[靈命省思] 他偷不走 你心底的平安光芒

【他偷不走 你心底的平安光芒】

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).

 

大約10個月前,在台北通勤換成了響應環保的電單車,也促成家裡把原來給我開的歐洲小鋼砲轎車捐給慈善機構,因為家裡這樣是徹底用不到兩台汽車了。

電單車速的一個特色,是對沿途有更貼近的路況觀察可以反應。諸如就地停下陪伴老人過馬路,或是挪走掉在地上對汽機車造成交通障礙危險的安全帽之類,是我一向瀟灑的都會行俠自然風。

不過要說最習慣做的,還是幫忙拔下路邊車主遺忘的摩托車鑰匙。從那時起算到現在,我已幫拔過三次。最近一次是禮拜一客座參加一友好單位春酒聚會的時候。我打算停巷內位置的隔壁,一整串未拔的鑰匙留在摩托車龍頭上。這台白色摩托車龍頭下手套箱看起來藏不住那麼大串的鑰匙,於是我順手把它們塞入他車墊下扣著的安全帽內盔中。

我以為如此日行一善,應該不會遭被人偷鑰匙一類的厄事,偏偏佛教的陰德善報定理是如此不管用。
──晚上回家騎著電單車要開燈時,車桿上照明用的LED燈就給人順手牽羊了!

半年來,我的車身改裝部品被偷拆過兩次。第一次是個大陸淘寶買的水壺掛。被偷時我是有點生氣,但因為它比較顯眼、車子又在外擺上了幾天,那才值個不到100元台幣的東西,你要就給你唄。

可這次LED小燈被偷,我是真的火了。第一時間OS:「台灣的某些人是神經病嗎?」這個LED同樣我也只買100多塊,你賺不到什麼,卻影響了別人夜視行車安全。

我已經兩度拴在車上的部品被偷,到底是什麼樣的人要一直做這種事?

夜騎回家路上,經過中正運動中心人行道前,突然一個閃閃的LED燈光源切過我右前側。我於是停在了那發這光的自行車旁邊。

按它一下,閃光變常駐光。再按一下,燈就關了。居然這麼巧,跟我失去的一樣是三段開關的自行車LED燈,只不過這個燈的光線強度、製造品質,都比我剛丟掉的那個好多了。

我突然想起有個西方神話寓言,是關於樵夫掉了金斧頭還是銀斧頭的。他說都不是;是掉了鐵斧頭。神讚揚他誠實,就把金斧頭、銀斧頭都賜給了他。

於是我又看了一下運動中心前自行車上那個豪華LED燈,決定再按它一下。它開始閃,就像一開始我經過它時一樣。我拍了張照。然後再按兩下,燈滅了。從此它不會繼續招順手牽羊的人注目、或是一直電力耗盡,影響車主回來騎乘時的夜視安全。

自己之這麼做,就像這幾個月來一直幫摩托車拔鑰匙的動作一般,是我一向瀟灑的都會行俠自然風。

──儘管,我剛被偷了燈,也沒有因此就得到了鑲金或鑲銀的LED燈;但當自己沒有把那個豪華LED燈的一眨一眨,作為「拔走我,讓你有光可以指引你平安回家吧!」的挑逗信號時,我忽然發現,
那閃閃發光指引我回家的,
乃是心底的那份人性良知與內在平安。
正如詩人有話說:

你的話是我腳前的燈,是我路上的光。 (詩篇 119:105)

這份光芒、這份平安,是誰也偷不走的。

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Publicités

[文摘] 神學能擁抱苦難?-一寂與鄭仰恩對談

近來佛光山星雲、慈濟證嚴兩位法師對學運訴求缺乏深刻同情的發言,讓包括學運領袖在內的年輕人敬謝不敏。從而有了佛教背景的社論網站《三際信息站》有史以來點閱率最高、達9萬的一篇批判文章〈她選擇站在堅實高牆的那一邊〉

文中舉了關廠勞工的困境,並提到

台商西進,技術、人才與資金外流,資金迴流只限房地產,貧富懸殊不翻身的悲慘時刻。宗教不能安定人心、為台灣社會建立信心、也不能為台灣年輕世代帶來希望與出路。

關於這段,吾人可以想見,一般出世的宗教,大概不會認為這是「苦難」,而是人貪嗔癡七情六欲製造出來的「業」。那麼解方,就是讓他們信教、離苦得樂。真的吃不上飯的,教會或慈濟的支持系統會給予基本溫飽,接下來按照馬司洛的需求定理,依附在宗教精神體系下,安全感、自我實現都能滿足。在宗教體系下,我們有非常多這樣「改造人心」的範例。

然而為何我們明知宗教強調「安貧」,還要強調宗教領袖必須和世人想要「脫貧」的訴求站在一邊呢?這種出世宗教領袖的言論依然不足,關鍵則在於面對惡、不公的沈沒/默、無為,也是宗教失能的表現。擁有佛教筆名的一寂表示:

宗教是對苦難有感。不會看不到既得利益者的貪婪,不會看不到政經惡質結合的護航、不會看不到行政濫權、不會看不到司法不公、不會看不到立法瀆職,不會看不到整個體制結構所縱容出來的階級對立、世代對立與社會撕裂!社會結構的不公平不流動,是所有苦難的源頭。

這篇文章的哲學申論在這個層面便收住。但它已肯定信仰的感召力,其實在於堅持人間正義的果敢先知精神,是入世的神學、公共的信仰;不會因為自己能安貧[supposedly],就輕忽「相對剝削感」對這個社會人心帶來的撕裂力道。

