By Yoshio Takanashi (auth.)
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Additional resources for Emerson and Neo-Confucianism: Crossing Paths over the Pacific
46 The rational Confucian doctrine of retribution applicable to this world that Nakamura pursued throughout his life provides a reason for his movement from orthodox Christianity to admiration of Emerson. Like Emerson, Nakamura denied the trinity and the divinity of Jesus Christ, fundamental Christian doctrines, and accepted Unitarianism. Nakamura had faith in the Christian God as an extension of Confucian Heaven, but he didn’t venture so far as faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Hence, he never accepted orthodoxies such as original sin, the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, and the Last Judgment.
Indeed, Emerson went much further in promoting the religious position of Unitarianism, to the point of repudiating the absolute authority of the Bible both as the book of divine revelation and as the ultimate foundation upon which Unitarians established Christian belief. An idea related to the mind as principle followed from this for Emerson. As he expressed in “The Choice of Theism,” “And if any man of honor shall tell me that his code is such to him as to exclude every action that the sternest morality would exclude, I shall think he is a Christian without knowing it.
1600– ca. 1046BC), the concept representing the highest principle in Chinese thought and belief has generally been known as Tian (Heaven ᄤ). In the Shang dynasty, Tian as the Lord-on-High was the ruler of all things in the universe, an arbitrary and angry deity. 1046–256BC), Tian was a benevolent deity who protected the virtuous and punished the wicked. In the philosophy of Confucius, who lived during this period, the political conception of Tian gave way to an ethical one; Confucius looked upon Tian as the ground of human moral standards.