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Volume Editor: Pim Valkenberg
A Companion to Comparative Theology offers a unique survey of a rapidly developing field of modern theology in 32 chapters coordinated by five editors. Its first part discusses some of the main historical developments in theology and religious studies before 1985 that are relevant for understanding contemporary approaches in comparative theology. The main part of the companion traces developments in five specific areas of comparative research, starting with classical approaches by Christian comparative theologians, and continuing with responses by scholars from Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and Chinese religious comparative perspectives. The final part of the companion highlights a number of new avenues in comparative theology, discussing new methods, new forms of awareness, new partnerships with other fields of study, and finally some preliminary conclusions.

Contributors are: Nadeen Mustafa A Alsulaimi, María Enid Barga, Bede Benjamin Bidlack, André van der Braak, Francis X. Clooney, Catherine Cornille, Jonathan Edelmann, Marianne Farina, James L. Fredericks, Rouyan Gu, Paul Hedges, Holly Hilgardner, Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, Louis Komjathy, Christian S. Krokus, LAI, Pan-chiu, Kristin Johnston Largen, John Makransky, Jerry L. Martin, Vahid Mahdavi Mehr, Marianne Moyaert, Emmanuel Nathan, Robert Cummings Neville, Hugh Nicholson, Jerusha Tanner Rhodes, Devorah Schoenfeld, Klaus von Stosch, Axel Marc Oaks Takacs, Pim Valkenberg, Maureen L. Walsh, Kijin James Wu
Author: Tiefeng Shao

Abstract

According to Weber’s sociology of religion, Catholic moral book-keeping exhibits a tendency to offset merit with demerit, while that of Puritanism reflects a systematic and rational formation of a believer’s ethical life. This paper aims to prove that this distinction of Weber’s could be used to explain the tension between Catholicism in the late Ming dynasty and the traditional Chinese ledgers of merit and demerit at that time. Catholicism in the late Ming regarded the practice of keeping ledgers as representing not knowing God, leading to arithmetical moral practices that could undermine the purity of morality. Instead, what it required of its believers was a constant confession that enabled them to form a systematic self-examination and practice. This self-understanding of Catholicism is consistent with Weber’s interpretation of the Jesuit methodology of salvation.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
Mit einer kritischen Edition des Kitāb al-Kifāya fī l-hidāya fī uṣūl ad-dīn des Aḥmad b. Maḥmūd b. Abī Bakr Nūr ad-Dīn aṣ-Ṣābūnī al-Ḥanafī al-Buḫārī (gest. 580/1184)
Nūr al-Dīn al-Ṣābūnī was a prominent jurist and theologian in Samarqand in the late 6th/12th century. His theological works are in the tradition of the Ḥanafite-Māturīdite current of Sunni kalām. In addition, al-Ṣābūnī’s argumentation reflects the increasing engagement of Māturīdite mutakallimūn with their wide intellectual-historical environment. His discussions with the famous scholar Faḫr al-Dīn al-Rāzī are attested.
In the present volume, Angelika Brodersen uses a text-critical edition of al-Ṣābūnī’s comprehensive theological work, the Kitāb al-Kifāya fī l-hidāya fī uṣūl al-dīn, to analyze, based on selected thematic examples, how both elements of Māturīdite theological tradition and transformation processes occur in al-Ṣābūnī’s work, which contributed to the consolidation of the Māturīdiyya as a Sunni school of thought.

Nūr ad-Dīn aṣ-Ṣābūnī war ein prominenter Jurist und Theologe im Samarkand des ausgehenden 6./12. Jahrhunderts. Seine theologischen Werke stehen einerseits in der Tradition der ḥanafitisch-māturīditischen Strömung des sunnitischen kalāms. Auf der anderen Seite spiegelt aṣ-Ṣābūnīs Argumentation die zunehmende Auseinandersetzung der māturīditischen mutakallimūn mit ihrem allgemeinen geistesgeschichtlichen Umfeld wider. Bezeugt sind seine Diskussionen mit dem berühmten Gelehrten Faḫr ad-Dīn ar-Rāzī.
Im vorliegenden Band untersucht Angelika Brodersen auf der Grundlage einer textkritischen Edition von aṣ-Ṣābūnīs theologischem Hauptwerk, dem Kitāb al-Kifāya fī l-hidāya fī uṣūl ad-dīn, anhand ausgewählter Themenbeispiele, wie sich im Werk aṣ-Ṣābūnīs sowohl Elemente māturīditischer theologischer Tradition als auch Transformationsprozesse verfolgen lassen, die zur Konsolidierung der Māturīdiyya als sunnitische Schulrichtung beigetragen haben.
Commemorating the Legacy of James Legge (1815-1897)
Author: Alexander Chow
This volume explores the important legacy of Scottish missions to China, with a focus on the missionary-scholar and Protestant sinologist par excellence James Legge (1815–1897). It challenges the simplistic caricature of Protestant missionaries as Orientalizing imperialists, but also shows how the Chinese context and Chinese persons “converted” Scottish missionaries in their understandings of China and the broader world.