作者一寂有半年前有另一篇符合「苦難」和「神學」關鍵字的文章,〈鄭仰恩:神學能擁抱苦難?〉。這篇雖然不向前一文那麼能討好世俗廣大受眾,但透過鄭仰恩的信仰表述,賦予了公共神學血肉。

這篇談話的文字記錄從「長老教會社會影響力衰退的歷史原因」開始,台灣神學院鄭仰恩牧師不諱言,問題出在神學教育的人才與思想論述品質差了:

70年代,神學院的畢業生相當於大學程度,可以成為社會中堅份子,領導教會,現在社會整個程度提升了,神學院的程度並未提升,相較下,教會在社會的領導力量就在往下滑落。

談到長老教會近況,他說

主流教會在老化,傳統基督教無法吸引年輕人,靈恩運動的盛行,訴求的是情感與正向的生活形態,以特會的形式大型傳教,缺乏人文、土地與歷史的連結。

長老教會在掙扎,我們需要再生能力,宣教必須是質的思考,從教育、文化、社區做起,而不是量的思考。

在與世界的苦難認同、陪伴的十架神學/耶穌政治道路上,鄭仰恩牧師做出沈痛反省:

長老教會在台灣,曾經居於精神領導地位,但是,70年代快速都市化,80年代的解嚴,90年代政權轉移,這些事情都在衝擊長老教會的主體性,尤其是90年代的政權轉移,長老教會也曾迷失過,跟政治權力過於靠近,失去監督的立場

長老教會根本就不應該出席國家祈禱早餐會,在美國,那些有名的牧師是不會為布希總統祈禱的,尤其是在伊拉克戰爭時,那些牧師是直接拒絕出席國家祈禱早餐會,不會為戰爭發動者祈禱。

將時空格局放大,我們則在對岸中國的教會、過去的長老教會也看到先例:

三自教會就像60年代的反共護教聯盟。60年代北台灣有些長老教會的牧師組織『反共護教聯盟』,依附蔣介石,被黨政力量掌控,像孫雅各牧師也是跟蔣介石友好,才能宣教成功,中國的家庭教會,他們拒絕跟共產黨掛鉤,拒絕登記,就像70年代的長老教會。

過去,北部教會因為政治地緣關係,以軍公教為主,南部教會比較著重草根在地,現在南北已經越來越相似,跟利益逐漸緊密結合了。

 

鑑於以宣教為出發點的教會(「媒體」亦然)可能會因政權而失去理想性,鄭仰恩表示,

教會要在本土發展,就是需要考量跟政權之間的關係,教會領導者需要有更高的政治智慧與核心思考。

第一代使徒彼得在羅馬帝國傳法時,從與弱勢者結合與當權者嚴重衝突中,展現出對信仰的堅定,為『真正的信仰必須從社會實踐來檢視』立下典範;真正的信仰必須跳脫威權體制的框架,才能呈現出信仰的純淨與堅定。

問到宗教本位、宗教對話時,雖然「台灣宗教學會」、「宗教和平促進會」等團體都有在辦生死學之類的泛宗教對話論壇,但一寂對此感到很明確的欠缺,原因是這到底都是談些無關痛癢的問題,跟台灣社會沒有關係。

「為什麼我們不能聚在一起,談談台灣的國家主權問題,談出我們的擔心與恐懼,談出我們的真心話?」

問到實質做法時,鄭仰恩對於在台大師大政大帶領「長老教會大專青年團契」(簡稱「長青」)充滿盼望。長青精神是入世的改革宗傳統、能與新時代對話、與普世價值接軌,鄭仰恩已經在實踐和領導的行列中了。

70年代,有二分之一的長青人,進入神學院就學,像林永頌朱約信就是長青人,他們對教會失望,沒有進入神學院,但他們帶著長青精神進入職場,一樣對社會有貢獻。

現在念神學院的學生,雖然百分之百是靈恩背景,但是,大專聖經神學研究班是條管道,可以讓年青人欣賞傳統派的價值。

你可以想像嗎?三百多位學生,用七天的時間,什麼事都不做,只是不斷地研讀討論聖經,而且很踴躍,只要開放報名,不到兩個星期就額滿。(網站連結:屬於每個長青人的神研班大專聖經神學研究班

關於他自己個人和上帝關係的操練與效法基督的部分,鄭仰恩說:

每天讀經與早晚禱告,是一定的,我不是敬虔派,沒有刻意的宗教鍛鍊,當我實地參與社會運動時,或與大自然接觸時,就是我的宗教實踐。

 

延伸閱讀:
從基督徒社會運動觀點看公民社會

政治神學有沒有支持的體制呢?(breath35)

 

  (鄭仰恩牧師)

解開同性婚姻的政治僵局(邱慕天)

Referal Link: 解開同性婚姻的政治僵局(台灣醒報.我見我思)

1206-A1011(跨版)

解開同性婚姻的政治僵局

邱慕天(台灣醒報副總編輯、 美國三一神學院道學碩士)
德國同性戀群體的遊行活動 by Quer-Fotographie photo by Quer-Fotographie on Flickr
德國同性戀群體的遊行活動 by Quer-Fotographie photo by Quer-Fotographie on Flickr

最近被打成烏賊戰的「婚姻平權」和「多元成家法案」,其實存在於三個戰場:議場、街頭、論壇。在代議政治的民主社會中,代議士們在立法院的攻防與表決當然是法案能否通過的關鍵。但是在藍綠分裂已久的台灣議場中,很難相信這項社會法案不會變成政治分贓和籠絡選票、黨同伐異的手段。

