Confronting Confucian Understandings of the Christian Doctrine of Salvation

A Systematic Theological Analysis of the Basic Problems in the Confucian-Christian Dialogue

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A complete exploration is the first systematic analysis ever comparing the central religious doctrinal aspects of Christianity with those in Confucianism. Huang's work carefully covers the whole history of the Confucian-Christian tradition, and ends up with genuinely new insights. He elaborates on the idea of transcendence in the Confucian tradition in a manner which enables an interpretation of the Christian means of salvation. His explanation of transcendence, and its connection with the means of salvation, is new and unique, offering a clue to the special understanding of salvation germane to the specifically Chinese intellecual history. Huang's book is a must for anyone interested in the Sino-Western cultural encounter.
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Biographical Note

Paulos Z. Huang, Ph.D. (1996, Helsinki), Post-doctor (2000, Tokyo), Th.D. (2006, Helsinki) in Sinology and Theology, is professor at the Insitute of Sino-Christian Studies (Hong Kong) and Adjunct-professor in the University of Helsinki (Finland). He has published extensively on Daoism, Chu culture, Theology and religious dialogue.

Table of contents


Preface and Acknowledgments ... ix

1. Introduction ... 1
1.1 Aim ... 1
1.2 Sources ... 7
1.3 Method ... 18
1.4 Previous research ... 19
1.5 Motivation ... 29
1.6 Structure and notational convention ... 38

2. The preconditions for the dialogue .. 41
2.1 The legacy of Matteo Ricci for the Confucian-Christian dialogue ... 43
2.2 Confucianism ... 47
2.3 The Confucians who have mostly commented on the Christian doctrine of salvation ... 51
2.4 The Christian concept of God in Chinese terms ... 69

3. Confucian ideas of the Saviour in Christianity: The assimilation of God to the Chinese concepts of Shangdi 上帝 and Tian 天 ... 79
3.1 Neo-Confucian ideas of the assimilation ... 83
3.2 Cultural Nationalist Confucian ideas of the assimilation ... 107
3.3 Modern Confucian ideas of the assimilation ... 113

4. Confucian ideas of the object of salvation in Christianity: created humanity and its status ... 121
4.1 Human beings as part of creation ... 121
4.2 The status of human beings ... 154

5. Confucian ideas of the means of salvation in Christianity ... 171
5.1 The existence of transcendence in Confucianism ... 175
5.2 The transcendence of the Christian God and that of the Chinese Heaven ... 197
5.3 The superiority of the internal transcendence to the external transcendence ... 219

6. Basic Problems in the Confucian-Christian dialogue ... 245
6.1 The tacit difference of the ways of thinking ... 246
6.2 Four obstacles in the Confucian-Christian dialogue ... 250
6.3 Affirmative elements in the Confucian-Christian dialogue ... 263

Summary ... 267

Appendices ... 273
The Five Classics ... 275
II. The Four Books ... 279
III. The eleven quotations of Ricci ... 281
IV. The degeneration from theism to humanism ... 283
V. The nine horizons of Tang Junyi’s Confucianism ... 289
VI. The Taiji 太极 ... 293
VII. The Li 理 and Qi 气 ... 297
VIII. Two wings of Neo-Confucianism ... 299

Bibliography ... 301

Index ... 321

Readership

Theologians, Sinologists, student, church people, political officers and anyone interested in the Sino-Western cultural encounter.

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