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News from the USCCA and the church in China

The Role of Confucian and Christian Dialogue in China Puzzle

On November 30, 2020, Prof. Diane Obenchain shared her reflections on Confucian and Christian Dialogue. Family is at the core of all spheres of Chinese civilization: government, economic organization, worship of every kind, morality and philosophical/scientific exploration and pragmatic implementation of the physical world. What has been called “Confucianism” in the West builds upon family relations, but also goes beyond the family to provide rectification/correction of certain tendencies in family relations. Family is also at the core of Western civilizations as well: Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, and more. Christian faith builds upon family relations, but also goes beyond the family to provide rectification/correction of certain family tendencies. During our time together, we will examine Chinese family relations, Confucian moral transformation of family relations, and Christian moral transformation of family relations. We will seek to discover what is shared in common and what is different in Confucian and Christian moral transformation of the family. We will close with a discussion of how we can work together in areas of shared common interest.


Dr. Obenchain was one of the first Western professors to teach at Peking University, beginning in 1988, at the time when China was reopening to the West. Now she spearheads Fuller Seminary’s engagement with Nanjing Seminary, China’s one national Protestant seminary. For more information on Dr. Obenchain click here.

additional resources

Christ and the Dominions of Civilization by Max L. Stackhouse (Author, Editor), Diane B. Obenchain (Editor) Despite the predicted secularization of the world, religion continues to grow as a global influence, one that has the power to unify or to divide. Yet contemporary discussions of globalization rarely take religion into account. The contributors to this third volume in the "God and Globalization" series investigate what happens when we account for religion as a force that shapes our increasingly common life on earth. They look at the effect of religion within and across national borders and cultures: how the world is brought together by common ethical perspectives, and pushed apart by the different ultimate concerns of each religion. "God and Globalization: Christ and the Dominions of Civilization" offers fresh perspectives and interpretations on religion and the politics, economics, and culture of globalization.

Ways of Confucius and of Christ

by Lou Tseng-Tsiang (Dom Pierre-Celestin) 2014 [1948; 1946]

When a Chinese diplomat abandons his career to enter a religious community it is commonly felt that he has made a break with his past. When the diplomat is a Chinese Foreign Minister and the community a Benedictine abbey in Belgium, the contrast is all the more startling. In this meeting of East and West, Dom Lou shows us with extraordinary insight that his life preserves an essential unity. Just as the natural order precedes and leads up to the supernatural, so he has been led from the ways of Confucius to those of Christianity and finally to the Catholic Church and monastic life.


This event was part of a collaborative public lecture series, “Exploring Christianity and Culture in China: Today and Yesterday,” cohosted by ChinaSource, the US-China Catholic Association, and the China Academic Consortium.


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