然而對於堅持將家庭與社會法案拉到多數決根基、甚至高喊「公投定勝負」的人,比拚的卻是連署和遊行人數、聲勢與形象;於是顯現出矛盾的雙方,一面以弱勢和哀兵姿態取得媒體面前的道德上風,一面卻又急著串連同好以打壓表態的異己。

然而,整件事情最後凝聚社會共識,仍必須回歸論壇。畢竟任何一個公共議題必須有法律、哲學,甚至神學的思辯支撐,「共識」才不會淪為「民粹」。

本文希望藉助西方的德國與荷蘭在以上這三個角度,與中華民國國情相比較,期待以成熟的公民社會為目標,解開當前同婚議題所凸顯的政治僵局。

【追求共識的過程】

雖然目前送進立法院通過一讀的是婚姻平權(含同性婚姻)草案,但不論是民進黨立委尤美女和伴侶盟宣稱草案目的是「把家的屋頂蓋得更大」,或是11月30日凱道反對派遊行訴求「為下一代幸福讚出來」,正正顯示了「家」概念在民法上的擴大,從「自然/血緣概念」擴大到近似於「自由契約」的立法過程,雙方操作的手法是多麼地生硬與闇昧。

首先,問題出在:我們究竟想把法律上由傳統婚姻定義的「家」擴大成什麼?社會存在共識了嗎?

【家的語言應是自然形成】

按照當代後自由天主教哲學家麥金泰爾(Alasdair MacIntyre)的洞見,每一種生活方式,背後都有一套支撐其信念的傳統(或稱「敘事」)。

意即,儒家的家族倫理、基督教會弟兄姊妹大家庭、黑社會的結拜與盟誓、青年人間的「乾親」(哥弟姊妹爹媽)等等,都使用了「家庭」的語言,鞏固彼此之間的結合和照顧形式。但這些家庭用語正確的定義方式,係來自於這些差異化社群的內部敘事及傳統(如七俠五義與桃園三結義,和聖經),而非國家或外部權威規範。打破以客觀或權威為名的一元霸權定義,承認這些傳統多元並立,就是後自由社會理性的基本觀念。

中華民國立憲和頒佈民法後,以「自然/血緣」的成家概念,成為受法律認可和保障的基礎社會單位,採納的其實是最接近華人儒家的家族觀念,並加上源自西方基督教文化限婚姻於一夫一妻結合的家庭觀。

【一元敘事有所不足】

儒家人倫雖根深蒂固,但因一元敘事有所不足,許多自願性質結合的照顧關係,因當代社會需求和互動情境而產生,除了宗教群體、黑社會,與乾兄弟姊妹之外,孤兒院的扶養關係、兩位蕾絲邊的同居照顧關係等,都屬於這一類。

傳統親族的強制羈絆更衍生層出不窮的法律和人倫兩難,不僅給了台韓影視編劇和社會新聞記者源源不絕的題材,天天要試圖「讀懂難念的經」的民法律師也必然最有感觸。

亞理斯多德說:「要判別一個社會制度的好壞,就是看它究竟鼓勵了何種美德。」使徒保羅說:「凡事都可行,但不都有益處。 凡事都可行,但不都造就人。」(哥林多前書10:23)

基督徒若可將多元成家法案理解為「政府承認基於宗教元敘事而形成的互助關係,並願立法以容納這種關係的連結性」,當然該大推修法。而各界不論是有沒有這個需求的人,也應當無法提出伴侶制度於自身何處有損失才是。

然而進步派有點操之過急的是,這個三合一法案(連同廢除「一男一女」字眼的婚姻平權法案和家屬制度)確實已經撼動到原先的婚姻和家庭概念,在家的概念外擴之時,也強迫稀釋了「傳統家庭」的倫理性和功能性價值、強迫改變他們對「家庭」的「標準認知」和未來教育正典。

【「家」的定義應先審議】

故保守派憂懼「毀婚滅家」,本來就有其溝通合理性依據。進步派若想要說服「傳統家庭」不再這麼自私和欠缺安全感,要求傳統家庭分享他們手中牢牢掌握的獨佔之物,就需要更多太陽般的耐心,不能光北風式地批評「毀婚滅家」為無稽之談。

主要的問題還是,法律上由傳統婚姻定義的「家」擴大成什麼,是否有法律哲學專業者和倫理學專家完整的審議、是各界經由辯論後所得出的最適化定義與方案?

一如司法院大法官釋字552號所強調「婚姻不僅涉及當事人個人身分關係之變更,且與人倫秩序之維繫、家庭制度之健全、子女之正常成長等公共利益攸關」,係指當前法律保障的一夫一妻制度而言。

進一步說,現行法律所欲維繫的「人倫秩序」,其實已是各方妥協和「進步過」的產物。近代華人傳統早已彰顯,傳統婚姻甚至不是建立在「自由戀愛」(自由主義/情慾自主)的基礎上,而是依循「指腹為婚」、「門當戶對」、甚至「允許一夫多妻」的家長思維與傳宗接代觀念──「想要自由戀愛的富家子 vs. 為守護家族利益和傳統人倫要幫他配婚的母親」,也是另一流行影視偏好的衝突題材。

我國民事法庭已有以「不能人道」而准許離婚的判例,雖承認不以生養後代為結合基礎的頂客族、老年婚,但仍不排除他們有形成傳統核心家庭的「潛力」。過去諸多判例顯示,比起家族長意志,我國法理思維上更注重自由戀愛和盟約的誓言,但「傳宗」與「接代」仍然是民法使婚姻值得積極保障的理由。這套制度所表達的,因而仍然是在考量過去(尊重傳統)、現在(自由主義的公平)、未來(對下一代福祉的願景)下的道德最大公約數。

