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Confucian Ideas Of The Saviour In Christianity: The Assimilation Of God To The Chinese Concepts Of Shangdi And Tian

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Chapter Summary

The term "assimilation" means that the Christian concept of God and the Chinese concepts of Shangdi (Sovereign on High) and Tian (Heaven) are same. The Confucians, who have most vigorously expressed their ideas on the issue of God's existence and the assimilation between God and the Chinese concepts of Tian and Shangdi, are the Neo-Confucians, the Cultural Nationalist Confucians, and the Modern Confucians. This chapter focuses on Yang Tingyun's arguments for the assimilation between the Christian God and Chinese Heaven. The Confucian concepts of humanity, righteousness, ritual propriety and wisdom were considered by Yang as principles, which exist within human nature, since they were given by Heaven. It is clear that the concept of "Heaven", which is a personal deity, was gradually replaced by the "Heavenly Principle", which is the external impersonal objectivity and source for all principles in human beings and all things.

Keywords: assimilation; Chinese concepts; Confucian; God; Heaven; Shangdi; Tian; Yang Tingyun



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