While Matteo Ricci inaugurated a fruitful dialogue between Christianity and Confucianism, today this dialogue must account for all of Chinese culture, including Daoism. Church Fathers, such as St. Augustine of Hippo, made great contributions to theology out of their profound experience of God and the encounter between Christianity and Latin culture that has its roots in Greek philosophy. In this article, the author attempts to read the mystery of the Trinity using categories of Chinese thought. He finds helpful for understanding the Trinitarian relationship the Daoist concepts of the dialectic of harmony containing many elements: the abiding relationship of qi between the yin and the yang, the relationship between being and non-being, Dao and De, the imprints of one and three in all things, and the concept of self-emptying aiming at wu-wei (non-doing) as an ultimate goal of a human being in harmony with the Dao. He also finds that Chinese culture’s values of harmony, humility, and intuitiveness and its emphasis on relationship befit a good disposition for approaching the mystery of the Trinity, which is essential to Christianity. The proposal of this prolegomenon is that an in-depth analysis of Daoism and the Christian Trinitarian theology can contribute to the inculturation of the Christian faith in the Chinese context in ways that can contribute to the positive development of Chinese culture in today’s world.
Yan, Kin Sheung Chiaretto
"Prolegomenon to Interreligious Dialogue in China: Daoism, the Trinitarian Relationship, and Christian Inculturation,"
Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture: Vol. 6
, Article 5.
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/claritas/vol6/iss1/5