Orthodoxy and Chinese Public Theology

This was originally posted on the blog Orthodoxy in Dialogue on 14 May 2018.

9780198808695Many have noted the recent “Orthodox Renaissance” in Western studies of Christianity. Helpfully, an increasing number of Orthodox writers have produced theological primers for Western Christians. Furthermore, Western luminaries—from Aquinas to Calvin, from Barth to Torrance—have been “rediscovered” for being closet Orthodox Christians (okay, that may be a stretch) who offer their own versions of theosis. My own work has followed this latter trajectory in many senses, although it has focused on another “Eastern” Christianity—that is, the East Asian Christianity of mainland China.

My first monograph, previously reviewed on Orthodoxy in Dialogue by Michael Reardon, offers an examination into three major Protestant thinkers of 20th-century China: Watchman Nee, T.C. Chao, and K.H. Ting. Whilst representing three different theological persuasions, I show all three as having a tendency to speak about union with God—something I argue implicitly comes from the Chinese religio-philosophical teaching of the unity of Heaven and humanity (Tian ren heyi). To try to move this conversation forward, I engage Maximus the Confessor and Gregory Palamas to argue for the value of theosis and related theological themes for Chinese Protestantism.

In many ways my second work, Chinese Public Theology: Generational Shifts and Confucian Imagination in Chinese Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2018), is a sequel to this earlier work. First…

[For the rest of this post, please see Orthodoxy in Dialogue.]

Chinese Public Theology is available from Oxford University Press and Amazon US and UK.