Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Confronting Confucian Understandings of the Christian Doctrine of Salvation

A systematic theological analysis of the basic problems in the Confucian-Christian dialogue

Paulos Huang

Doctoral dissertation, October 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology, Department of Systematic Theology, dogmatiikka.

The aim of the present study is to analyze Confucian understandings of the Christian doctrine of salvation in order to find the basic problems in the Confucian-Christian dialogue. I will approach the task via a systematic theological analysis of four issues in order to limit the thesis to an appropriate size. They are analyzed in three chapters as follows:

1. The Confucian concept concerning the existence of God. Here I discuss mainly the issue of assimilation of the Christian concept of "God" to the concepts of "Sovereign on High" (Shangdi) and "Heaven" (Tian) in Confucianism.

2. The Confucian understanding of the object of salvation and its status in Christianity.

3. The Confucian understanding of the means of salvation in Christianity.

Before beginning this analysis it is necessary to clarify the vast variety of controversies, arguments, ideas, opinions and comments expressed in the name of Confucianism; thus, clear distinctions among different schools of Confucianism are given in chapter 2. In the last chapter I will discuss the results of my research in this study by pointing out the basic problems that will appear in the analysis. The results of the present study provide conclusions in three related areas: the tacit differences in the ways of thinking between Confucians and Christians, the basic problems of the Confucian-Christian dialogue, and the affirmative elements in the dialogue. In addition to a summary, a bibliography and an index, there are also eight appendices, where I have introduced important background information for readers to understand the present study.

The title page of the publication

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Last updated 28.09.2006

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