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  • The Parable of Inculturation of the Gospel in China

The Parable of Inculturation of the Gospel in China

A Catholic Viewpoint

Gianni Criveller


English , 2003/01 CSRCS Occasional Paper Series Centre for the Study of Religion and Chinese Society, CUHK

Tags: Religious Studies

210 x 140 mm , 58pp ISBN : 978-988-97135-2-2

  • US$3.50


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In the last forty years the concept of inculturation has become prominent in the Catholic ecclesial and missionary debate and praxis. The inculturation debate heats up especially in Asia, the continent where the effort to realize inculturation seems to be more complex and challenging. The complexity of culture is obvious from its dynamics, its changing patterns, and from the existence of several subcultures within the same culture, or from the co-existence of several cultures within the same nation or people. Confronted with Chinese culture’s complex, ever-changing and pluralistic character, achieving inculturation is definitely more complicated and difficult than superficial hopes might suggest. The postmodern situation, wherein contemporary men and women find themselves, increases even more the difficulty of formulating any definition of culture. In time of globalization different cultures coexist and overlap not only within the same community, but within the same individual. Not surprisingly, the term inculturation, like the term culture, is characteristically complex, as illustrated by a large number of synonyms or closely related terms, that have been employed in the last 40 years or so, to describe this reality. The Parable of Catholicism in China remarkably illustrates the challenges, the difficulties, the successes and the failures of the process of inculturation. This paper will mention the phenomenon of Culture Christians in Mainland China, a phenomenon that has renewed hopes for an inculturated Christianity, or more specifically for an inculturated theology. The task of elaborating a Sino-theology and an inculturated Christianity present a major challenge to the Christian (including Catholic) theological and ecclesial communities in Hong Kong, and to the theological world at large.

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