Vol. 21 (2021)

    From the Editor's Desk
    Open access

  • Orientalism and Reverse Orientalism in the Interactions between Christianity and Confucianism: With Special Reference to the Problem of “Immanence vis-à-vis Transcendence”

    Pan-chiu LAI
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    Through making references to some inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural studies of “Transcendence” as well as the usage of the relevant terms in contemporary Confucianism and Christianity, especially the concepts of “transcendence” and “immanence” (which is translated sometimes as nèi zài in Chinese), this study attempts to challenge some of the prevalent stereotypes of Christianity and Confucianism.  With special references to the historical and contemporary Christian-Confucian discourses related to the concepts of immanence and transcendence, this study argues that certain features of “orientalism” can be found in the Christian interpretations of Confucianism, especially their tendency of downplaying the transcendence in Confucianism in order to highlight that Christianity is the fulfillment of Confucianism. In contrast to the Christian interpretations, the Confucian interpretations tend to highlight the “transcendence” in Confucianism and ignore the “immanence” in Christianity.  Certain “reverse orientalism” can be found at the Confucian interpretations of Christianity, especially their attempts at arguing for the superiority of Confucianism through articulating the contrast between “external transcendence” (wài zài chāo yuè) and “internal transcendence” (nèi zài chāo yuè).  This study further argues that no matter whether it is orientalism or reverse orientalism, these stereotypes of the contrast between Christianity and Confucianism misinterpret not only the other’s tradition, but also one’s own, and thus hinder the communication between the two traditions.

  • From the Editor's Desk
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  • Introduction to Volume 21

    Paulos HUANG
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    Humanities, Theology, and Chinese National Studies
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  • Policy, Legality and Rule of law: The Jurisprudence Thinking for the Management Mode of Religious Affairs in China

    Fei QIAO
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    The management of religious affairs has the mode of “Policy”, “Legality”, “Rule of Law” and so on. In the past reformed 40 years, China's religious management policy has a consistent content, and the policy has always held the highest position in the management of religious affairs at all levels of government. Since the 1990s, religious administration has been "legalized" gradually. The implementation of the Religious Affairs Ordinance issued in 2004 marked the management mode of religious affairs in China entered the era that managing religious affairs according to regulations. In 2014, the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPP Central Committee proposed "Integration Building for Rule of Law Country, Rule of Law Government and Rule of Law Society ". In 2016, the National Conference on Religious Work proposed “Improving the Rule of Law in Religious Work ", Rule of Law has become the goal of religious affairs management. Rule of law in religion has factors such as "Rights Protection”, “Separation of Church and State ","Public Power Restriction" and so on. The management of religious affairs in China needs to go beyond the traditional mode such as "Policy" and "Legality". The "Rule of Law" mode of Good Law and Good Governance is the inevitable choice.

  • Humanities, Theology, and Chinese National Studies
    Open access

  • The Theoretical Approach of Indigenization of Chinese Protestant Theology in the First Half of the 20th Century

    Anze LI
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    From the early 20th century, Chinese “Indigenous Theology” served as the main line in the development of Chinese Protestant theology. It represents an important orientation in the communications between Chinese and Western culture as well as the development of modern Chinese thought. Chinese Indigenous Theology was the theoretical result of the combination of Chinese and Western religious spirit and thought, with a strong background of traditional Chinese culture. Its main purpose was to interpret and develop modern Chinese Protestant thought within the frame of Chinese traditional culture, mainly Confucianism, and to construct a native Christian theology with Chinese characteristics. As will become obvious, the theoretical construction of Indigenous Theology caused Western Protestant theology, with its fundamental spirit of "Dichotomy between God and Man" and its thought pattern of “External Transcendence”, to Chinese Indigenous Theology, grounded on a "Unity of God and Man" and a “Internal Transcendence”. However, due to excessive adherence to the historical experience of Indigenization, modern Chinese Protestant theology came to lack a sufficient response to and discussion of the issues of modernization and universalization. In this paper, both the theoretical achievements and the shortcomings of Chinese Indigenous Theology will be summarized and reviewed carefully.

