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DOI 10.12887/27-2014-1-105-10

Fr. Dariusz KLEJNOWSKI-RÓŻYCKI – ‘A Saint’ in the Chinese Culture

Cena brutto: 7,00 PLN

The Chinese civilization, which due to its remote location was developing independently of the European one, elaborated its own vision of the world and man in it: both its own cosmology and anthropology. Thus the Chinese vision of the world comprised its specific ideal of humanity, which was shaped by the native religions and philosophies of China, namely Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism (the latter brought to China from India).

Both in Taoism and in Confucianism the ideal of humanity is expressed by means of the sign 聖 (shèng), which may be rendered as both ‘saint’ and ‘sage.’ The sign in question denotes a person whose ear is intent on listening to the heavens and whose lips speak out the message thus heard, one who becomes a mediator between the heavens and the earth and gives blessing. In Taoism, a saint, or a sage, becomes the center of cosmic relations and lives in harmony with nature. Confucianism in turn identifies the ideal of humanity with keeping good social relations, which is accomplished by way of observing ritual practices, and uses various concepts in order to describe this ideal (聖 shèng, 君子 jūnzǐ, 大人 dàrén, 文人 wénrén). Buddhism postulates that a human being needs to be liberated from suffering by transcending the illusory ‘self’, and uses still other concepts that delineate the ideal of humanity (菩薩 púsà, 佛 fó). Buddhism formed its own schools in the Chinese culture, the most important of which are 禪 (chán) and 淨土宗 (jìngtǔ zōng). The Taoist and Confucianist sign 聖 (shèng) was adopted by Christianity in China in order to denote the concept of ‘saint’. The other concepts considered in the article are still being scrutinized by Christian theologians.

Translated by Dorota Chabrajska

Keywords: 聖 (shèng), sainthood, holiness, Chinese culture, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism

Katedra Teologii Dogmatycznej, Wydział Teologiczny,
Uniwersytet Opolski,
ul. Drzymały 1a,
45-342 Opole, Poland
E-mail: Dariusz.Klejnowski-Rozycki@uni.opole.pl
Phone: +48 77 4423767

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  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 20.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887