Ernst Faber - Kurze Biografie

Ernst Faber - 1839 - 1899

Eine kurze Biographie

erstellt von WU Kin Pan, Hongkong (2016)
(Die kurze Biografie mit allen Anmerkungen siehe hier (pdf))

Short Biography of Ernst Faber
By WU Kin Pan

Ernst Ludwig Friedrich Faber was born in Coburg on 25th April, 1839. 1 From 1857-1862, He was trained in the Missionary Seminary in Barmen.2 Afterwards, he started to learn Theology and Philosophy at University of Basel and then at University of Tübingen.3  Before his departure to China, he did research in the laboratory inside the Museum of Berlin. He was inspired there by Inspector Kratzenstein.4 Then, he went to the Geographical Institute in Gotha to learn cartography from Doctor Petermann.5 After the exemption from the military duty during German-Danish War (Second Schleswig War) under the decision of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, he participated and passed the first theological examination.6 

On his birthday in 1865, he arrived at Hong Kong as a Protestant Missionary appointed by Rhenische Missionsgesellschaft (RMG). He was given a Chinese name called Hua Zhi’an (花之安, more likely to be pronounced as originally as in Cantonese, “Fa Ji On”). He worked in Fumun (虎門Humen) , Fukwing (福永Fuyong), Sheklung ( 石龍Shilong) and Canton (廣州Guaungzhou) continually, i.e., covering the Delta of Pearl River. In 1880, because of the theological dispute with Rev. Hubrig, the newly appointed RMG Superintendent in Canton, he left sadly from RMS with three other missionaries. 7

From 1881 to 1884, he stayed in Hong Kong as a free missionary and facilitated the foundation of the earliest Chinese self-administrative congregation in Hong Kong.8 During this period he wrote and published his famous book Civilization, from West to East (《自西徂東》, Zixi Cudong)9.   In 1885, he joined Allgemeine Evangelisch-Protestantische Missionsverein (AEPMV) and settled in Shanghai later, in order to work on his entire literary mission. He was one of the founder of the later famous publisher, the “Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge among the Chinese”.10

In 1890, after the second General Missionary Conference, Faber was elected to be responsible for “an Annotated Bible”, and to lead for securing “a High Wen-li Version of the Scriptures”(深文理版聖經), as well as for securing “a Mandarin Version of the Scriptures”(和合本).11 Because of his well-known ability, he represented the missionaries in China to participate at the first World Religious Parliament in Chicago in 1893, and contributed a lecture there about Confucianism. 12

On 5th April, 1898, he was sent to Kiauchow (膠州/ Jiaozhou) for starting missionary station there.13 Immediately, he finished a thorough research for the botany in Laoshan (嶗山).14 However, he was miserably infected by diarrhea in 1899. On 26th September, he died of dysentery.15 The funeral service was full of honour, in which Prince Heinrich of Prussia, Governor Paul Jaeschke and other officials, along with the church leaders such as the Superintendent of Berlin Mission in Qingdao, Rev. Carl Johannes Voskamp (和士謙/ He Shiqian 1859–1937), participated the service.16 His colleague and follower of AEPMV, Rev. Richard Wilhelm preached sermon during the service.17 In Germany, a large-scale commemorative ceremony was held in the “Neuen Kirche, am Gendarmen-Markt” in Berlin on 29th October.18

Due to his enormous ability in sinology, he was awarded Honorary Doctorate of Theology from Universität Jena in 1888, as the only person bearing this honourable title amongst all German missionaries in the nineteenth century. On the certificate, Faber was admired as,

“The successful preacher of the Gospel among Chinese, the upright, brave and faithful man, prolific writer, worthy to rank with our Christian apologists of days, the interpreter of Licius, Mencius, and Micius in German, the author of an introduction to the study of the religions of China in English, the commentator on the Gospels by Mark and Luke in Chinese, the pioneer in works comparing and contrasting China’s customs and manners, laws and letters with those of the West, the critic of Confucianism from the Christian point of view; the dignity, rights and privileges of a. Doctor of Theology are hereby granted by the University of Jena.”19

1 See Rainer Axmann, "Lebensabriß Des E. Faber". In Jahrbuch Der Coburger Landesstiftung. Vol. 34. (Coburg: Dezember 1989. Print). 393-422. The referenced full name of Faber quoted from „Kommentar nach Amerkungen 1“ . 403.

2 According to the description from Rosenkranz. Gerhard Rosenkranz, „NDB-Artikel: Faber, Ernst evangelischer Missionar“ in Neue Deutsche Biographie (4), 1959: 718. Also, see Rainer Axmann, D. Ernst Faber (1839-1899): Chinamissionar (Theologe, Sinologe, Naturwissenschaftler und Philosoph).(Coburg: November, 2005) . 3.

