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The Preconditions For The Dialogue

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes many concepts and terms involved in Christianity and Confucianism. The author employs George A. Linbeck's definition of church doctrine to define the terms which refer to the main concepts in forming the basis and the context of the dialogue. The chapter provides an analysis of the legacy of Matteo Ricci as applied to the Confucian-Christian dialogue, and a clear understanding of what Confucianism is. It also provides an analysis of the doctrines of the main Confucians who have interpreted the Christian thesis of salvation by God, and the notion of how the Christian thesis of salvation is introduced into Chinese culture. The chapter lays out the nature of the Christian concept of God that was introduced into Chinese culture, mainly through Western missionaries. It focuses on three Chinese terms that the Catholics and Protestants have employed when speaking of the God of Christians, Tianzhu, Shangdi and Shen.

Keywords: Chinese culture; Christian God; Confucian-Christian dialogue; salvation; Shangdi; Shen; Tianzhu



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