    Practical Theology and Sino-Western Views on Church and Society
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  • Luther's theological understanding of the essence of music: music is a gift of God

    Weirong ZHAO
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    Compared with his peers and successors of the Reformation, Luther had a more positive and tolerant view of music. " [Music] is a gift of God and not of man" is the cornerstone of Luther's music view and also his theological understanding of the essence of music. Luther's theology of the essence of music is quite original and closely related to Luther's understanding of grace, gift, and creation. In Luther's view, God created the world and all things through the world and all things speak and self-interpret himself, the universe and all things emit their own sound and harmony, that is, their music, God through his gift to share his divinity and eternal power. This article attempts to explore the theological origin and meaning of Luther’s famous musical theology proposition from Luther’s creation theory and the theological understanding of grace and gift, as well as the manifestation and acceptance of musical gifts as genius and creativity.

  • Practical Theology and Sino-Western Views on Church and Society
    Open access

  • The Abolition and Reconstruction of a Church A Case Study of Christian Localization in Nu Village within the North Sino-Myanmar Boundary

    Yang CUI, Meng HE
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    The church is an important place for Christians to practice their faith. It has also become an important symbol to highlight the history memory of the village in the ethnic areas of the North Sino-Myanmar Boundary. Christianity was introduced into Nu people for nearly one hundred years, Christian faith has become an important part of its cultural tradition. A history of the construction of the Christian church is the history of the Christian faith. To explore the process of the construction, abolishment and reconstruction of the Christian church is to reveal the dynamic change process of the Christian faith from the outside to the native. Taking the Christian church in Laomudeng which is a village of Nu people as an example, this paper aims to explore the Socio-cultural implications of “Christian localization” by presenting the religious practices of Nu Christians in building churches in different history periods.

    Chinese and Western Classics and the Bible
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  • The Comparison and Exploration of the Subject Difference between Lamentations and Lament of Capital Ying

    Zhengyi MO
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    Lamentations and lament of capital Ying are models of city lament in ancient Hebrew-and Chinese classical literary traditions respectively. A comparative study shows that there are significant subject difference between lamentations and lament of capital Ying . Lamentations is the collective works, and its compilation and inheritance function as emotional expression of sufferings of the past, present and future of the Jewish people, reflecting their infinite belief of transcendent God . In contrast, lament of capital Ying is the creation of Qu Yuan, and under the influence of the sage's commitment to the mandate of heaven by his individual virtue. The poetry expresses Qu Yuan’s personal grief through a special literary technique and its succession and experience in later generations are mainly individual. The subject difference of two poetry is a reflection of different development trajectories of the humans-transcendent relationship in Hebrew- and the Chinese civilizations of the Axial Age.

  • Chinese and Western Classics and the Bible
    Open access

  • From Jiao You Lun to Qiu You Pian: Jesuits’ Discussion on Friendship and A Comparative Study with Traditional Chinese Theories

    Xiangyan JIANG
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    This article makes an analysis of Matteo Ricci’s Jiao You Lun (On Friendship) and Martino Martini’s Qiu You Pian (On Making Friends) starting from the theory of the interaction and communication framework of contact between cultures. The analysis shows that Ricci’s text has a characteristic of convergence and integration of Sino-West traditions which paves the way for culture creation; while Martini introduces the concept of “love” --- the core concept of the Christian doctrines, makes a distinction between Confucian and Christian treatment on disputes, and clarifies the strategy of complementing Confucianism with Christianity. Their introduction of the western theories on friendship is a catalyst which accelerates the modernization of the concept of human relationships among the Chinese literati in late Ming early Qing China.

    Church History in the West and in China
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  • Health, Hygiene and Diets: Medical Missionaries and the Daily Life of Shanghai Residents (1870-1938)

    Jiayu GONG
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, China was the main area of western medical missions. Medical missionaries, one of the largest cross-cultural groups, left a wealth of records in a foreign land. In this article the author explored how the housing, environment, drink and diets habits of British medical missionaries in China spread the western medical knowledge, and how the medical missionaries constantly recognized, interpreted and improved the health concept toward Chinese in their daily life. The intercultural communication of medical knowledge between China and the West enriched the western public health theory on the one hand, and promoted the establishment of modern public health system in China on the other hand.

