Abstract: Today, the inculturation of the Christian faith is still a hot topic in China, both in Chinese religious academia, and in the Chinese Christian religion. However, for various reasons, the Catholics in contemporary mainland China are rarely involved in this discussion. This phenomenon should arouse the attention of the Catholic Church; especially the younger generation of Catholic scholars should make the effort to establish their own academic group to promote the spread of their own faith, and to actively participate in the discussion on the inculturation of the Christian faith. Against this background, the article will discuss the understanding of Catholicism about the inculturation of the faith, the contribution that it made, the difficulties that it encountered, and the possible way to explore the future of the theology of the inculturation of the Catholic faith.
超越東西方 – 當代中國天主教本土化的總體反思
Abstract: Indigenization is an endless question when an alien religion goes into the local culture. Is the indigenization of the Catholic Church in China an adaptation or an alienation? This thesis analyses this phenomenon, and puts forward solutions and suggestions. Indigenization is the result of dialogue, mutual tolerance, and mutual adaptation. It is a process of learning from each other and the result of mutual complement, and integrative innovation, confronting the social reality, serving society, and maintaining public interests. They seek common ground while reserving differences. Ethical standard is highly valued; consistency between keeping core values alive and innovating in forms is also insisted on; the church-state relationship is always the deciding factor. Finally, this thesis puts forward prospects and lines of thought, and insists that the awareness of indigenization should go beyond East and West. This awareness should maintain a good relationship between church and state; it should also strengthen dialogue, mutual tolerance, mutual adaptation, and learning from each other. It should promote complementary and integrated innovation, while facing the social reality, serving society, seeking common ground, and meanwhile reserving differences. With this awareness, ethical standard is highly valued and consistency between keeping core values alive and innovating in forms is insisted on. Thus, a tension between catholicity and local features is necessarily kept.
經院哲學的學院性質及其興盛的文化 – 背景和社會背景芻議
Abstract: Scholasticism was the principal and typical form of Christian philosophy in the Middle Ages. It played an irreplaceable role for later developments, especially for the modern development of Christian philosophy. The basic difference between scholasticism and philosophia patristica consists in the fact that it belongs to a kind of philosophy taught by professors in universities and seminaries, gives the dogmas of Christianity more reasonable explanations, emphasizes the relative independence of philosophy, and pays more attention to the humanities and natural sciences.
The emergence and flourishing of Scolasticism were not accidental, but were both concerned with the atmosphere supporting the academic researches initiated by Charlemagne, the emergence of universities, the disputations of universals, and the translations of Aristotle’s works.
“Philosophy begins with the decline of a real world.” Scholasticism began with the Dark Ages of European society. As a strand of the light of reason, it directed European society into luminosity; it promoted European society’s turning not only from slavery to feudalism, but also from ancient civilization to Christian civilization. This reveals the social functions of the redemption of society, the advancement of human civilization, and the development of human society.
Abstract: It is important to review and settle the relationship between faith and reason in medieval philosophy. During the early days of the Patristic era, some theologians of Christianity identified with Greek philosophy because of the need for validity and rationality. In the manner of Greek philosophy, reason comes into the faith system of Christianity: firstly, as an apologetic resource; furthermore, as a constructive factor; finally, became a great system in Augustine’s thought. In the Dark Ages, although Greek philosophy was absent as a whole for historical causes, reason has somehow a methodological function in the thought of theologians. Along with the historical development, this manner became a basic thinking principle in the early days of scholasticism, and together with the revival of Aristotelianism, it set itself up as a complete system of theology and philosophy in the work of Thomas Aquinas. However, in the late Middle Ages, because of the intervention of the Church and the criticism of some theologians, the fundamental conflicts between philosophy and religion were unfolded on the table. The conflicts are fully expressed in the thought of Scotus and Ockham. From the historical point of view, people’s knowledge of the relationship between faith and reason cannot come to an end, and it has a durable meaning in Western culture.
Abstract: John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz, 24 June 1542 – 14 December 1591) is, doubtless, one of the most important mystical figures in the history of the Church. In the soul’s ascent to Mount Carmel – the place of God – or in the process of becoming united to God, the soul will undergo a journey of “dark night”, both psychologically (night of the spirit) and physiologically (night of the sense). The thesis focuses on finding the meaning of the “dark night” through analyzing both its active and its passive sense. According to John, the “dark night” does not mean the absence of light or hopeless emptiness, but it is the necessary experience of the soul due to God’s complete otherness and transcendence . Through the outpouring of love into the soul by virtue of God, the “dark night” wins its constructive meaning in the process of divine union with God. One of the main characteristics of negative theology lies in this: in order to become united to God, the ultimate wholeness, man has to free himself from every attachment to both the worldly things and spiritual goodness, and to cast himself into the dark night. Thus the thesis will show how this “dark night” is actually a medium or a place , where God himself communicates with our souls. In conclusion, it will be shown that the ascent of the soul to God does not occur in the Platonic, dualistic way, but belongs to the mystery of the personal love of God.
