Messianism in Chinese literature? While this proposal may seem strange or doubtful, there is evidence for the form and function of messianism in Chinese revolutionary novels, particularly in Ding Ling’s The Sun Shines over the Sanggan River and Zhou Libo’s The Hurricane, both of which were written shortly before the establishment of New China in 1949. This study addresses messianism’s Middle Eastern roots, its transformation in German philosophy, its adoption into Russian revolutionary ideology, and its assimilation into Chinese Communist rhetoric and literature. Though the Chinese Marxist use of messianism began as a secular and atheistic project, it later took on religious elements as it replaced existing religious and cultural customs. Furthermore, the form and function of messianism in revolutionary practice and in literature, as presented in this analysis of Ding Ling and Zhou Libo's novels and their milieu, contributes to furthering our understanding of later developments during China’s Cultural Revolution.