A Tentative Proposal to Use Orthodox Theological Relational Selfhood as an Alternative for Confucian-Influenced Chinese Evangelicals
2. How and in Which Area Moltmann Was Influenced by Stăniloae
2.1. Who Is Jürgen Moltmann?
2.2. Who Is Dumitru Stăniloae?
2.3. The Influence of Stăniloae on Moltmann’s Development of Social Trinitarian Theology
3. Problematic Selfhood and Interpersonal Relationships Appears in Confucian-Influenced Chinese Evangelicals
In the classical Chinese language, there is no distinction between the first person singular, I, and the first person plural, we. An I is always a we. Equally significant … is the absence … of any explicit and consistent distinction between the subjective I/we and the objective me/us. The I/we is embedded in the me/us.
4. How Social Trinitarian Anthropology Has Been Engaged in Transforming Ru-Influenced Chinese Evangelicals
Conflicts of Interest
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This term filioque literally means “and from the Son” (Bromiley 1984, eo). In order to defend themselves against Arians, the Latin Western churches first added this phrase into the Nicene Creed (325) at the Council of Toledo in 589 to emphasize that “the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son”, stressing “the perfect equality between the Son and the Father” in their full deity (Dulles 1995, pp. 31–32; Edgar and Oliphint 2009, p. 16). However, this was not the agreement made within the confessions at Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (381) but that “the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father” (Dulles 1995, pp. 31–32). As a result, this insertion was rejected by the Greek Eastern churches (Bromiley 1984), who also opposed Arianism (Blaising 1984), but insisted on stressing the full deity of the Holy Spirit (Moltmann 1981, p. 181). This main doctrinal bifurcation led to the great schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Western Roman Catholic Church in 1054 and has never been resolved officially with binding declarations (Moltmann 1981, pp. 178–80; 2014, pp. 35–36; Pless 2005, p. 116f; Siecienski 2010; New World Encyclopedia 2017).
It is noted that some other social trinitarian theologians, for example, Zizioulas (1995, pp. 50–55), interpret the three persons of God as a community of asymmetrical hierarchy (Volf 1998, pp. 76–81).
In the Eastern Orthodox theological tradition, theological anthropology is also based on a social trinitarian theology with these three elements: “person (hypostasis) … communion (koinonia)”, and “nature (ousia)” (Bates 2012). However, for Moltmann (1981, pp. 188–89), it still supports a trinitarian structure of asymmetrical hierarchy because the Father is the “sole origin” of both the Son and the Holy Spirit (Zizioulas 1995, pp. 50–55; 2004, p. 45; Volf 1998, pp. 76–81). Insisting on the concept of “equally primary”, Moltmann (1981, pp. 188–202) criticizes both the accounts of the Latin church tradition and the Eastern church tradition, which support “clerical monotheism” and “political monotheism” and have asymmetrical trinitarian structures.
The phrase post-traditional Ru-influenced Chinese is adopted in this paper to avoid the problem of ambiguity and generalization. The word “Ruism/Confucianism” is an ambiguous term, which can include a range of historical and contemporary meanings. This paper follows the general approach of Lauren Pfister (2015). Post-traditional Ru-influenced Chinese in this paper denotes “the small folk tradition” still influencing contemporary Chinese, as described by Shuhsien Liu 劉述先 (1934–2016) (Liu 1996a, p. 92), a contemporary New Ruist. This tradition that has existed for centuries and has been influenced by the other two main traditions, “the great tradition of the Ruist refined intellectual spirit” and “the tradition of the Way expressed in politicized Ruism,” is the mental habits and behavioural customs of most common Chinese people from ancient times to the present. It indicates looser and wider meanings of Ruism that cannot be interpreted by ordinary people themselves but must be done by researchers (Liu 1996b, p. 85). Confucianism or Ruism is often listed as part of the constellation of the three teachings (Buddhism, Daoism Confucianism), which are sometimes used as a shorthand for Chinese religions.
See also Jie Zhang et al. (2009, p. 187), Jie Zhang (2010, pp. 323–24), Jie Zhang et al. (2010, pp. 581–84), Fei Wu (2011a, pp. 213–19), Zhang and Li (2012, pp. 659–60), Yingyeh Chen et al. (2012, p. 139), Hyeon Jung Lee (2012), and Jie Zhang (2014, pp. 146, 151–52).
The term non-Ruist scholars, used in this paper, denotes those scholars whose academic disciplines are not mainly Ruist studies regardless of their ethnicity or nationality.
For example, Winnicott (1965, p. 133), June Ock Yum (1988, p. 386), Stephen K. K. Cheng (1990, p. 510), and Zhèngbó Zhèng 鄭正博 (Zhèng 1990, p. 172). Due to the limitation of space and the focus of this paper, many other references to social science scholars and their relevant findings are not listed and discussed here. They can be found in detail in Tsung-I Hwang (2018, chp. Two and Appendix E).
Ames (2006, p. 520) states that the Ruist self is not an individualized self.
See also Zhongfang Yang (1991a, pp. 48–49; 1991b, p. 95) and Jiādòng Zhèng 鄭家棟 (Zhèng 2003, p. 63).
See also Yiyin Yang (2008, p. 152) and Wenberng Pong 彭文本 (Pong 2009, p. 77).
There are many discussions on this phenomenon within the realm of contextual theology; a few notable examples among many include: Paul Fong 封尚禮 (Fong 1967, p. 50f, 79–81, 297), Willard G. Oxtoby (1933–2003) (Oxtoby 1983), Weiming Tu (1985), Toynbee and Ikeda (1989), Ching and Küng (1993, pp. 279–83), Thong and Fu (2009), Bǎoluó Huáng 黃保羅 (also as Paulos Huang) (Huáng 2011), and David Marshall (2012).
Social trinitarian doctrine is not taught in most Chinese-speaking theological seminaries. Therefore, most Chinese evangelical ministers do not know it, let alone Chinese evangelical lay-Christians.
The author coined the phrase gracious moral cultivation to denote and explain the Christian theology of life-transforming development from imago Christi, in contrast with Ruist life transformation by oneself (moral self-cultivation) though moral cultivation is not a Christian theological term.
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Hwang, T.-I. A Tentative Proposal to Use Orthodox Theological Relational Selfhood as an Alternative for Confucian-Influenced Chinese Evangelicals. Religions 2021, 12, 321. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12050321
Hwang T-I. A Tentative Proposal to Use Orthodox Theological Relational Selfhood as an Alternative for Confucian-Influenced Chinese Evangelicals. Religions. 2021; 12(5):321. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12050321Chicago/Turabian Style
Hwang, Tsung-I. 2021. "A Tentative Proposal to Use Orthodox Theological Relational Selfhood as an Alternative for Confucian-Influenced Chinese Evangelicals" Religions 12, no. 5: 321. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12050321