This book reflects on three broad themes of Confucian-Christian relations to assist in the appreciation of the church's theology of mission. While the themes of this volume are theological in orientation, the dialogue is engaged in from an interdisciplinary approach that prioritises the act of listening.
Part I surveys the historical background necessary for an adequate understanding of the contemporary Confucian-Christian dialogues. It examines the history of Confucian-Christian relations, explores the Chinese Rites Controversy, and delineates the contemporary task of indigenizing Christianity by Sino-Christian theologians. Part II compares elements in the Confucian and Christian traditions that exemplify the epitome and fullness of spiritual development. It discusses the Confucian practice of rites (li), interrogates how the noble or exemplary person (junzi) competes, and outlines the Confucian understanding of sageliness (shengren). Lastly, Part III examines different aspects of the church's engagements with the world outside of itself. It advocates for a Confucian-Christian hermeneutic of moral goodness, attends to the Confucian emphasis on moral self-cultivation, proposes that Confucian virtue ethics can shed light on Christian moral living, and offers a Confucian-Christian understanding of care for mother earth.
This book is ideally suited to lecturers and students of both Christian studies and Confucian studies, as well as those engaged in mission studies and interfaith studies. It will also be a valuable resource for anyone interested in comparative religious and theological studies on Christianity and Confucianism.
Edmund Kee-Fook Chia is a Senior Lecturer of Theology at the Australian Catholic University, Fellow at the University of Divinity (Melbourne), and Visiting Researcher at Radboud University Nimegen (Netherlands). He headed the interreligious dialogue office of the Asian Bishops from 1996 to 2004 and taught at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago before migrating to Australia in 2011. He is the author of World Christianity Encounters World Religions (2018) and a forthcoming book by Routledge on Asian Christianity and Theology.