10 Person and Shen 身: An Ontological Encounter of “Nestorian” Christianity with Confucianism in Tang China

In: Yearbook of Chinese Theology 2015


The expression of Trinity in the Dunhuang document Zunjing 尊經 is traceable back to the ontological speculations of Antiochene theologian Theodore of Mopsuestia. By a comparative study of Theodore’s concept of qnoma ܐܡܘܢܩ and the Confucian idea of Shen 身, this paper is an attempt to retrieve the original meaning of person as “holistic-qnomic manifestation”, thereby providing a fitting analogical meaning between two central concepts, a Christian concept of person and a Chinese concept of shen 身.