我國民法深受德國法影響,現行社會法一詞亦是繼受自歐陸法系中強調「社會公平」、「社會福利」與「社會安全」的德國(參見郭明政,《社會安全制度與社會法》,台北:翰盧,1997、2002)。但德國係在長期醞釀後,以「伴侶法」賦予同性結合類同於異性夫妻的權利,並不動到原有的婚姻與家庭的概念,實則蘊含著德國公共社群辯證的智慧。

【借鏡德國法】

我國伴侶盟則是開宗明義希望類比法蘭西共和國以「婚姻平權」(mariage pour tous)的自由主義精神立法,然則「自由、平等、博愛」的人權大旗勢必也會引起是否該承認各種亂倫婚姻的滑坡兩難(「任何雙人、甚至多人間同意締婚約結合的公民,國家有何權力不加以承認和保障?」),傳統華人社會親族與親等系統也會隨之需要進行複雜的變更和重定義,在德意志大陸民法體系的我國司法增加混亂。*

因此,台灣若遵循德國社會法精神另闢「民事結合」架構會清楚許多。追隨法國腳步重定「婚姻」定義不是不可,但背後意味著更大法律哲學基礎層面的衝突,日前立法院通過「婚姻平權」法案一讀未能將此充分考量,實為法理哲學體系與程序上的草率。

值得注意的是,台灣「婚姻平權」與「伴侶法」草案,背後並不是出自十分相同的理念。例如「台灣同志家庭權益促進會」(同家會)宣稱是想擁有穩定婚姻伴侶的;但伴侶盟背後的「婦女新知基金會」則是循著婦權運動對婚姻(共同財產制、冠姓權、婚外情懲處)批判的思路,力主能自由締約且無家族包袱的伴侶制度;此外,主張「性自主」、「裸體無罪」、「毒品合法」的性解放運動,則是更為劍走偏鋒的自由至上主義者(libertarians)。

【「柱化社會」可解套】

事實上,自由至上主義者看似激進,但「國家把干預民眾人際締約關係的髒手拿開」的呼籲,也提供了寶貴的思想起點。意即,在後自由社會承認多元社群間根本差異的基礎上,我們是否還應執著於一部規範社會人倫的大部頭民法?

在筆者看來,基督徒與性解放團體應當很早就要注意到柱化(Pillarization)社會這個選項了。意即,不同傳統社群的「典範之間落差愈來愈大」,且各自擁有上下垂直但彼此平行的社會架構,本來就是「應該的、可期的」;這才證明基督徒活得「分別為聖」。

「柱化」概念為荷蘭傳奇首相凱波爾(Abraham Kuyper)在19世紀所提出。他以改革宗思維倡議「絕對領域」(sphere sovereignty)的政治神學,意即意識型態擁有徹底差異的兩造,應循著他們的世界觀地基,自行結社打造自己的「柱子」。如分屬儒家、基督教、佛教、自由主義的社群,該創建自己的媒體、中小學、醫院、工會、銀行、保險公司、政黨、農會等等,以貫徹各自信奉的「創造論」、「性解放」、「素食主義」、「守貞運動」等等。

這樣保守團體可不必為了「不知如何教育下一代」去縮限另一個族群思想和選擇生活方式的權利,愛滋病高風險的特定族群從此也應當負起自力救濟的責任。因為「權利」本來就是身為自由之個體被上帝/上天賦予,而「國家資源」則來自於個體的稅收貢獻。

【尊重多元並立的社會】

柱化社會的理想,應該是讓社會那些沒有高度共識的競爭敘事典範能夠真正地「多元並立」。荷蘭柱化社會有基督教、天主教、社會民主派的「三本柱」,除了需要以國家為代表進行的事務外,政府只負責協調和監管(保障公平);讓「看得見的手」退到自由市場人民協商行為的背後去。

廣大的「中立」家長或學生們當然可以選擇「好」的學校、工會、媒體等。如果不想失去市場給對手,各社群就必須要「維繫品質」和「證明其生活模式與道德願景之優越」(自由市場競爭導致各自的最優化)。

10422979

荷蘭能獨步全球在1998年就有(同性)伴侶法、2001年通過同性戀婚姻(以及全球第一個安樂死合法化、大麻合法以及妓女合法),自是歸功於已累積運作百年的後自由柱化社會,而非偶然(同樣柱化程度極高的比利時、西班牙則在其後的2003、2005年成為通過同婚的二、三名)。荷蘭基督教會依然可拒絕為同性戀證婚,社會並不因此混亂。

因此嚴格說來,國內以基督教右派為主的保守團體,若要貫徹幸福家庭的榜樣,本應要求國家釋出讓他們「造柱」的權利,和自由派一同要求縮編尾大不掉、效能不彰的政府;而非反過來幫國家固權,以國家法律為自身信仰傳統和意識型態背書,彷彿「聖經」沒有了「尚方寶劍」,就沒有安全感一般。

【雙方都找國家背書】

權利與義務永遠應當對等。柱化社會以白話來說,就是擁有豐沛創業和自主結社動能的公民社會,這點台灣遠不如法國、義大利、以色列、澳洲,以及清教徒共和主義的美國。偏向德國社會福利思維的台灣人民,遇事呼喊「父母官」,哭問「政府在哪裡?」彷如仍活在封建或帝王時代。

以時下多元成家的坊間論述為例,許多年輕支持者在強調個人權利時是「自由主義」的右派思維,但對於國家需要保障人際關係、工資、福利時,使用的則是徹底「社群主義」的左派福利國觀點。在人們認為兩套相左論述都可以用「正義」(justice)一詞協調時,麥金泰爾冷冷問了一句:「誰的正義?何種理性?(Whose justice? Which rationality?)」

