Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Confucianism & Religions 孔教和各宗教

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Ha, it has finally happened: a Christian told me the other day that just because Christianity values love above all doesn’t mean that love doesn’t come with obligations, and she quoted me First Corinthians Chapter 13:


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


Well, that’s great: in orthodox Christianity, unlike what we often see nowadays in Western society, love also implies obligations. That’s really good. So, as I’ve said before, the precepts in Di Zi Gui and Confucius’s teachings are not tied to any one religion and are compatible with any religion.


Of course, Confucius spends a lot more time and present in much greater detail the mutual obligations for the different parties than the Christian Bible does. For example, the Christian Bible doesn’t have a formal analysis on the Five Cardinal Relations of government-subject, parents-offspring, husband-wife, among siblings, and between friends. A short paragraph in First Corinthians is nothing compared to the volumes about obligations in the ancient Confucian texts. That’s why not just Chinese but everyone the world over, even Christians, need to study these precepts from the Chinese tradition.


Of course, in the modern world, the Confucian tradition cannot stand alone by itself, unchanged; it needs some adaptation and supplementation. For example, I think the Five Cardinal Relations should become the Six Cardinal Relations: we need to add that between the buyer and the seller.


And the Confucian tradition has never pretended to address the hereafter, and so societies that practiced the Confucian tradition have long supplemented the tradition with religions like Buddhism. Though I am not knowledgeable about the practices of Chinese Muslims, I do know that they’ve been well integrated into mainstream society for centuries in Imperial China. Likewise the Chinese Jews like the Kaifeng Jews. So I don’t see why there should be any problem with compatibility and mutual supplementation with Christianity or any other major religion.


Feng Xin-ming 冯欣明

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We are Witnessing the Beginnings of a Chinese Cultural Renaissance

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Merry Christmas everyone! Hey, I live in the West, and a lot of people I know celebrate Christmas. And traditional Chinese teachings like Confucianism are secular and, as far as I can tell, are compatible with most religions.

Hey, besides Christmas, there’s something else to celebrate: the beginnings of a Chinese cultural Renaissance. Here’s an excerpt from the Tsoi Dug Foundation’s reply to a reader, who wrote wondering if the textual differences on the various Di Zi Gui websites might cause people to doubt and lose faith in the old Chinese teachings:

What has made most people doubt and lose faith in the old Chinese teachings is not the minor discrepancies among texts, which have been recognized and accepted for centuries in China, but the sad fact that during the past century these teachings have been blamed, wrongly of course, for China’s backwardness and despotism.

The good news is that today people are starting to turn back and look at these old Chinese teachings again, and the rediscovery of and renewed interest in Di Zi Gui is just part of this cultural phenomenon. Today we have the good fortune of witnessing the beginnings of a Chinese cultural Renaissance.

Just as in the cultural Renaissance of the West from the 13th to the 17th centuries, one voice cannot a renaissance make. While everyone pulls in the same general direction there will be much diversity, because there will be mass participation. And it will be diversity and mass participation that gives the Chinese Renaissance its strength and vitality. When spring arrives, a hundred flowers will bloom - 春臨大地日,百花齊放時。

Tsoi Dug Foundation

What I like to emphasize is that the popularity of Di Zi Gui in the last few years is part and parcel of the Chinese cultural Renaissance that we are witnessing.

Hurray! Cheers!

Feng Xin-Ming

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