A brief history of Theosophy in China is published in our July 2012 newsletter and in our website at http://singaporelodge.org. The theosophical movement was started in China in the early twenties of the last century, by no less a dignitary than Dr. Wu Ting-Fang. Dr. Wu served briefly in 1917 as Acting President of the Republic of China when Dr. Sun Yat-sen was absent. Earlier, he served as Minister of Justice for the Nanjing Provisional Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of China. Unfortunately, he passed away on 23 June 1922, the same year he formed the first Chinese Lodge of The Theosophical Society. Despite such illustrious leadership the Theosophical Society in China never took off in a big way. Evidently there were some early translations of theosophical literature. Unfortunately, through the dormant years and the cultural revolution, none of the translations is extant to our knowledge. We did however uncover a particular translation by Dr. Wu himself through untraditional sources.
Indeed, there is a dearth of theosophical materials in the Chinese language. Considering that there are 1.34 billion Chinese in PRC, 23 million in Taiwan, 7 million in Hong Kong and an estimated 50 million ethnic Chinese outside of these countries, theosophy has not reached out to one-fifth of humanity. Bro. Vicente Hao Chin of the Philippines initiated translations of theosophical literature into simplified Chinese and made them available on the internet through the website of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the TS.
As an evolution of Bro. Vicente Hao Chin’s pioneering work to promote Theosophy in Chinese, the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society has officially formed a Chinese Project Team. The team currently has 9 members, including a Chinese webmaster and a PRC national serving as proof-reader. The role of our PRC proof-reader is crucial as she would assure that the quality of the translated work specifically meets the standard and expectation of the readers in the PRC. We expect to expand the team progressively.
The primary mission of the Chinese Project Team is to translate theosophical literature into Chinese and have the work published in various media that may appeal to the Chinese-literate population, including the internet and possibly books. This would be in line with our fundamental mission “to popularize a knowledge of theosophy”. In this respect, we hope to reach and influence some of the one-fifth of humanity who are literate only in Chinese. Even a modest degree of success would be most gratifying for all of us.
We believe a dedicated Chinese website will be more user-friendly to the Chinese-literate who are neither familiar with the English language nor comfortable with English websites. We have registered two domains, chinesetheosophy.org and shenzhixue.org to point to our Chinese website at http://chinesetheosophy.org/ which we have just set up. The website also provides a forum for enquirers to discuss and post questions in Chinese for our Chinese Project Team members to answer. There is also a Chinese search facility.
Currently, Google ranks our Chinese website on Page 2 when one searches for the word “theosophy” in Chinese. Needless to say we would prefer to be found on the first page. Our ranking would be improved if we have more inbound links. This is where you can help – by having a link from your website to our Chinese website at http://chinesetheosophy.org/. We have provided links to all the countries that we know to have a website athttp://chinesetheosophy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=500 . Please let us know if we have missed out any.
The Chinese Project Team has a colossal task ahead translating the vast library of theosophical books. The translation and website development are on-going and probably never-ending projects. We need all the help we can get.
Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society