這種矛盾既反應在我國法律的哲學詮釋層面,同時也是欠缺神學遠見的台灣人文所致。

【學習共善精神】

表面上,台灣靠向德國法設立「伴侶法」,即可達成同志戀人族群實質(de facto)的平權。但德國民法也是建立在國家機器對夫妻「離婚」或伴侶「解消關係」較強的干預基礎上(需一段時間的調查認證;不存在立即的單願或兩願解消),才得以相對給予這些「家庭關係」更多的權利和保障,進而提升兒童人權,整個制度走向凝聚社群和社會共善的方向。

在德國當代舉足輕重的哲學家洛維特(Karl Löwith)和神學家潘寧博(Wolfhart Pannenberg)在他們最關鍵的公共論述中都認定,德國在法律、風俗、宗教三者取得道德的平衡點,須歸功自由派為主的德國基督新教文化為社會注入的宗教寬容(religious tolerance)和共善(common good)等人文精神。

而台灣的基督徒雖為社會少數,又是保守右派,不論是對傳統民間信仰或是異見社群,向來不是以「包容」著稱;這次突然想要緊抓一部德國自由新教「社會共善」和寬容精神背書的民法,樣子就像是拿起自己未曾付出辛勞造的「磚頭」,在砸向對手之際一不慎就先砸了自己的腳。

筆者主張,「家庭」是社會基本組成單位,歷史上比國家悠久、社會學上比國家更基本,而宗教亦然。因而若有此多元文化主義認知,目前距離台灣較遠的荷蘭「柱化」的後自由社會,則是可以及早開始預備的方向。意即,若台灣多元文化社群間,堅持「一個家庭,各自表述」,並都認為其世界觀和生活方式具有整全性(integrity)、無須在未來糾纏對方收拾「爛攤子」,那就當讓人們「分而治之」,國家也無須操心了。

而即使是「先上車,後補票」的最壞情況,我們對於公民社會的茁壯也還有樂觀的餘地:即透過強推同婚和多元成家,激化「不知如何教育下一代」的保守團體自行興學、退出國民教育系統,以及要回政府(醫療、教育等)相關預算。

事實上,比起自主社群與公民間彼此的不信任,台灣真正令人害怕的,是人民繼續無知地將命運交給這個缺乏問責和前瞻性,卻異常龐大失控的政府擺佈,在彼此控訴消磨中延宕了對宏觀生命經歷的追尋。

其他參考閱讀:

(photo by Photocapy on Flickr)
荷蘭的自由必須歸功於已累積運作百年的成熟柱化社會及後自由多元文化思想(photo by Photocapy on Flickr)
Some Related past articles

[文摘] « The Future of Theological Ethics », Studies in Christian Ethics, May 2012; 25 (2)

Source: http://sce.sagepub.com/content/current

This issue of SCE journal has some excellent contributions. See Below with my comments.  這期基督教倫理學期刊(2012年五月號)太讚了,內容幾乎全是圍繞著當前的劍橋後自由學派展開,值得導介一番。

Christian Public Reasoning in the United Kingdom: Apologetic, Casuistical, and Rhetorically Discriminate

  1. Nigel Biggar, Christ Church, Oxford OX1 1DP, UK Email:nigel.biggar@chch.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

Since the 1960s Christian ethics in Britain has become stronger, more theological, and more Protestant, so that its moral intelligence is now much more fully informed by the full range of theological premises. In the future, however, Christian ethics needs to make up certain recent losses: to re-engage with moral philosophy, in order to rebut the glib dismissal of religious ethics by popularising atheists; to read less philosophy and more history, in order to become plausible to public policy-makers; and to revive the model of interdisciplinary work, in order both to understand the matter which it would interpret morally and to inject Christian analyses and judgements into the bloodstream of public discourse.

  • 對當代英語學界神學思想史和倫理學研究具有先知開創地位的 Biggar 為本期提供了一個宏觀的開場和學術掌故。這是本領域舊雨新知必讀的一篇論文。

Reasoning from out of Particularity: Possibilities for Conversation in Theological Ethics*

  1. Daniel H. Weiss, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9BS, UK Email: dhw27@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

Frequently, theological particularity can hinder attempts at inter-religious conversations in theological ethics, as each tradition’s reasoning is inextricably bound up with core doctrinal elements not shared by other traditions. I argue, however, that elements of particularity can facilitate conversation when emphasis is placed on movements of ethical reasoning between particular statements within each tradition. By examining the classical rabbinic practice of verbal forewarning in capital cases, I show that although the starting point and ending point of an instance of theological reasoning may be ‘exclusivistic’, the relationship between those points can serve as the basis for comparison and dialogue.

  • 寫這篇的 Weiss 就是他家大老 David Ford 的打手。根本論述是 Scriptural reasoning 的那一套而沒有突破。這篇論文的貢獻在於掃盲,而對英倫系統的後自由神學的進展沒有幫助。

Evolutionary Theory and Theological Ethics

  1. John Hare, Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA Email: john.hare@yale.edu

Abstract

This paper is about the problematic interface between evolutionary scientists’ talk about ethics and current work in philosophy and theology. The paper proceeds by taking four main figures from four different disciplines. The four disciplines are neurophysiology, cognitive psychology, primatology and game theory, and the four figures are Joshua Greene, Mark Hauser, Frans de Waal and Ken Binmore. The paper relates the views of each of these figures to recent work in philosophical and theological ethics.

