Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

Tian, Tian-ming and Tian-dao: "Reason" and "Faith" in Early Chinese Thought

Author: GAN Chunsong, Professor, School of Philosophy, Pekin University



Scholars have long had heated discussions about the concept of “Tian天”in early Chinese thought, while newly excavated manuscripts and compilations of these materials have advanced understanding of key terms such as “Tian” and “Tian-ming天命”. Focussing on analyses of “Tian,” “Tianming” and “Tiandao天道” in the transmitted classics, this paper first traces and clarifies the development of early Chinese thought, and then reconsiders the paradigm of “an early rational enlightenment” and “Chinese humanism” established by LIANG Shuming and XU Fuguan, arguing that while the concept of “Tian” should not be regarded as the Creator, it never loses the dimension of “faith”.



faith, early enlightenment of rationality, Tian, Tian-ming, Tian-dao


Full Text (International Version):

GAN ChunsongSCN JSCC.pdf


Full Text (Simplified Chinese Version): 

GAN ChunsongSCN JSCC.pdf