Christian Theology in a Chinese Idiom

A Webinar on Reshaping the Conversation

Christian Theology in a Chinese Idiom

The Christian theological conversation spans two millennia. Recently, however, more scholars have begun to recognize that, in the words of Andrew Walls, “the theological agenda is culturally induced; and the cross-cultural diffusion of Christian faith invariably makes creative theological activity a necessity.” What does that look like in practice? Doesn’t that lead to syncretism? Can’t we just teach a pure gospel?

On June 10, 2021, Dr. Jesse Ciccotti spoke on theologizing in Chinese contexts by first discussing theology as an “idiomatic activity,” that is, an activity by which Christian thought is expressed in ways that are natural to a cultural native. He then highlighted key Chinese cultural material in Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism and illustrated these with examples. He closed with a discussion of the relevance of cross-cultural theological creativity, as well as its risks.