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A Book about Balthasar and Why You Should Read It

A ChinaSource Conversation

Academics are regularly requested to write reviews for recently published books. At the invitation of Studies in World Christianity, I will be writing a review of Dr. Joshua Brown’s1 new monograph, Balthasar in Light of Early Confucianism.

I was aware of the recent partnership between ChinaSource and the US-China Catholic Association in producing webinars featuring scholars of Chinese Christianity, though until now all the webinars featured Protestant scholars and perspectives. After getting a little way into Dr. Brown’s book, I thought, “here is a good Catholic scholar whose research would be appreciated in the ChinaSource crowd and would appeal to the growing Catholic audience as well.” So, I suggested it to the ChinaSource editorial team, and it was warmly welcomed.

Having finishing the book, I am convinced that it is a worthy piece of scholarship that ought to be amplified through online technical means in order to reach a greater audience. The book had a particularly inauspicious start, coming out in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. In such situations, books—particularly academic books—tend to rapidly fade away, regardless of their intrinsic merits.

I hope that this interview might draw some attention to the careful work Dr. Brown has presented in this volume, and that its contents might enrich Christian theological thinking. And that, as Dr. Brown concludes the book, what we learn in its pages might “make us all more perfectly xiao before the Father of all, who calls each of us to a life of filial obedience through his beloved and obedient Son.”

The interview with Joshua Brown is available at ChinaSource Conversations and on YouTube.


  1. Joshua Brown. PhD is Assistant Professor of Theology at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. In addition to Balthasar in Light of Early Confucianism, Brown has co-authored another monograph with Alexus McLeod, entitled Transcendence and Non-Naturalism in Early Chinese Thought (2020).
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Jesse Ciccotti

Jesse Ciccotti

Jesse Ciccotti holds a PhD in Comparative Philosophy from Hong Kong Baptist University and an MA in Chinese Philosophy from Wuhan University. He and his family lived in China for 12 years.      View Full Bio

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