  • Church History in the West and in China
    Open access

  • The Ideological Emancipation of Chinese Women and Its Idealistic Pursuit in the May 4th Movement

    Qianlu XUE, Weilin FANG
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    The May 4th Movement of 1919 is a significant period of ideological change in Chinese modern history, and in it is during this time that the ideological enlightenment of modern Chinese women made its debut. Led by modern intellectuals, they, from all angles, criticized the traditional social structure, traditional etiquette and feudal family system hindering the liberation and development of women, and further discussed the emancipation of women in terms of ideological education, economic independence, family status, freedom of marriage, ethics, social communication, as well as other relevant social issues. The intense exchange of ideas influenced public opinion, provoking enormous responses from all sections of society, particularly from women. Based on real educational and economic issues concerning women, combined with theories, real thoughts and practices, and carried out with a series of practical social reform activities, the ideological emancipation of women in the May 4th Movement of 1919 laid a solid foundation for the transition of traditional women to modern women, thus becoming the source of ideological emancipation of modern women in China.

    Comparative Religious and Cultural Studies
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  • The "Jesus-Mozi Dialogue" In The Revival of Mohism In The Republic Of China——Take Zhang Yijing, Wang Zhixin And Wu Leichuan As Examples

    Jiaofeng HUANG
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    "Jesus-Mozi Dialogue" is an underflow in the revival of Mohism in the Republic of China. Since modern times, the intellectual circles have mostly taken Christianity as the "rational model" of Mohism. When it comes to the best reference for Christianity in traditional Chinese culture, Mohism is always used as an example, which has been discussed in the field of Mohism research. However, in the past, people still paid little attention to the church's view of the "Jesus-Mozi Dialogue" between Mohist School and Chinese Christians, which is a pity. This article attempts to discuss the various viewpoints of Zhang Yijing, Wang Zhixin, and Wu Leichuan on Mohism and "Mohist religion" as examples, and looks forward to giving a clear definition of the literature and the division of school attribution to the results of the "Jesus-Mozi Dialogue".

  • Comparative Religious and Cultural Studies
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  • Augustine on the Economy of Angels

    Minmin SHI
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    Angelology is a major theme in Augustine’s important works such as The City of God, The Literal Meaning of Genesis and Enchiridion. This essay explains Augustine’s theology of angelic economy from three perspectives -- creation, governance and kingdom. 1) The relationship between the angelic economy and the creation: it is here argued that the economic ability of the angels is originated in the intellectual intuition of God and of the creation, as, even prior to creation, angels had already stored the created in their minds as concepts; 2) The relationship between the angelic economy and governance is originated in the concept of “divine apparition.” Angels govern as God’s agents, but their governance is impersonal; 3) The relationship between the angelic economy and the kingdom is originated in the union between the holy angels and the holy people, which occurs in God’s will. In this union, Angels act as guides leading human beings to the kingdom of peace. This essay also points out that Augustine’s angelology is related to his three major theological principles, i.e. the theories of creation, governance and salvation.

    Reviews and Academic Reports
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  • A Perfect Church on Earth – The New Discovery of an Ancient Church Site in Tangchao Dun, China

    David Tam
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    Archaeologists have recently announced the discovery of a 7-9th Century
    church site in Tangchao Dun, 115 km north of Turpan, Xinjiang, China. From
    the two site photos released, it is evident that the church was a rare and
    perfect bema church belonging to an episcopal or archiepiscopal see of the
    Church of the East in the region.

  • Reviews and Academic Reports
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  • A Comparative Study of Density and Fineness in the Narratives of Chinese and Western Classical Novels

    Yanqiu ZHAO, Xu SUN
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    Density refers to the number of story elements within a narrative of a given piece of writing. Fineness refers to the sufficiency and inherent completeness of the story elements displayed. In comparison, the density of story elements in ancient Chinese novels is higher, and the fineness is lower, while the density of story elements in Western novels is lower and the fineness is higher. This difference partly contributes to the simplicity and refinement of the structure of Chinese novels and the complexity and delicate nature of the structure of Western novels. However, each of these characteristics has its strengths, in line with the national culture and social framework from which the Chinese and Western novels emerged. As such, these elements found in both Chinese and Western novels can appropriately reflect the way of life of their respective societies and the thoughts and feelings of the people therein, both of which are worthy of recognition.

  • Reviews and Academic Reports
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  • A Reflection Analysis on the Martin Luther and the Third Enlightenment

    Ruixiang LI
    First Published: 2021-12-09

    On April 26-30,2021,, the first season’s lectures of “Martin Luther and the third enlightenment” were successfully held by Shanghai Library and co-organized by the Sino-Europe Center at Shanghai University. Because of epidemic and the limitation of the ground,this series of lectures were conducted both online and offline. All the lectures were spoken by Professor Paulos Huang,Director of the Sino-European Center at Shanghai University and the Tutor for Doctor at Shanghai University.