Author’s Talk: Red Bishop


July 22, 2023
8:00 - 9:30 PM EDT

Besides the US, perhaps no country is more important to the world’s economy and geopolitics than China. Crucial to understanding and interacting with China is a familiarity with its complex and dense history. Red Bishop is Dr. Robin T.W. Yuan’s epic historical fiction based on the extraordinary life of his maternal grandfather, Rt. Rev. Robin Chen, China’s last presiding bishop of the Anglican Church. Written with “novelistic detail and cinematic scope,” Dr. Yuan weaves the bishop’s and his family’s story with that of the Christianity experiment and the rich, and often tragic, events of 20th century China. From an exploitative commercial environment instigating two Opium Wars and multiple Unequal Treaties, through the demise of dynastic imperial rule and subsequent half century of conflict, Christianity and its organized church and leaders have been an influential element of Chinese society unveiling the nature and character of the communist party-dominated country. The complicated and emotional relationships between the members of the bishop’s family, particularly the eldest daughter, the author’s mother, underscores the evolution of China’s current relationships with the West.

This talk will explain the genesis of Red Bishop, the back story to this epic historical fiction, the main elements, characters, and events interwoven in this multi-dimensional narrative of Bishop Robin Chen and his family, 20th century China, and the Christian experiment. It is hoped that it will educate the audience with a uniquely Chinese perspective and illuminate some of the similarities between post-imperialist China and present-day United States.

To learn more about the book and the author, please visit:

Lecture will be in English.


陈见真主教的外孙阮祖望博士最近出版了一本英文版《红色主教》(Red Bishop)历史小说,在书中描述了19世纪到20世纪上半叶风云开阖、动荡不安的那段历史,谈到源自两次鸦片战争的多个不平等条约带来的的剥削性商业环境、清王朝统治的灭亡和随后半个世纪的冲突、基督教及其教会在中国社会的影响力等。华美人文学会于2023年7月22日晚8时至9时半(北京时间7月23日早8时至9时半)举办讲座,特邀阮祖望博士与听众分享他外公和家人在上述历史背景中的不凡经历。




Robin T.W. Yuan 阮祖望

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D. is a Harvard College and Medical School graduate and a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. The quest to understand his grandfather’s Christian legacy within the context of China’s evolution from Western dominance to post-communism led him on a revealing journey culminating in Red Bishop and its detailed, personal, and uniquely Chinese perspective.


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