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Bonhoeffer and Interpretive Theory

Essays on Methods and Understanding


Edited By Peter Frick

How does the contemporary reader make sense of the life and writings of such an icon as Dietrich Bonhoeffer? The essays in this volume seek to address this question by carefully examining the social, cultural, religious and intellectual locations that inform the Sitz im Leben of a vast readership of Bonhoeffer. The focus of each of the essays is thus on the task of articulating and clarifying a hermeneutically self-conscious and responsible approach to interpreting and understanding Bonhoeffer. The authors come from widely divergent backgrounds, both geographically and intellectually, and therefore offer a wide spectrum of dialogue. Methods and approaches examined in the essays discuss themes such as gender, religion, race, ecology, politics, philosophy, literature among others.


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Andres S. K. Tang: Interpreting Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Theologyof Sociality through the Lens of Confucianism Humanism


Andres S. K. Tang Interpreting Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Theology of Sociality through the Lens of Confucianism Humanism Introduction Reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer is necessarily a vast and diverse experience for different cultures in different places and times. Being a contemporary Chi- nese Christian, I am inescapably bound up with Chinese culture, in which I was brought up. My study of Chinese philosophy from a contempor- ary philosophical perspective, especially from the point of view of German Idealism and Phenomenology, has led me to re-interpret Chinese philoso- phy in a rather differentiated way. Also, as a Christian with theological training, I have been engaged in comparative studies between Christian theology and Chinese philosophy and both of these in dialogue with Ger- man Idealism and Phenomenology. Given such a background, I come to understand Bonhoeffer’s theology by way of a detour. I am mindful of the fact that I am not approaching Bonhoeffer exclusively as a Christian, but a Chinese Christian with philosophical training and interest. As a student of Mou Zongsan (ㄸ㽺㑻, 1909–1994), a contemporary Neo-Confucian philosopher, I read Confucianism in a twofold way. On the one hand, I have come to appreciate Mou’s re-interpretation and re- construction of Confucianism by means of critically employing Kantian philosophy. On the other hand, however, as a Christian I have been find- ing alternative ways of understanding Confucianism, usually by means of a phenomenological analysis in close dialogue with the Christian tradition. Therefore, my methodological approach to Bonhoeffer is complex. I will critically engage Mou’s Confucianism...

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