Liu Xiaofeng (born 1956; Chinese: 刘小枫) is a contemporary Chinese scholar and a professor at Renmin University of China. He has been considered the prototypical example of what is called a cultural Christian (Chinese: 文化基督徒; pinyin: wénhuà jīdūtú), meaning a believer who may lack a specific church identification or affiliation, and was, along with He Guanghu, one of the main forerunners of the academic field of Sino-Christian Theology (simplified Chinese: 汉语神学; traditional Chinese: 漢語神學; pinyin: hànyǔ shénxué).[1] However, in recent years, his interest has shifted from studies in Christian theology to the political theories of Leo Strauss.


Liu Xiaofeng was born in Chongqing, China, in April 1956.

He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in German language and literature at Sichuan International Studies University before beginning his Master of Arts in aesthetics at Peking University in 1982, completing it in 1985. He later received a scholarship to study at the University of Basel in Switzerland in April 1989, where he completed his Ph.D in Christian theology in 1993 on a theological investigation into Max Scheler's phenomenology and critique of modernity.[2] He also undertook an extensive translation effort of historical and contemporary Christian texts. A modern writer commented, "Liu's writings have had a major impact in China not only on those Chinese who think of themselves as Christian, but on those who are interested in broad analysis of China in the context of the world's current cultural and philosophical era."[3] However, his interpretation of Strauss and other modern Western thinkers has been criticized as one-sided and even deeply flawed, with critics claiming that his defense of the Chinese Communist Party, and Mao Zedong in particular, does not go well together with Christianity, nor with Classical Western civilization as described by Strauss and his disciples [4]

He is a faculty member of Renmin University of China in the School of Liberal Arts.



  1. ^ Fällman, Fredrik (2008). Salvation and Modernity: Intellectuals and Faith in Contemporary China. Lanham, MA: University Press of America. pp. 21–39. ISBN 9780761840909.
  2. ^ Fällman, Salvation and Modernity, 32.
  3. ^ Aikman, David (2003). Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc. p. 251. ISBN 978-1-59698-025-9.
  4. ^ Marchal, Kai (2017). Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Chinese-speaking World: Reorienting the Political. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 978-1498536264..