Musing with Confucius and Paul: Toward a Chinese Christian Theology

By K.K. Yeo

An innovative exploration of the relationship between Confucianism and Christianity, showing how fruitful interaction can invigorate Christian thought.

ISBN: 9780227172834


A scholarly analysis of Chinese Christianity explaining how it is possible to embrace the Christian faith while maintaining the Chinese identity and culture.

Being a Chinese Christian means to adopt a very distinctive and unique identity that feeds both traditions. In this book, Khiok-khng Yeo explores the Analects of Confucius and Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, and shows how together they provide the resources for the construction of a Chinese Christian theology.

The author explains the common elements between St Paul and Confucius, and how both ideologies complement each other or extend the areas where the other is not so thorough. The Christ of God as found in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians brings Confucian ethics to its fulfillment, while Confucius’ philosophy amplifies many aspects of Christianity that are underplayed in the western churches.

Bringing the best of the Confucian tradition into the Christian story, Professor Yeo offers an approach to help revivify global Christianity.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 506

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

K.K. Yeo is Harry R. Kendall Professor of New Testament at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary, an advisory faculty member of the Graduate School of Northwestern University, and a Visiting Professor of Peking University. He is the author of What Has Jerusalem to Do with Beijing? (1995) and Chairman Mao Meets the Apostle Paul (2002).


Foreword by Vincent Shen

Overture: Identifying with the Life-World of Confucius and Paul
1. The Textual Worlds of the Analects and the Letter to the Galatians
2. Theological Ethics in a World of Violence
3. Li and Law, Yue and Music in a World of Ritual and Harmony
4. To Be Human and To Be Holy in the New World – To Be the People of God
5. Free to Be Human in a World of Difference
6. Zhongshu (Loyalty-empathy), Xin (Trust), and Pistis (Faith) in a World of Fear
Epilogue: Implications for the Moral and Theological Identities of Chinese Christians Today

Index of Subjects
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Ancient Texts


Endorsements and Reviews

This brilliant book confronts two fundamental challenges for culture and faith in the globalising world of the twenty-first century: how can the Chinese honour their rich Confucian heritage yet be transformed by Jesus Christ? And how can the church universal be reformed through its encounter with a Chinese Christian theology? Yeo’s creative juxtaposition of core Confucian concepts with key Christian elements persuade us that Chinese Christians must not jettison their Chineseness. His sociological sensibility infuses the entire volume, engaging the most vexing social problems, offering nuanced theological reflections on the self, trust, civil society, social harmony, inequality, and political domination.
Terence C. Halliday, Co-Director, Centre on Law and Globalization