Responsable: Frank Muyard

École française d'Extrême-Orient
Institute of History and Philology
Academia Sinica, Nankang 11529
Tel: +886 2 2652 3177 / 2782 9555 #275
Fax: +886 2 2785 2035

Seminar: HUANG Chin-hsing
25 APRIL 17
Speaker: Mr. HUANG Chin-hsing
(Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute of History and Philology, Vice President, Academia Sinica)
Title: 'Sage' and 'Saint': A Comparison between Confucianism and Christianity in Terms of Canonization

Date : Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 4 pm
Venue : Grand salon du 1er étage, maison de l’Asie, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris

As exemplars of practice and transmitters of doctrine, the sages of Confucianism possess a family resemblance to the saints of Christianity. In order to call attention to the unique characteristics of Confucianism as a religion, this lecture compares Confucian rites of enshrinement with the canonization of saints in Catholicism. To this end, four aspects of sagehood and sainthood are examined from four different perspectives, namely the rites involved in the recommendation of suitable candidates; the standards and qualifications for sagehood and sainthood; an analysis of beliefs from the viewpoint of social class; and the content of those beliefs. In the early 20th century, the German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) carried out research on the correlation between Confucian beliefs and membership of certain social classes. However, many of Confucianism’s characteristics as a state cult and a public religion are yet to be explored. In order to shed light on those characteristics, this article delivers a cross-cultural comparison of Confucian and Christian rites. In sum, significant differences existed between contemporary Confucianism and Christianity, the former being a state cult and civic religion, the latter a private religion responsive to the well-being and misfortunes of its individual believers. Those differences may account for the inability of modern Chinese intellectuals, who are immersed in the model of private religion, to grasp the religious nature of Confucianism.

- École française d'Extrême-Orient

This seminar is organised by Paola Calanca (EFEO) et will be chaired by Stéphane Feuillas (Paris 7) and Vincent Goossaert (EPHE).