A Response to Peter C. Phan
To Become Good Confucian Catholics
This chapter presents comments on the previous chapter’s discussion. Picking up on the chapter’s invitation to discuss the meaning of being human this chapter cites a number of classic Confucian texts to suggest several ways to pursue the dialogue. But it also notes that Confucian texts suggest that any explicit effort to articulate dimensions of transcendence is kept at a distance, preferring to focus on how one is to live in this life now. The chapter also wonders how a dialogue is possible with a very diverse tradition “for which no one in particular can speak authoritatively.” The chapter states an opinion that seriously doubts that Chinese people think that their rites are only “civil and political,” and asks whether Catholicism is really open to learning from Confucianism.
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