  • Hare 提供的是當前很重要的一塊拼圖,意即從哲學上主流的無神論自然哲學系統(偏唯物論的實用主義)來協調神學倫理學的地位。畢竟沒有這一塊,神學就不可能在哲學邏輯上完全沿展開而成為在學術和社會上都站得住腳的公共神學,而難免只是信徒自己抱殘守缺的吶喊。

Response to John Hare

  1. Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9BS, UK Email: sc545@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

John Hare’s paper successfully exposes philosophical naïvéties and reductive pretensions in the evolutionary research he surveys. But he fails to clarify how ‘God’, on a view such as Dominic Johnson’s, could not be seen merely as a dispensable projection of ‘primitive’ societies, and thus how his own continuing commitment to a Kantian ethic might need to be bolstered by a concomitant form of ‘natural theology’ attentive to evolutionary dynamics.

  • 目前在公共神學上,將哲學沿展到極限的成果,將能得到一種有神論,也就是Kant 自然神論、實踐理性,和神導進化論的三點一線。可是Coakley 在這指出,這個工程在純哲學上還做得不到位(至少在Hare所整理出的四大論述中是如此)。因著 Coakley 本於正統基督教神學的立場,她會認為純哲學系統下來為神學的公共性制訂疆界,會仍無法脫離當初自由神學Feuerbach把「神學」搞成「人學」的困境。

The Future of Theological Ethics

  1. Raymond Geuss, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CE3 9DA, UK.

Abstract

The traditional discipline of apologetics contained an important insight about the necessity for Christians to address non-Christians about their practices and beliefs; however, in the modern world apologetics needs to be refocused to include not just non-Christians who have specific theoretical objections of Christianity, but also the large number of those who are simply indifferent to religious issues.

  • Geuss 一直是我極為欣賞的哲學家,屬於當前英語學界少數極為精通歐陸脈絡的一流學者。他在這非常精闢地指出,向來走在神學倫理學之前的護教學也必須跟著轉型,它不能光只跟那些反對宗教的人對話(也就是 negative apologetics,防禦性的「消極護教學」),更需要在這個時代使那些根本就不關心宗教的人正視宗教(上帝)存在的價值和必要性(也就是 positive apologetics,進攻性的「積極護教學」)。由他來說出這句話,比 Alvin Plantinga 還更為鏗鏘有力。

The Future of Theological Ethics

  1. Oliver O’Donovan, New College, Edinburgh EH1 2LX, UK Email:oliver.odonovan@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

Ethics is distinguished as a field of study within the realm of organised knowledge which interprets moral experience. Christian ethics assumes this interpretation into the hermeneutic framework of Christian theology in relation to a hope for the renewal and recovery of human agency. Its theme is moral thinking in general, which it understands within the framework of faith. It is dependent on philosophical ethics, but presumes and aims at more. The concepts handled by theological ethics include analytic categories coined to describe the operations of moral thought itself, concepts that name qualities and performances of universal importance, and concepts belonging both to dogmatics and ethics, e.g. ‘sin’. It is concerned to describe the ‘architecture’ of life in the Spirit: World, the framework of meaning, Self, the agent, Time, the immediate future open to action. It resists pressure for theoretical economy in favour of unipolar theories. Its tasks include critical engagement with issues of policy or practice in wider discussion, engagement with particular moral dilemmas, the exploration of special fields, such as bioethics, marriage, economics, critical conceptual interaction with philosophy, interaction with biblical exegesis, exposition of texts from the tradition of theological ethics, and comparative intertraditional enquiry.

  • 屬於保守脈絡的 O’Donovan 這篇沒有什麼洞見,只是掃盲。

A Metaphysical Kant: A Theological Lingua Franca?

  1. Christopher Insole, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham, Abbey House, Palace Green, Durham DH1 3RS, UK Email:christopher.insole@durham.ac.uk

Abstract

I track a strand of intellectualist theology, running from Kant’s pre-critical into his critical work, whereby the divine will is constrained in its creative activity by the divine understanding. I suggest that Kant’s intellectualist theology continues to do important work in his mature conception of transcendental idealism, transcendental freedom and autonomy. I consider briefly how this might impact upon theological ethics, particularly in relation to the conflict between Kantian secularists and religious believers. I conclude by asking whether Kant’s intellectualist theology—with its Platonic strands—opens up possibilities for inter-faith dialogue.

  • 這是一個目前卡住英倫系統的後自由神學極為關鍵的課題,也就是「Kant 自然神學究竟需要做出什麼幅度的修正,才有可能成為(跨宗教)公共神學的基礎」。這篇文章大致來說,Insole 明顯對 Kant 系統有所偏袒,太信心也太樂觀了。我認為可以指出的包含三個修改議程:第一點,是從(Kant)超驗唯心論到(Barth, Merleau-Ponty, Wittgenstein)批判實在論的距離。第二點是把上帝當成義務論基礎的「上帝身份」問題。第三點是把上帝當成義務論基礎的「義務論」內容問題。

The Future of Theological Ethics: Response to Christopher Insole

  1. Robert Gibbs, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto, 170 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8, Canada Email: robert.gibbs@utoronto.ca

Abstract

I shift the focus from questions of rational theology to questions of law and interrogate the nature of ethics from the perspective of Jewish philosophy. The key critical issues for criticising Kant’s philosophy will be the separation of ethics and law and the reduction of the sollen of morality to a kind of necessity. Nonetheless, I suggest that Jewish thinkers will follow Kant in thinking about God first from the perspective of practical philosophy.

