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"A Theology of Faith-Culture Encounter and its Application to the Chinese Culture of Dao and De"

Linyi Zhai, S.J. (China)

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) with field of specialization in Systematic Theology
Adviser: Fr. Hartono Budi, S.J., Th.D.


This thesis is an attempt to develop a theology of faith-culture encounter and to apply it to the Chinese context in which Christianity is generally regarded as a foreign religion. It argues that the relationship between faith and culture must be dialogical and a contextual theology is derived from their dialogical encounter. The thesis focuses mainly on the encounter between the notions of Dao and De from Laozi’s Dao De Jing which are deeply embedded in the Chinese way of living and thinking as well as in the Christian revelation of Jesus Christ and the Christian understanding of human sin. The Chinese face of Jesus is revealed and the Chinese understanding of human sin makes sense from this Christian-Dao theology. Finally, the parallel understanding of ecological crisis between Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ and Laozi in Dao De Jing illustrates a mutual enrichment to both the Christian faith and Chinese culture.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: August 10, 2016

Board of Examiners: Dr. Joaquin Yap, Jr., S.W. (Principal Examiner), Fr. Aristotle Dy, S.J., Ph.D., and Fr. Hartono Budi, S.J., Th.D.

Proposal Defense:

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Loyola School of Theology