3 See Rainer Axmann, "Lebensabriß Des E. Faber", 401; Paul Kranz, Mrs. Robert A. Haden (transl.) The Works of Rev. Ernst Faber, Dr. Theol.: A Champion of Faith, A Pioneer of Christian Literature in China. (Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1904). Preface iv.

4 Paul Kranz, The Works of Rev. Ernst Faber, Dr. Theol……., Preface p. v.

5 According to Axmann, who references from Heinz Göschel, the institute was a publisher established by Justus Perthes, which was famous for printing products of maps. See Rainer Axmann, "Lebensabriß Des E. Faber", 398, 409. Also see Heyo E. Hamer, „Zur Begegnung von E. Faber und W. Spinner in Shanghai“, in: Monatshefte für Evangelische Kirchengeschichte des Rheinlandes, 39. Jahrgang 1990: 291-292.

6 Paul Kranz, The Works of Rev. Ernst Faber, Dr. Theol……., Preface p. v.

7 Ibid. Preface vii. Also, see Wilhelm Kempgen, Glaubenskampf am Tigertor. (Wuppertal: Verlag der Rhenischen Missionsgesellschaft, 1948). 66-67.

8 See “die erste selbstständige Christengemeinde von Chinesen in der Kantonprovinz (China)” in Das Evangelium in China (August 1885), No. 3, 56-60.

9 This book was the most well-known literature written by Faber. The original chapters first appeared in《萬國公報》(Wan Kwoh Kung Pao/ Wanguo Gongbao) from 1881 continuously, though with different passages name of 〈國政要論〉(Guozheng Yaolun) . After 1884, he consolidated all articles there and published with the name《自西徂東》(Zixi Cudong) . Since the book was written in Chinese, there were variations in its English name, for instances, Civilization, a Fruit of Christianity; Civilization, from West to East. In this essay, the name of the book will be claimed as “Zixi Cudong” uniquely, which would be the pronunciation from original Chinese book title in mandarin. See Ernst Faber, Civilization, a Fruit of Christianity, 4th ed. (Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1902). This copyright was carried by The Christian Literature Society for China (廣學會/ Guangxuehui) . And the republication was transmitted recently, see 花之安:《近代文獻叢刊:自西徂東》(上海:上海書店,2002。)

10 See List of Office-beares, Constitution, Prospectus,and Treasurer’s Report of Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge Among the Chinese. (Shanghai: The London Missionary Society Press (墨海書局), 1887).

11 W. J. Lewis (& ed.), Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China held at Shanghai May 7-20, 1890. (Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1890).  lx-lxi.

12 This lecture was printed several times later as a gorgeous notes of Confucianism at that time, including Ersnt Faber, Confucianism. (Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1895). (reprinted fr. The China Mission Hand-book); Ernst Faber, “Confucianism” (Paper read by the late Dr. E. Faber before the Parliament of Religions, Chicago 1893), in Chinese Recorder Vol. 33, (1902): 159-175; and translated into German: Ersnt Faber, “Der Konfucianismus“, in ZMR 18, (1903): 161-174.

An official record can be seen also in John H. Barrows (ed.), The World's parliament of religions: an illustrated and popular story of the World's first parliament of religions, held in Chicago in connection with the Columbian exposition of 1893. Volume II. (Chicago: The Parliament Publishing Company, 1893). 1350.

13 See “Tauerfeier zum Gedächtnis des Missionars D. Ersnt Fabers“ in ZMR 14 (1899): 320.

14 See Ernst Faber, „Skizze der Flora von Tsingtau bis Lauschan“ in Denkschrift betreffend die Entwicklung von Kiautschou (October, 1898) : 26-31.

15 See “Zum Gedächtnis D. Ernst Fabers” in ZMR 14 (1899): 374-382.

16 The list and details of participants could be found in劉煥章誌:〈花牧師逝世述哀〉(山東青島巴陵會牧師和士謙、盧威廉譯),《萬國公報》第一百三十二冊〔又第十一年第十二卷〕,1900年1日。頁31。載《清末民初報刊叢編之四:清光緒元年至光緒卅二年.林樂知主編--萬國公報(影印本)》。臺北:華文書局股份有限公司,民57年(1968)。頁19057。

17 The sermon was recorded in “Zum Gedächtnis D. Ernst Fabers” in ZMR 14 (1899): 374-382..

18 The ceremony’s details could be seen in the section of „Gedächtnisfeier in Berlin”, in ibid. 376-380. See also Rainer Axmann, D. Ernst Faber (1839-1899): Chinamissionar (Theologe, Sinologe, Naturwissenschaftler und Philosoph), 15.

19 This translation is provided in Paul Kranz, The Works of Rev. Ernst Faber, Dr. Theol……, Preface viii. The original certificate was kept in the archive of DOAM and was written in Latin.