MRI PUBLIC FORUM (15 July 2020)

“The Dao of Heaven: Inculturation of the Early Christianity in China”


- Date & Time: 15 July 2020 | 6:30 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
- Venue: Don Bosco Auditorium University of Saint Joseph, Macau Ilha Verde Campus (TBC)
- Speaker: Prof. Victor Aguilar, mccj


Looking back at the history of Christianity in China we realize how for centuries the missionaries have struggled to confront many challenges related to the inculturation of the Gospel. More specifically during the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, we may recall Franciscan, Dominican and Jesuit missionaries who have distinguished themselves in this great labour. However, the Gospel of Christ has more ancient roots in the mission of the Eastern Syrian monks who at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) announced for the first time the story of Jesus to the Chinese people using the Chinese language.
The formidable task, accomplished by the so-called “Nestorian missionaries” or the members of the “luminous teaching” (“Jingjiao”) community, chronologically constitutes the first documented engagement between Jesus’ message and the Chinese people. Two documents, entitled “Thus have I heard: On the listening of the Messiah” and “Discourse on the One-God” present a focus on the individuation, exposition, and explanation of the Christian view on God with its Christological and Soteriological concepts.
Moreover, the lecture will feature the Chinese face of the pastoral and missionary enterprise carried out by the members of the “luminous teaching” community highlighting its efforts of ‘understanding’, ‘translating’, ‘explaining’, and ‘transmitting’ the story of Jesus into Chinese categories. The model of inculturation developed by these early missionaries in China is the first invaluable approach and will remain a reference for Christian and missionaries in the Chinese context they should always learn from.


歐衛道Victor AGUILAR, STD is a Comboni Missionary living and working in Macau since 2002. He is a part-time professor of Patristics and History of the Church at the Holy Spirit Seminary College in Hong Kong. His doctoral dissertation is focused on the Corpus Nestorianum Sinicum: “Thus Have I Heard on the Listening of Mishihe (the Messiah)” 序聽迷詩所經 and “Discourse on the One-God” 一神論. A theological approach with a proposed reading structure and translation. His works also include «The “epistrophe”: Use and meaning in the writings of Dionysius the Areopagite» (PUG Rome) 1997, and 偽狄尼奧修基督論的元素 - 神思 (083) 2009.

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