted China’s nation building and moral progress in the early twentieth century. Lively anecdotes and photographs highlight the strong character of ten pioneers in the modern professions of education, medicine, journalism and diplomacy.

These professionals were motivated by faith to introduce practical social reforms and build up China’s civil society. Their stories touch on themes important in today’s global era: patterns of cooperation between foreign and Chinese partners, Christianity’s role in furthering East-West understanding and exchanges and the transnational nature of modern Chinese Christianity.


The people in this volume include Rong Hong the first Chinese graduate of U.S. university, Shi Meiyu, woman doctor and founder of a hospital, Yan Yangchu rural reconstructionist, Lin Qiaozhi woman doctor, Mei Yiqi president of Tsinghua University, Wu Yifang president of Ginling College in Nanjing, Fan Zimei pioneer journalist and editor, Ding Shujing the first Chinese leader of the Chinese YWCA, Wei Zhoumin President of Huazhong University, and Tang Guoan, a Chinese Educational Mission student who joined the Foreign Office.


“Salt and Light is a scrupulous and moving work that presents the human face of China’s emergence in the world, showing how China’s great human assets bear the imprint of deep encounter with the West . . . A significant number of the men and women who will shape China’s perceptions and role have studied and lived in the West, and such people, now as in the past, form a crucial bridge between East and West.”

Lamin Sanneh, Late Professor of World Christianity, Professor of History and Professor of international and Area Studies, Yale University

“Recovering the lost narratives of ten remarkable Chinese Christian lives tells us that Christianity in China is profoundly and thoroughly Chinese. These impressive stories so aptly show that the modern migration of Christian faith, in contrast to earlier Chinese appropriations since the seventh century, sank roots deep into the cultural soil of China. How this occurred, in each case is an achievement to be celebrated.”

Robert Frykenberg, Professor Emeritus of History & South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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“Patriots” or “Traitors”? A History of American-Educated Chinese Students

This book offers insight into the love-hate relationship between the United States and China by examining the experience of Chinese students caught between the two countries. American–educated Chinese have considered themselves patriots because they studied in the West in order to return home to build a strong and prosperous China. However when they returned they were often accused of being traitors who advocated Western ideals.


The book’s main focus is the generation between 1900-1930, but the Prologue reviews the struggles of the one hundred students who participated in the Chinese Educational Mission between 1872-1881. The Epilogue briefly describes the newer generation between 1978-2002.


Many students graduated from Tsinghua University, established in Beijing in 1911 by the United States as a preparatory school for U.S.-bound students. Despite the university’s controversial history, Tsinghua has become China’s premiere science and technical institution as well as a cradle for Chinese politicians.


“Stacey Bieler’s valuable and lengthy monograph, based on extensive archival research, offers a wealth of information on the fate abroad and later back home of Chinese students who studied in the United States during the “three waves” that have characterized China’s oversees study policies. . . The inclusion of fourteen short biographical sketches of the famous (e.g. Hu Shi and Wellington Koo) and the more obscure (albeit also accomplished) present a vivid picture of the dilemmas faced by individuals in the different periods.”

Stanley Rosen, Pacific Affairs

“It is a remarkable story and Stacey Bieler has done this important subject great credit by writing a superb study. . . Their story is at once a collection of aspirations and desires by individual Chinese students who sought the latest and best knowledge from abroad and a tale of national rebuilding and international struggles.”

Hong-Ming Liang, History of Education Quarterly

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