Scottish Missions to China brings together essays by leading Chinese, European, and North American scholars in mission history, sinology, theology, cultural and literary studies, and psychology. It calls attention to how the historic enterprise of Scottish missions to China presents new insights into Scottish-Chinese and British-Chinese relations.

Contributors are: Joanna Baradziej, Marilyn L. Bowman, Alexander Chow, Gao Zhiqiang, Joachim Gentz, David Jasper, Christopher Legge, Lauren F. Pfister, David J. Reimer, Brian Stanley, Yang Huilin, Zheng Shuhong.
Author: Zhiqiang Gao

Abstract

As the first school established by Protestant missionaries to China, the Anglo–Chinese College played an important role in the history of cultural communication between China and the West. The Anglo–Chinese College offered a broad tuition that included Christianity alongside Western and Chinese humanities and sciences, which promoted the development of modern education in China. Its printing press was the first to publish Chinese books by using metal moveable type, which modernized the publishing technology of China and opened the next phase of China’s print culture. Its translations between English and Chinese opened up China to Christian culture and Anglophone societies to Chinese classical culture. The Anglo–Chinese College built a bridge between the East and the West, not only in the time of Morrison and Legge, but in its legacy that continues to have an impact even until today.

In: Scottish Missions to China

Abstract

Single female missionaries arrived in Manchuria in 1882 and constituted more than half of the mission during the whole period of the mission activities there. This chapter shows the complexity of building the female missionaries’ view on China and their contribution to the creation of the Western image of China. First, the chapter shows how missionary candidates in Scotland were first given a vision of the Orient in the Women’s Missionary College through courses on non-Western cultures, initiated by Annie Hunter Small. Second, it discusses the further development of knowledge about China during a language course in Beijing. Such a language course not only facilitated the communication between missionaries and potential Christians, but it also opened different future career possibilities. Third, the chapter discusses how female missionaries presented an image of China to Scottish Presbyterians through missionary journals. Fourth, it presents the complexity of the relations female missionaries established on the mission field. Namely it discusses the friendship of a Scottish missionary Helen B. K. Maclean and a Chinese woman called Fragrant Tree. This was a very unusual friendship, as Fragrant Tree later moved to Scotland. All of these aspects present a variety of missionaries’ perceptions and knowledge of China, and their relations with Chinese women.

In: Scottish Missions to China
In: Tradition und Transformation in der Māturīdiyya des 6./12. Jahrhunderts
In: Tradition und Transformation in der Māturīdiyya des 6./12. Jahrhunderts
Author: Alexander Chow

Abstract

This essay will explore the so-called “term question” associated with major attempts at providing a Chinese rendering of the name of God. It will focus on two foundational missionary-scholars to China, Matteo Ricci and James Legge, and examine the different philosophical and theological contexts that ultimately resulted in the same conclusion – that is, to identify an equivalence between the Christian God and the ancient Chinese understanding of Shangdi 上帝 (“Lord on high”). This essay will also suggest that, for James Legge, this conviction offered a major rationale for producing English translations of Chinese philosophical and religious works: his monumental Chinese Classics.

In: Scottish Missions to China
Author: Joachim Gentz

Abstract

This chapter explores the understanding of the role of “the people” in James Legge’s (1815–1897) translation of the Book of Documents (1865). In comparison with other European translations of this book Legge’s readings will be explained in the context of both, the prevailing Chinese commentarial interpretations of his times as well as his own Scottish philosophical and theological background. The analysis attempts to tackle the question what exactly the factors were that inspired Legge’s readings, readings that have informed, and still continue to inform, contemporary interpretations of the Shangshu and thus contemporary discussions about Chinese traditional political culture and early Chinese approaches to human rights.

In: Scottish Missions to China