Essays on Methods and Understanding
Paul S. Chung: Interpreting Dietrich Bonhoeffer in East Asian Perspective: Theologia Crucis, Minjung, and Buddhist Compassion
Paul S. Chung Interpreting Dietrich Bonhoeffer in East Asian Perspective: Theologia Crucis, Minjung, and Buddhist Compassion Introduction Bonhoeffer’s work and voice is heard in the theological movement in East Asia. In the recent publication Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Sino-Theology,1 we learn that Chinese scholars in Taiwan and Hong Kong have entered into a dialogue with Bonhoeffer in view of the stimulation Bonhoeffer’s theol- ogy in a Sino-theological perspective. A ﬁtting example of the dialogue is a comparative reading of Bonhoeffer and Confucian ethics as such a reading prepares new terrain in contextualizing Bonhoeffer for a fruitful Christian– Confucian relationship.2 In South Korea, Bonhoeffer occupied a special place in minjung theol- ogy in the 1980s and continues to be an inspiring thinker for the second generation scholars of minjung theology, also referred to as Asian irregu- lar theology. This Asian irregular theology marks a socio-critical, herme- neutical renewal of minjung theology in a transcultural and postcolonial framework.3 Minjung theologians such as Ahn Byung-mu appreciated Bon- hoeffer’s theological legacy by radicalizing it in the midst of the human rights movement in the 1970s and 1980s in South Korea. According to Ahn Byung-mu (1922–1996), Bonhoeffer’s minjung experience in prison offered a hermeneutical ﬁlter for Bonhoeffer himself to sharpen his previous aca- demic theology. Finally, it also paved the way toward a discourse beyond 1 Clifford Green and Thomas Tseng (eds), Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Sino-Theology. Taiwan: Chung Yuan Christian University 2008. 2 Tang Sui-Keung, “An Ethical Case of ‘The Son Concealing the Misconduct...
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