ChinaSource Quarterlies

Confucius and Christ: Conflict, Compromise or Communication

Vol. 16, No. 1


Articles in this Issue

Editorials

Perspectives on Confucianism

The guest editor's point of view.

Lead Article

Contemporary Confucian Revival and Its Interactions with Christianity in China

Chinese society today has turned fairly religious with Protestant Christianity and Confucianism experiencing the most growth in recent decades. As these two traditions interact more and more, the tension and rivalry between them intensifies. Dr. Yao looks at the roles that each plays in today's China along with the place of the so-called New Confucian Movement. As the current Confucian revival represents an attempt to regain Confucian dominance in Chinese society, what is the response of Christianity?

Supporting Article

Confucian Comeback

An Interview with Fenggang Yang

Professor Fenggang Yang provides insightful answers to questions about Confucianism. His comments address topics such as the groups of people among whom Confucianism is growing, the influence of New Confucianists from overseas on Chinese society and thought, and concrete signs that Confucianism is growing in China.

Supporting Article

A Chinese Christian Critique of Confucianism

Chang provides a Christian understanding of the nature of Confucianism, its classics and the basic teachings of Confucius. This is followed by a critique of Confucianism from a biblical standpoint using classical theological categories (God, creation, man, sin and salvation and eschatology) to frame his comments. He also discusses a key component of traditional Confucianism, ancestor worship.

View From the Wall

Confucianism in Modern Chinese Society

First, the author takes his readers on a walk through a Chinese megacity to help us "see" how Confucianism is influencing modern Chinese society; then he goes on to discuss some of its influences in key areas of Chinese culture. Is Confucianism today the same as it was historically? What is its relationship with politics? What does it have to do with the Chinese identity? The article discusses these and other relevant questions.

Peoples of China

The New Confucianists

Contemporary Confucian Scholars

The revival of Confucianism in China comes from a variety of sources including scholars resident in mainland China, Taiwan and overseas. He Tianyi provides a brief introduction to some of these. They include scholars working to educate in the Confucian tradition, doing research on Confucianism, lecturing to spread traditional culture into the popular mainstream and focusing on the implementation of the Confucian view of life in the presence of modern materialism. He introduces us to one who specialize in the history of Western philosophy, cultural philosophy and Neo-Confucianism and to another who is working to promote greater mutual understanding between intellectuals in China and the West.

Book Reviews

The Christian Faith in Chinese Culture

A Book Review

Confucius, the Buddha, and Christ by Ralph R. Covell
and
Confronting Confucian Understandings of the Christian Doctrine of Salvation: A Systematic Theological Analysis of the Basic Problems in the Confucian-Christian Dialogue by Paulos Huang
Reviewed by G. Wright Doyle

Covell traces the history of the gospel in China from the Nestorians up to about 1980 and ways in which foreign missionaries, and then Chinese Christians, tried to express the gospel in terms which were, or were not, readily accessible to the people they hoped to reach. Huang's aim is to explain how different types of Confucianists have understood, and responded to the Christian doctrine of salvation.

Resource Corner

Resources for Learning More about Confucianism and Christianity

An annotated bibliography for further reading on this topic.

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G. Wright Doyle

G. Wright Doyle

G. Wright Doyle is the director of China Institute (www.reachingchineseworldwide.org) and Global China Center (www.globalchinacenter.org), the editor of Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity (www.bdcconline.net), and co-editor of Studies in Chinese Christianity, published by Wipf and Stock. For more on effective ministry among Chinese, see Reaching Chinese Worldwide, by G. Wright Doyle.View Full Bio