Confucianism’s influence on Asian American Christianity

August 20, 2008

Andrew Hong put together these observations about aspects of Confucianism and possible implications for Chinese churches. Confucianism may also be influential on Korean and Japanese cultures and their respective churches as well.

If you want to read more about Confucianism, you can access translations of the Analects of Confucius yourself here. The Analects is a collection of Confucius’ teachings, collected by his disciples after his death, and is probably the most important text in the Confucian canon.

Through these posts, it’s probably become obvious to you how Confucianism could influence how Chinese Christians think and behave, and how Chinese churches function in a whole range of different areas.

What I’ve done here is drawn many of those themes together so you can see, on the one hand the features of Confucianism, and on the other, how it could influence a Chinese church.
Confucianism influence

… It’s important to remember that many Chinese Christians won’t acknowledge the influence of Confucianism. This is not because they are lying, but simply because many of them won’t actually have received any formal training in Confucianism. For them, they are not being Confucians – it’s just a normal and unquestioned part of how things should be done.

… Realise also that the influence of Confucianism among Chinese Christians is not uniform. Some individuals will be more influenced by Confucianism than others…

And finally it’s important to understand that Confucianism isn’t worse compared to Western individualism. No – it’s just as un-Christian a philosophy as Western individualism, postmodernism, or modernism is. All cultures – including those influenced by Confucianism – need to be critiqued by the gospel…

[ PS: note that Confucianism hasn’t just influenced Chinese culture – it is a significant influence on the Korean and Japanese cultures as well! ]

Plus, Andrew also posted these other related entries:

Do you find these observations to be descriptive of your ethnic Asian churches experience?

What has worked well for successfully negotiating the cultural differences within a multi-cultural ethnic Asian church, so that a Gospel-centered culture is formed, rather than esteeming one culture while rejecting another?

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