Lifetime: 1872 - 1949 Passed: ≈ 74 years ago


American Board Missionary, Educator, Sinologist, Buddhologist


United States

Lewis Hodus

Lewis Hodous was an American Board missionary to China, educator, Sinologist and Buddhologist.

Lewis Hodous was born on December 31, 1872 in Vesec, Bohemia and migrated to the United States with his parents in 1882. He graduated from Cleveland High School in 1893, from Adelbert College of Western Reserve University in 1897 and Hartford Theological Seminary in 1900, and studied one year at the University of Halle in Germany.

 Hodous was ordained as a Congregational preacher on September 18, 1901 at Bethlehem Church in Cleveland, Ohio and was later sent to the mission field of China with his newly wedded wife Anna Jelinek. They embarked from San Francisco on November 16 and arrived in Foochow (today Fuzhou) on December 18. From 1901 to 1917 Hodous labored as a missionary under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) in Foochow, during which time he also carried out careful studies on Buddhism and the Chinese folk religion. He served in Ponasang from 1901 to 1904, teaching at the mission's theological seminary, and was president of Foochow Theological Seminary from 1902 to 1912. During the Hsinhai Revolution in 1911 he served with Chinese Red Cross. He was president of the Foochow Union Theological School from 1914 to 1917.

Hodous returned from the mission field in 1917 and arrived home on October 31. From 1917 to 1945 Hodous was professor of Chinese culture at the Kennedy School of Missions of Hartford Seminary Foundation, and from 1928 to 1941 professor of history and philosophy of religion at the seminary. During the Second World War Hodous also worked as a translator for the U.S. Government.

Hodous died on August 9, 1949 in Mount Hermon, Massachusetts while in retirement.

Books by Lewis Hodus

Buddhism and Buddhists in China Cover image

Buddhism and Buddhists in China

Anthropology Spirituality Buddhism

Buddhism and Buddhists in China is an anthropological text describing Buddhism as practiced in China at the beginning of the 20th Century. Interestingly, it also compares and contrasts Buddhism with Christianity with respect to or in response to miss...