In short, a strong parallel is evident in the many aspects of Confucius’ teachings and the redemptive gospel in addressing the inadequacy of the human condition. However, what has fallen short in Confucius’ solution was his optimism in the very nature of humanity that needs restoration.
In a recent interview in the ChinaSource Quarterly, Purdue professor Yang Fenggang is quoted as saying that "the Chinese Christian church has become an institutional base for passing on transformed Confucian values to younger generations." Dr. Yang, a sociologist and Director of the Center on Religion and Society at Purdue University, does not necessarily see Confucianism and Christianity as being in competition with one another. Rather, he encourages Christians to seek common ground where possible.
An annotated bibliography for further reading on this topic.
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?
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.
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
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
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.
The guest editor's point of view.