Today, I came across a much better blog by a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy with the same name that I had originally chosen for this new blog, Ad Orientem
. It's a great name, and I hate to give it up after only four days, but feel I should. I'll keep the same address, though.
The new name is in honor of the great Matteo Ricci, S.J.
(Lì Mǎdòu - 利瑪竇), who described himself as a "Western Confucian" (西儒) when he brought Catholicism and Western science to Ming Dynasty China. His image above comes from the East Asian Pastoral Institute
I admit that my knowledge of Confucianism does not go beyond the reading of The Analects of Confucius
, the Book of Mencius
, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy
by Fung Yu-Lan, and some books on Korean Neoconfucianism
. Nevertheless, I have been impressed by what I have read and seen of the philosophy and vow to study it in greater detail. Visiting the Sage's tomb in 1998 and almost ten years of living in the most Confucian society on earth have also given me some insights into the philosophy.
I also hope with this name to be a bit contrarian, as many Westerners here in Korea, in their embrace of what they see as Buddhist or Taoist ideas, tend to blame Confucianism for all they see wrong in the country. Also, the name choice is a bit Jesuitical
, in that this blog is Catholic, not Confucian. As did Father Lì Mǎdòu, I see Confucianism as a groundwork on which to build Catholicism.
This aims to be a Catholic blog, through and through. Still, I did not want to include the word "Catholic" in this blog's title. Blogging under the moniker of Katolik Shinja
seemed to set up certain expectations among my Catholic and non-Catholic readers, not to mention with myself. Apologetics has never been what I was interested in, and I didn't want my political rants to come off as Magisterial pronouncements.
My only fear is that the overly scrupulous might view this new blog as an exponent of Syncretism
, not understanding that Confucianism is a more of a philosophy than a religion. Let it be said, Confucianism is metaphysically in error on many points, and the Catholic Church was persecuted here in Korea in its name. Still, its ethical, social, and political dimensions are outstanding. If the learned Father Lì Mǎdòu could call himself a Western Confucian, so can I.
Anyway, we have the same blog under a new name. I give my apologies to those who've already blogrolled me.