利瑪竇性善論: 天學與漢學宋學之辨

Translated title of the contribution: Matteo Ricci on the Innate Goodness of Human Nature: Catholic Learning and the Subsequent Differentiation of "Han Learning" from "Song Learning"

羅秉祥

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

學界有一個印象,覺得儒家是主張人性善,基督宗教應該主張人性惡。所以當利瑪竇等傳教士到中國後,在中文著述中認同人性本善,當代有學者便認為利瑪竇此舉,只是為達傳教目的而做的妥協及附會。本文不贊成這個看法。透過對阿奎那《神學大全》相關篇章的研讀和對《孟子》嚴謹的分析,筆者認為利瑪竇接受「人性本善」命題是有其神學(包括原罪論)支持,而且比較接近孟子的性善論。然而,利瑪竇來華的時代也是王陽明學說流行的時代。筆者在本文透過大量文本分析,指出王陽明的性善論(人性「粹然至善」)與孟子的性善論(人性中有善苗)差異很大。因此,利瑪竇一方面肯定人性善,另一方面批評「復其初」說,有其學理根據。事實上,利瑪竇這個回歸孟子,抗拒宋明儒學的作法,是清代漢學儒生的共同立場。本文以戴震與陳澧為例子,說明他們如何既肯定孟子的性善論,但又批評宋學過度膨脹的性善論。因此,利瑪竇的性善論,意外地影響了清代儒學發展。

A large number of contemporary Chinese somehow got the impression that whereas the key tenet of Confucianism is the Thesis of the Innate Goodness of Human Nature, the key tenet of Christianity is the opposite, viz., the Thesis of the Innate Evilness of Human Nature. When Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) and his fellow Jesuit missionaries came to China and learnt Chinese culture, Ricci endorses the Thesis of the Innate Goodness of Human Nature in his Chinese book The True Meaning of The Lord of Heaven. Some contemporary Chinese scholars find this endorsement unreasonable and argue that Ricci's endorsement strains the interpretation of Christian doctrine for the appeasement of Confucian literati. This article argues that such contemporary Chinese assessments are based on a misunderstanding of Christian (especially Roman Catholic) thought. A meticulous reading of relevant sections of Summa Theologiae by Thomas Aquinas shows that there is no conflict between Catholic theological anthropology and the theory of human nature according to Menzi. However, Ricci and his company came to China when the thought of Wang Yangming, one major school of neo-Confucianism, was very influential. Ostensibly Wang also endorses the Innate Goodness of Human Nature, but a careful reading of his works indicates that there is a tremendous difference his thesis and that of Menzi. The latter advocates only that there is a "sprout of goodness" in human nature whereas the former advocates the full presence of supreme goodness in human nature. Accordingly, it is legitimate for Ricci to endorse the Thesis of the Innate Goodness of Human Nature in the sense of Menzi and simultaneously reject the Thesis of Uncovering the Supreme Goodness in Human Nature of the neo-Confucians. In fact, Ricci's stance of aligning with Menzi in opposition to Song-Ming neo-Confucianism is a common stance of most Qing Confocian scholars. For example, among his fierce criticisms, one of Dai Zhen's critiques is against the neo-Confucian Thesis of Uncovering the Supreme Goodness in Human Nature. He argues that Mengzi's view of "developing the good inclinations" is conducive to the cultivation of virtues whereas neo-Confucians' view of "uncovering our original supreme goodness," misled by Buddhism and Daoism, is not. Very recent historical scholarship in mainland China articulates a view that Dai Zhen has carefully read Ricci's book The True Meaning of The Lord of Heaven and borrows views from it. In fact, according to these historians, Dai Zhen and a closed circle of court scholars who are in charge of compiling the Siku quanshu have read all the works of the Jesuit missionaries and admire their scholarship. Hence the first encounter between Christian civilization and Confiician civilization helped develop the Han School of Learning in opposition to the Song School of Learning in the early Qing Dynasty.

Translated title of the contributionMatteo Ricci on the Innate Goodness of Human Nature: Catholic Learning and the Subsequent Differentiation of "Han Learning" from "Song Learning"
Original languageChinese (Traditional)
Pages (from-to)41-66
Number of pages26
Journal哲學與文化
Volume37
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy

User-Defined Keywords

  • 性善
  • 擴充善端
  • 復性
  • 利瑪竇
  • 阿奎那
  • 孟子
  • 王陽明
  • 戴震
  • 陳澧
  • 牟宗三
  • 孫尚揚
  • 鐘鳴旦
  • Aquinas
  • Dai Zhen
  • Han School of Learning
  • Innate Goodness of Human Nature
  • Matteo Ricci
  • Mencius
  • Song School of Learning
  • The True Meaning of The Lord of Heaven
  • Wang Yangming

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Matteo Ricci on the Innate Goodness of Human Nature: Catholic Learning and the Subsequent Differentiation of "Han Learning" from "Song Learning"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this