Author: LIN Hong-Hsin, Professor, Taiwan Graduate School of Theology
In philosophy of religion, there are many ways to describe the nature of God. From the perspective of the Bible, God is both righteous and benevolent. The justice of God is not without mercy, yet the mercy of God is not without justice. That is to say, the transcendence of God is not without His immanence, yet the immanence of God is not without His transcendence. It is not appropriate to adopt Greek philosophical terms such as “Divine Substance” or “Eternal Presence” to define the dual nature of God in the Bible. Rather, it is more appropriate to describe the dual nature of God by adopting a phrase that can be traced to the Chinese philosopher Zhang Zai, “all are my kin and bound together.”
This article draws on the book of Isaiah, Edward Hicks, John Donne, Jonathan Edwards and Jürgen Moltmann to describe the essence of “all are my kin and bound together,” and engages in dialogue with Chinese thinkers and writers in order to find a harmonious mutuality between Creator and creatures; different generations; community and individual; external and internal. To interpret the sense of common solidarity expressed by “all are my kin and bound together,” the essay concludes by considering the understanding of “repentance” in the Book of Zephaniah as a turning back home.
Transcendence, Immanence, ZHANG Zai, Jonathan Edwards, Jürgen Moltmann
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