  • Gibbs 的回應集中在我前面所提出的義務論問題。直接以 Kant 為公共神學基礎的後果,將產生主體「能動性」和「意志」被「單元化」的問題,下場不若是:倫理被教條/律法化,人類服從上帝的「倫理行動」淪為機器人服從主人命令的機械行為,以及「實踐理性」被化約為如同計算機科學一樣的生冷數學公式。

Concluding Remarks

  1. Christopher Insole, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham, Abbey House, Palace Green, Durham DH1 3RS, UK Eamil:christopher.insole@durham.ac.uk

Abstract

I suggest some ways in which a certain type of ‘post-foundationalism’ has had a deleterious effect in theological ethics. Much ‘post-foundationalism’ is in truth still foundationalism, albeit less reflective and more permissive, leading to a balkanised plethora of foundationalist systems. Although Wittgenstein is critical of foundationalism, it is by applying Wittgensteinian insights that we are able to avoid some of the reductive and unipolar thinking that has characterised some recent theological discussion.

  • Insole 這篇也是必讀的。不少走 Barth、Lindbeck 路線的後自由教會和神學院都走向了一種「非基礎主義」的真理觀。如果站在教會合一的大公基礎上,那這表面上是沒問題的。但如果再加入與猶太教、伊斯蘭教,到佛教或無神論之間不同親近度的關係,就會明顯發現原先「非基礎主義」提供的層次仍然遠遠不夠厚實和細膩(也就是仍有化約主義的毛病)。因而從歐陸批判理論的角度看這裡必須輔以 Habermas,而從分析哲學而言所需要的解鈴人正是 Wittgenstein。Insole 正是從 Wittgenstein的脈絡出發,把批判實在論這塊拼圖補上。
  • 只是個人未必會完全同意 Insole 的結論:為免基督救恩的獨特性褪色,我仍然強調「基礎主義」(post-foundationalism)是比「新基礎主義」(neo-foundationalism)更值得在神學上堅持的立場。

[省思] The courage of Chai Ling… was it induced by a dose of spiritual opium?

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‘I Forgive Them’: On the 23rd Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989

By  (Founder of All Girls Allowed)

Two decades ago, the Chinese government’s crackdown in Tiananmen Square left hundreds of my fellow students dead. Since then a new generation has grown up in China, and many of them are kept in the dark about what happened on this day in China’s history.

To me it seems like just yesterday. I began that day with great hope and anticipation for a new China, but it ended as a day of unspeakable sorrow. Now, 23 years have passed. Many things have changed: people grew older, and some key Communist Party leaders from 1989 have passed away. But many people — whether they say this openly or not — know that this chapter of China’s history has not closed yet.

How will this chapter be written? How will the story end? The world still watches China with great interest, as the recent cases of Chen Guangcheng and Bo Xilai proved. For the past 23 years, I too, have tried to understand the meaning of Tiananmen. I vividly recall that last hour: standing at Tiananmen Square, watching in disbelief as a disaster unfolded around us.

As I was writing A Heart for Freedom, I finally understood. There could only be two futures for China: an outcome of continued fear, or a destiny that opens the door to true freedom — and forgiveness.

In the Hebrew scriptures, King David’s son Absalom rebelled and took the throne from his own father by force. Even in the face of this betrayal, David forgave his son. He told his generals that they should show mercy if they overcame the rebel army and captured the wayward son: « For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom. » (2 Samuel 18) But when Absalom was found alone and vulnerable, the generals chose to ignore David and kill Absalom — thus continuing the pattern of violence.

I know that those responsible for oppression in China will also find themselves vulnerable one day, just like Absalom did. And so the question stands: When that day comes, will China continue with a pattern of harsh retribution, or a will it begin a path of grace, mercy and compassion?

You may wonder how China’s seemingly immovable leadership will ever be vulnerable. The answer is: it is human, it has always been vulnerable, and it is more vulnerable now than ever before.

There is little true security in China, even for leaders. Power, money and military or police forces can give a few people temporary wealth and stability, but these things cannot provide lasting security.

In 1989, the number two leader Zhao Ziyang lost all his power and freedom for disagreeing with Deng Xiaoping’s decision to use force against students at Tiananmen. Later, so did a strong hardliner who initially supported the move: former Beijing mayor Chen Xitong was sentenced to 16 years in jail. And now Bo Xilai has fallen from grace. These leaders may have looked invincible from the outside, but they lost everything. As Chen Xitong confessed recently in a Chinese interview, « In all those high level political battles, each side is trying to outdo the other side by being more cunning, more malicious, and more brutal. »

The system in China suppresses humanity and compassion. It imprisoned and persecuted Chen Guangcheng, a blind attorney, for advocating on behalf of 130,000 women who underwent forced abortions and forced sterilizations. The climate of fear and self-preservation can affect all levels of society. A woman named Mei Shunping testified last month that two of the five forced abortions she suffered in China came after her co-workers reported her pregnancies to officials. Last fall, over a dozen people walked right past a dying toddler after she was run over by a van in a street.

This is the atmosphere that we students wanted to see end at Tiananmen. It is painful for me to remember what happened on that June 4th, 1989, when I witnessed the death of a dream. I still mourn for what « could have been. » And for a long time, I battled bitterness and anger whenever I thought of the leaders who chose to take a path of destruction that day.

But then I was confronted with the example of Jesus. He loved women, children, the poor and the oppressed in a way that was radically countercultural — and he called me to do the same.

He also forgave the very people who ridiculed him and nailed him to a cross: « Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. » (Luke 24:34)

And again, he called me to do the same. (read more)

Chai Ling: forgiveness is not forgetfulness
Chai Ling: forgiveness is not forgetfulness

For those who did not know, Chai Ling is the Chinese expatriate (currently residing in Washington DC) who is renowned for her leadership and involvement in the Tiananmen Square incident 23 years ago. After exiling to the USA, she became a believer of Jesus Christ, which consequently dramatic transformative effect in her personality. Jesus Christ has has purportedly set her free from her hatred (against the Chinese government) and guilt (for the death of her compatriots/companions).

