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De Gruyter BRILL De Gruyter BRILL
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In: Journal of Chinese Theology
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In: Journal of Chinese Theology
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Abstract

This paper discusses the conception of an ideal world present in T.C. Chao’s (Tsu Chen Chao) (1888–1979) early theological works, based mainly on the text Jesus’ Philosophy of Life (or, A New Interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, written in late 1925). It concludes by pointing out that Chao’s view of a kingdom of heaven that ultimately eradicates the otherworld and does not transcend this world unconsciously echoes the Anti-Christian Μovement within Chinese churches during the same period. This is, indeed, a tragedy in the development of T. C. Chao’s personal theological thought in the 1920s and 1930s.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
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Abstract

This paper explores the dynamic interplay between Christianity and the Roman Empire as articulated by Tertullian, a prominent figure in early Christian theology. Tertullian delves into the complex relationship between the burgeoning Christian faith and the established structures of the Roman Empire, highlighting the inherent tension between the two. Central to his analysis is the concept of dialogue, wherein Tertullian examines how Christians engage with the broader Roman society while maintaining their distinct religious identity. Furthermore, he discusses the conservative nature of Christian thought, emphasizing the preservation of core beliefs amidst external pressures. This paper provides insights into Tertullian’s perspective on the delicate balance between dialogue and the preservation of Christian values within the context of the Roman Empire.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
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Abstract

The translation of the four Gospels into classical Chinese by Ma Xiangbo (1840–1939), published in 1949, has received little attention in the worlds of religion and scholarship. Based on a passing comment in Ma’s introduction, it is usually assumed that he based his translation on an edition of the Latin Vulgate published by Jean-Baptiste Glaire (1798–1879); however, Glaire’s work was not an edition of the Vulgate, but rather a translation of the Latin text into French. The goal of this paper is to determine the source text used by Ma Xiangbo based on textual and paratextual evidence and thus clarify this apparent contradiction.

In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society
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In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society
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Abstract

Churches in Hong Kong have served as contractors to the state since its British colonization. To secure their political and social privileges, these churches have often been fashioned into apologists for the state. This mentality was not widely challenged until the 1980s. Since the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, some Hong Kong church leaders, theologians, and laypeople have started to articulate a democratic vision for civil society. This paper employs the notion of “religious activism” as an analytical framework to examine the role of Hong Kong Christianity in the pro-democracy movement. The influential voices and actions of Christians in 1984, 1989, 2003, 2014, and 2019 are chronologically summarized. Each political event triggered divergent reflections on the political participation of Christians. This paper offers an analysis of genealogical narratives of Christian activism and offers a prediction on the future of this political participation, particularly under the imposition of the National Security Law.

In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society
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Abstract

The theory of reward for the good and retribution for the evil (善恶报应) was one of the key issues in the dialogue between Catholicism and indigenous religions in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. Under the monotheistic framework, Catholicism advocates a supernatural God for rewarding good and punishing evil. It thus had a more logical and rigorous theological argumentation at its disposal in its exchanges and dialogues with Chinese native religions on the standards of good and evil, the question of who has the right to reward and punish, the consequences of reward and retribution, and so on. This article begins by analyzing the Confucian theory of stimulus-response between the heaven and human beings (天人感应). Secondly, it sketches the views expressed by the theories of reward for the good and retribution for the evil in Buddhism and Taoism. Then, it discusses the Catholic views on rewarding good and punishing evil during late Ming and early Qing, and also examines the responses of the native religions of China to the Catholic views on rewarding good and punishing evil. Finally, it summarizes the similarities and differences of the theories of reward for the good and retribution for the evil between Catholicism and Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. As for the intention to do good, there were some commonalities between Catholicism and Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism in the movement to promote good deeds during late Ming and early Qing. However, they were distinct in the perspective of the standards of good and evil, the subjects of retribution, and the roles of individuals in retribution, which caused the conflicts between Catholicism and its opponents in China. The introduction of the Catholic theory of reward for the good and retribution for the evil has undoubtedly further enriched Chinese religious thoughts since the late Ming dynasty.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
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Abstract

As individualized education increases in popularity, homeschooling likewise garners more attention from Chinese middle-class families. Over the past decade, the number of families choosing homeschooling has increased annually. However, most homeschooling Chinese Protestants wish to focus on the cultivation of beliefs, character, and values in the education of their children. In their eyes, homeschooling provides the best way to transmit cultural heritage.

Homeschooling brings with it many challenges and difficulties in the daily lives of Chinese Protestants: cross-pressure from traditional Chinese culture systems, opposition from parents and other family members, conflicts with mainstream educational institutions, and power struggles with Chinese secular authorities. Moreover, educational resources, guides, and materials for Chinese homeschooling families are scarce, thus leaving homeschooling families to grope in the dark. The biggest deterrent to them is the disqualification of their children from taking college entrance examinations because homeschooled children lack the requisite status to enroll as official students. Thus, the role conflicts among Chinese, Christian, pariah, and legal deviant statuses pose considerable tensions for parents and children.

This paper offers insight into these issues through qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with 50 respondents from urban Chinese Protestant families that had previously been screened through a brief survey instrument.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology