Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

Limits of Scripture and Limits of Reason: On Confucianism and "Scriptural Reasoning"

Author: Ralph Weber, Researcher and Lecturer, URPP Asia and Europe, University of Zurich, Switzerland



This article is about scriptural reasoning (经文辩读), a relatively new trend in philosophical theology, and more specifically about the possibility of including Confucianism in this endeavor. It is an explicitly normative endeavor claiming a value for scriptural reasoning, as I will show, at three different levels. The question whether Confucianism could participate in scriptural reasoning may accordingly be answered differently relative to these three normative levels. To approximate an answer, I proceed by subjecting the notion of a ‘Confucian scripture’ to conceptual analyses based on the English word ‘scripture’ and based on the Chinese character jing 經, which is frequently said to be the classical Chinese equivalent of the English ‘scripture’. These conceptual analyses will allow for some comparative observations and will prepare the ground for a critical assessment of the possibility of including Confucianism in practices of scriptural reasoning.



Scriptural Reasoning; Confucianism; scripture; Jing


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