SØRENSEN, Theo (Theodor)

SØRENSEN, Theodor August Christian. Kristiansand 24.5.1873 — Kristiansand 2.9.1959. Norwegian Missionary in Tibetan Frontier. Son of carpenter Peder S. and Anne Gurine Torjussen. In 1891 joined the Salvation Army and in 1892 went to England in order to become a missionary. Joined now the Tibetan Pioneer Mission and travelled in 1894 to India. Settled first in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, in 1896 moved to China (Sichuan). Now learnt Chinese. Lived first, 1896-99, in Chengdu and Sungpan, then 1899-1923 in Tachienlu (Kangding) near Tibetan border. In 1901-02 he visited Norway and met his future wife, who also became a missionary. Further trips to Norway in 1910-11 and 1924-25. He made several short visits to Tibet: 1909 eighty days in Derge province, again 1918, 1922 seven months. During his furlough in Norway in 1924 he rejoined the Norwegian church. From 1925 he lived in Beijing, made a visit to Mongolia, and returned for the rest of his life to Norway in 1936. Married 1904 Cecilie (Cissi) Rasmussen (1870-1955), five children (3 died).

Sørensen achieved a fine collection of books (including complete sets of the Kanjur and Tanjur) and Tangkas, which he presented in 1923 to the Etnografisk Museum in Oslo, the Bon collection was deposited in 1938 in Oslo University Library.

Publications: Travelling in Tibet. 20 p. Tatsienlu 1918, Norwegian transl. Horten 1950; Work in Tibet. 98 p. Tatsienlu 1921.

Religious literature in Tibetan.

Sources: E. Danbolt, Norsk Biogr. Lex. 16, 1969, 20-25; *P. Kværne, A Norwegian traveller in Tibet: Theo S. and the Tibetan collection at the Oslo University Library. Bibl. Himal. 1:13, N.D. 1973; Wikipedia.

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