Author: Oliver DAVIES, Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College London, U.K.
Chinese and Western scholars alike share a burden of responsibility to develop new ways of understanding the human which can be applied in new global contexts. In engagement with the work of Yang Huilin, this paper argues that philosophical convergence between East and West is greatly facilitated if the Western philosophical position is moderated by the findings of contemporary Western neuroscience which stress the embodied and non-dualist nature of the self. A Western philosophical reception of a non-reductive physicalism opens up the possibility of new kinds of intellectual collaboration between East and West, which can lead to new hermeneutical thematisations of the deepest commonality between cultures. This is found in our human self-awareness as communicating, embodied agents in a shared material world. This paper develops Yang Huilin’s proposal that Christian apophaticism is a significant resource in this respect.
Neuroscience, apophaticism, globalization, hermeneutics, history
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