Zihao He

Thesis title: Analyzing the Role of Theology in the Anti-Manchu Violence of the Taiping Rebellion.


Zihao was born and raised in North China, and has been studying in the UK for several years. He is interested in all things we call 'religions' and 'religious'. Besides reading and writing, his major interest and a significant part of life is the 90’s Brit-Pop. 


(BA Hons) International Studies with French,  University of Nottingham (Ningbo China) 2021.

(Mst) Study of Religions, University of Oxford (Trinity College) 2022.

Undergraduate teaching

Tutor: History of Christianity as a World Religion 1a 

Tutor: History of Christianity as a World Religion 1b


Guest Lecture: Religion and Nationalism in the Contemporary World

Research summary

Religion and Violence, Christianity in China, Study of Religions, Religion and Nationalism.

Zihao's project aims to analyze the role of theology in constructing and conducting the anti-Manchu violence in the Taiping Rebellion (1851-1864), the largest civil war in history. Besides the textual analysis of Taiping's theology, the project will also provide an micro-level history, trying to understand why the theological construction was translated into actual violence. Although the movement itslef has been constructed as a historical myth and loaded with ideological considerations due to its revolutionary and proto-nationalist agenda, the thesis hopes to challenge the myth and stress a different normative for the Taiping study: it was violence first. 

Current research interests

Religion and Violence, Chinese Christianity, Religion and Nationalism in China, the Taiping Rebellion, Christian Anarchism.

Past research interests

Fundamentalism, salafism, Secularization, jihad in Islam.

Conference details

Annual Conference of Society for the Study of Theology, 2023. 

PGR Colloquium, New College, University of Edinburgh, 2023.

SGSAH PGR Conference, 2024.



Yale-Edinburgh Conference on World Christianity, 2023. 

Papers delivered

Theology Proper of the Taiping Rebellion and the Chinese Traditional Framework of Political Power.

Killing the Manchus as Demons: Exploring the Demonology of the Taiping Rebellion.

Book Review: Zihao He, WAR, PEACE, AND VIOLENCE: FOUR CHRISTIAN VIEWS. Edited by Paul Copan. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2022. Pp. xi+240. Paper, $ 25.99. Religious Studies Review, 50: 177, 2024.