A Confucian Reading Of Romans 7:14-25:Nomos(Law) And Li(Propriety)(從儒家角度解讀羅馬書七章14至25節──猶太律法與儒家之禮) / 楊克勤






The article begins with the a summary of debate about the interpretation of Romans 7:14-25 and offer an alternative interpretation through a Confucian reading of the pericope. The major portion of the article is an intertextual hermeneutics of nomos (law) in Romans 7 and li (propriety) in the Analects from a Chinese Christian perspective. It will be argued that the Pauline view of life in the Spirit is primarily communal and ethical, only secondarily individual and ritualistic. This view is read through the Confucian perspective of li (propriety). To live a life of li, a cultured yet natural pattern of interpersonal relationships that works through spontaneous coordination rooted in reverent dignity is the same as using the Torah without imposing its requirement on others.

Such a reading will render a hermeneutical implication that the greatest issue confronting religious people is that those who have inherited a long tradition of sacredness and religious values often in their piety and religiosity hurt and persecute people in the name of the very God they seek to please. In other words, it is possible for one to love God and yet not love people; it is possible to be set right with God and not right with people. The hermeneutical implication is supported with examples of the problem of co-existence in the multifaith context of the Asia-Pacific region.