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Wu Jingxiong Collection

Identifier: EPH 5038

Scope and Contents

The collection, donated by John Wu., Jr. (Wu Shu-teh) in memory of his father, includes a variety of books, magazines, and non-book items written, translated, annotated, and autographed by Wu Jingxiong. Some of the items are related to Wu, such as a magazine article written by his son, a handwritten copy of Wu's Chinese translation of Psalms by a devotee (photocopy), and Wu's funeral program.


  • Creation: 1936-1989


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Wu, Jingxiong (Wu Ching-hsiung or John C. H. Wu) is a scholar of international law, juristic philosopher, diplomat, translator, writer, and poet.

Wu was born in 1899 in Ningbo, Zhejiang. He was trained in traditional education based on Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. He studied law at the Suzhou Comparative Law School of China in Shanghai, where he came into contact with Western Methodist missionaries, and was baptized John. In 1937 while practicing law in Shanghai, he became a Roman Catholic. His conversion was motivated by a chance reading of the autobiography of St. Theresa of Lisieux. He later earned the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence at the University of Michigan Law School. While there, Wu then wrote a letter to the then eighty-year-old, Oliver Wendell Holmes, U.S. Supreme Court Justice and a neo-Kantian philosopher. Their correspondence continued for 11 years.

In 1944, Wu served as an adviser to the Chinese delegation at the United National Conference in San Francisco, and from 1947-1949, as Chinese ambassador to the Vatican. In 1951, he and his family moved to the United States, where he was a professor at Seton Hall Law School from 1951 until he retired in 1967. In 1957, he was appointed a judge of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

Wu was a principal author of the Constitution adopted by the Nationalist Government in 1946. He was the founder of T'ien hsia monthly (1935-1941), the English-language periodical on Chinese culture. He translated Psalms (1946) and the New Testament (1949) into Chinese, and Tao teh ching (Dao de jing) of Laozi into English. He authored Beyond East and West (autobiography, 1951), The Interior Carmel: The Threefold Way of Love (1953), Fountain of Justice : A Study in the Natural Law (1955), Cases and Materials on Jurisprudence (1958), and Chinese Humanism and Christian Spirituality (1965). His papers, "The Status of the Individual in Chinese Thought and Practice" (1959) and "The Status of the Individual in the Political and Legal Traditions of Old and New China" (1964), were presented at the the East-West Philosophers' Conferences in Hawaii in 1959 and 1964, and are included in Charles Alexander Moore's book, The Chinese Mind: Essentials of Chinese Philosophy and Culture. Some of the letters Wu exchanged with Oliver Wendell Holmes were published in Justice Holmes to Doctor Wu; An Intimate Correspondence, 1921-1932 (1947). Some unpublished letters of Justice Holmes to Wu are at the U.S. Supreme Court Library.


.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials




A collection of publications (magazines, and books), authored by, or about Wu Jingxiong, Wu's personal notes, and materials related to his funeral.


The collection's single series is ordered as follows: 1) Books; 2) Periodicals; 3) Miscellaneous Printed Texts; 4) Handwritten notes.

Wu Jingxiong Collection
John Lindlom and Hye-jin Juhn
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556