平的兩端 – 克萊門特與德爾圖良神學思想比較之一二
Abstract: This thesis focuses on the comparison of two representative theological methods in the history of early Christian theology — the methods of Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian. The discussion is about the process of the forming of their great thoughts, and their discrepant attitudes towards philosophy and reason from their different historical backgrounds. Deeply influenced by Platonism, Clement combined the Christian dogmas and Platonism, which was considered an effective way to truth. In contrast, Tertullian thought that truth was simple and certain, but was twisted by philosophers. He uncompromisingly defended the purity of the Christian faith and refused to introduce philosophy into Christianity. Moreover, they also held different thoughts on solving the problem of the relation between soul and body. Although he denied corruptibility and depravity, Clement was under the shadow of Platonic dualism and still pointed out that the body is lower than the soul. This view was opposed by Tertullian, who considered that both soul and body were created simultaneously, and tried to eliminate their difference by biological methods. Finally, these two typical theologies provided two diverse routes for many theologians, and played a vital role in the late development of Christianity.
Abstract: Contemporary Chinese Catholicism is facing many problems, the most important of which are the issues of the ‘underground Churches’, the ordination of Chinese bishops and the consequent China-Vatican relationship. This paper analyzes the religious, historical, social and political causes of the problems, showing that China could look at them in new perspectives. Having described the history and the present situation of these and other problems, and having summarized some proposals put forward by other scholars, the authors present three major proposals for the radical solution of the problems, hoping that the authorities of China and the Vatican will give them consideration: 1. For the bishops’ ordination procedure: election by the churches, authorization according to the Canon, putting on record by the government offices; 2. For the underground churches’ status: application by the churches, registration of all of them, supervision according to the law; 3. For the ecclesiastical administration and foreign exchange: autonomy of the church, free exchange, assistance from the government.
宗教敘事之「我 – 他」敘事與其倫理向度作為一種後設思考 – 以遠藤周作的《海與毒藥》為例
Abstract: This paper aims first at the meaning of religious narrative under the frame of modern narratology. The next, the “I-He” relationship in religious narrative is explored, especially the idea “the Other” through the aspects of Emmanuel Levinas and Lacques Lacan. From the “(I-I) (He)” to the “I-He” and its moral dimension based on the relationship of “I-He” is the important subject matter of this paper. At last, the meta-thinking of the work Sea and Poison written by Endo Shusaku is put into consideration as an example for making the meaning of “I-He” narrative and its moral dimension more concrete in research of religious literatures.
Abstract: European female religious congregations were not introduced into the Catholic Church in mainland China before the First Opium War, but there was a great deal of work needing female’s (especially single women’s) help, support and participation; so the consecrated women assumed the role of sisters. When the 1840 Opium War broke out, the international female religious congregation from Europe and America came into China, many virgins joined religious congregations, and the structure of the Chinese Catholic Church gradually changed. This paper will discuss how European and American female religious congregations cultivated Chinese virgins, how each parish set up national female religious congregations, what difference in work characteristics there was between national female religious and European and American religious congregations, how Chinese female religious congregations were set up and became stronger, and also what their contribution was to society.
初探早期來華耶穌會傳教士對「善」概念之接受與詮釋 – 由利瑪竇、羅明堅至柏應理 《中國聖人孔子》
Abstract: The Jesuitic missionaries in 16th and 17th centuries arrived in China for understanding Chinese religions and culture with the hope of spreading evangelium. They strived to search for a common ground between Christian and Chinese cultures, especially Confucian thoughts which possess similar characteristics with Christian catechism. This paper tries to put the idea “goodness” into consideration, and focuses on missionaries’ interpretations of “goodness” of Confucian thoughts. Three missionaries’ points of view, Matteo Ricci, Michele Ruggieri, and Philipp Couplet’s Confucius Sinarum Philosophus are selected as examples for discussions.
Abstract: In the past there were some controversies about the Catholic identity of Xu Guangqi, especially, about the motivation of his baptism, in Chinese academic circles. In recent years, with the deepening of the research on his life, it has been recognized that he was a Catholic; but the systematic and in-depth study of his Catholic faith has not yet begun. In this article I will offer some analysis of the motivation of his conversion to the Catholic Church, his enthusiastic prayer, his good example, the education of his children, his generosity, and his dedication to the promotion of the Catholic mission in China. Finally, with his influence in the imperial court, his model of Christian life and his great personal charm, Xu Guangqi prompted the conversion to the Catholic Church of many Chinese literati officials, and earned a great missionary space for the Church in the late Ming. I hope this article will promote a deep research into Xu Guangqi’s beliefs in Chinese academic circles.