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The characteristic architectural style of Tao Fong Shan in Hong Kong is unique in the sense that this Christian institution looks exactly like a traditional Chinese Buddhist monastery. What kind of secret exists behind this seemingly uncoordinated appearance? The two names of Karl Ludvig Reichelt and Johannes Prip-Møller are closely connected with Tao Fong Shan buildings, but few people know how exactly the Norwegian founder of The Christian Church for China’s Buddhists met and cooperated with the Danish architect in designing these buildings. The present paper is an effort to retrace the initial vision of architectural style for Tao Fong Shan shared by Reichelt and Prip-Møller, as well as the evolution of the later designs at different stages. Reichelt found many common features between Chinese Buddhism and the Gospel of John in New Testament. In order to promote the missionary work among China’s Buddhists, he tried to create an environment in which the inquiring Buddhists would find it comfortable and at ease. Reichelt’s another contribution is in raising money for the construction of Tao Fung Shan buildings. His method of crowd funding proved to be practical and effective. Prip-Møller had ten years’ experiences of working in China and was a top-notch expert in China’s Buddhist architecture. His professional expertise has ensured that Reichelt’s idea of combining the traditional Chinese Buddhist architectural style and the Christian nature of Tao Fong Shan buildings could be eventually realized.
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Hong Shen, School of International Studies, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
The Editor-in-Chief of journal 'International Journal of Arts and Humanities'.
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