However, her public self-disclosure of such an attitude has provoked the Chinese people and the media. On the one hand, her speech is diametrically against the grain of those 180,000 demonstrators just rallied in Hong Kong at the night of June 4th, which is about undoing the injustice. On the other hand, the fact that she just forfeited her accountability to those dead demanded on her part -in plain conscience- sounds obnoxious to those who expect her to fulfill her part in bringing justice to the victims/martyrs.

To be honest, I I sense that I am on the same page with Chai Ling. As my life is honed by God and as I genuinely take Christianity inside of my heart, I no longer consider poverty, failure, and celibacy a curse or something unbearable. I totally understand how and why she is encouraged and impelled to say these by the sort of gospel she receives.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:19 says, ‘Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: « It is mine to avenge; I will repay, » says the Lord.’

And King David instructs us in Psalms 37:1, « Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong. »

Again and again, the Bible plainly discourages any kind of negative attitude that was somehow paradoxically the uniting theme among the 180,000 demonstrators rallied in HK. In addition, the Bible also discourages any association with earthly power as a means to achieve justice, because otherwise we just won’t have genuine peace- either externally or internally.

As a reward of our Christian faith, I am granted inner peace that frees me from resentment, anxiety, and jealousy, as Chai Ling’s inner peace frees her from hatred and guilt.  Common to both of our spiritual pilgrimage is a phase of conversion called ‘inner healing’ that is supposed to take away our negative feelings and hurt in exchange for a sense of tranquility in our heart.

However, there is no denial that genuine peace could by no means be divorced from the pursuit of justice. Justice requires concrete actions to attain and maintain.

The real challenge for Christians (Chai Ling and me) is to be no less radical in our insistence for social justice while being less committed/passionate in matters of the world. For the more I can endure hunger, poverty, pain, loneliness, and failure, naturally, the less I tend to feel compassionate to those who suffer from shortages of food, wealth, medical care, and want of upward social mobility. My faith has alleviate my negative feelings about these things. And as I see no need of bothering myself so such and striving so hard to get myself rid of these « miserable » condition (since I no longer feel ‘miserable’ being as such, and now my motivation of life is to imitate the mind of Christ, instead of ‘getting fed, getting rich, getting well, or getting successful), I naturally feel less urged to identify myself with these [leftist and materialist] causes.

It boils now to this: Can we still be for the world as much once we feel that we are only in the world but are not of the world?

Karl Marx has a reason to think that we are victimized by spiritual-opium overdose, if the cure which the Christian belief brings to us is through making us more insensitive/numb to pain.

However, this should not be the case and is never the case for Jesus, Son of God and Founder of Christianity, who, according to the Epistle of Hebrews, is perfectly capable of empathizing with us precisely because He also suffered and endured. His passion drives His Passion as he acts out to redeem us with His life- not just praying for us.

Divine impassivity is a big doctrinal lie, a foreign (Greek) notion to the revelation of the Christian scripture, and our modelling after God should not be built upon such a lie.

Back to Chai Ling, we might say that since she prays for external peace, her faith is far from inactivity. But if this means that the divine justice she longs for has to be brought out by others committing their lives and getting their hands dirty, then she is really closer to Anabaptists than she is to Jesus.

In this sense, Dietrich Bonhoeffer is closer to the example of Jesus- he is willing to get his hands dirty, but such a willingness is driven by compassion- for people’s lives, rather than hatred- against the Nazis.

As Mirosalv Volf correctly says, reconciliation could never be achieved without the repentance and a degree of justice being done.

Thus, it is one thing to say that we are ready to forgive (ourselves as well as the offenders), but quite the other to say that genuine reconciliation could take place in this way. Reconciliation requires forgiveness on the victim’s part, repentance on the offender’s part, and justice on the external structural level.

As we can see from the gospels, Jesus’ forgiveness of the tax collector Zacchaeus is only the first step to set his relation right with God, but his reconciliation with God and the whole world did not take place until his true repentance led to corresponding actions (sharing his wealth and repaying fourfold for those unjustified gains).

We Christians all enjoy the soft and loving gospel, and it is a temptation:

  • we forgive ourselves and everyone (but we are not fixing it with concrete, in-person, measures);
  • we pray for those who suffer (but we do not feel compelled to fight for them as we cannot identify with their ‘un-Christian’ and overly ‘materialist’ causes);
  • we pray for those offenders (but we are not as committed in taking their wicked claws/power off as if God could not make this happen without human collaboration on our part).

These are all good. Nonetheless, the gospel is more than these. If we have not grappled with the controversial gospel of Jesus, we probably have not gotten our Christian faith right.

Controversial gospel and spiritual sensitivity, hum? Indeed. Let’s remember, God in Jesus Christ never loses His spiritual sensitivity. He is by no means of incapable of identifying with our groaning and mundane causes (all the while he could never be subdued to it). He feeds the hungry, heals the wounded, liberates the oppressed, and vindicates the wronged. There is also no compromise to structural evil in the cause of Jesus Christ.

Our imitation of Christ is far from the real deal, if we cannot « rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who. » (Romans 12:15)

Specifically, Chai Ling might not need to become the ‘queen’ over the HK crowded who rallied under the Tiananmen cause. As a follower of Christ, she should not.

However, she must not let her speech discourage such causes: justice and vindication. A step further for we Christians after attaining inner peace must lead us to act more resolutely and [com]passionately for the broken souls of the world.

That is the one extra mile we need to walk with our Lord and with the world.