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By Malcolm W. Mintz

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Extra info for A Student's Grammar of Malay and Indonesian

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But it is clear from a comparison of Myōtei Mondō and Dochirina Kirishitan that in the former we see a shift away from a blind-faith idea to a more cognitive process of discerning truth, expressed using Confucian terminology. Japanese Confucianism and Japanese Christianity 37 Japanese Confucianism and Christianity: two discourses, one conflict Interestingly, a similar emphasis on discerning the principle of things and valuing innate moral goodness can be found in the writings of Japanese Confucian contemporaries of Habian, many of whom congregated in Kyoto, the city in which Habian produced Myōtei Mondō.

According to Habian, these aspects of Confucianism set it apart from other non-Christian traditions and show similarities to what Habian identifies as ‘Christian teachings’ (although the discussion of natura is obviously actually derived from scholasticism rather than Christianity). In addition to these comments, made in the chapter critiquing Confucianism, Confucian terms also appear in the last chapter of Myōtei Mondō where Habian outlines his vision of ‘Christian teachings’. As touched on earlier, Habian describes in clearly Confucian terms the function of human beings that delineates their anima rationalis and thereby gives them the potential for an afterlife.

59 In this way Tianzhu Shiyi portrays God’s presence and action in the created world in a way not seen in Myōtei Mondō. In Tianzhu Shiyi, God is present and acting. So although Tianzhu Shiyi and Myōtei Mondō are similar in their emphasis on the role of knowledge and their refusal to base their explication of Christianity 28 Japanese Christian thought on a concept of faith reliant on Church authority, the two texts differ on the key issue of where they see God acting in the universe. This is related to differences in the way they explicate the systems of scholastic-mediated Aristotelian philosophy through which they describe creation and its outcomes.

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