Religious Pluralism and Intercultural Dialogue in China

Strategy and Education in the context of three teachings discourses

  • Edmond Eh University of Saint Joseph


In the history of religions in China, Three Teachings discourses develop the case for a harmonious relationship between Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism. These discourses represent a traditional Chinese strategy for the management of interreligious relations. In his apostolic letter Maximum Illud Benedict XV reminds missionaries that Christianity must not be presented as the religion of a foreign nation. The relevance of his warning is evident in the contemporary Chinese context where Christianity is widely seen as a foreign religion while Confucianism is understood to be a native cultural tradition. For the sake of the missio ad gentes, it is argued that Catholic missionaries should engage the Confucian tradition in intercultural dialogue. The paper then evaluates three main responses to religious pluralism, namely relativism, assimilation and interculturality. The paper ends with some brief remarks on the efforts at intercultural dialogue with China by a Catholic higher education institution in Macau.

Keywords: Three Teachings, religious pluralism, intercultural dialogue, Maximum Illud, Macau, China

Apr 25, 2022
How to Cite
Eh, .... (2022). Religious Pluralism and Intercultural Dialogue in China. Orientis Aura: Macau Perspectives In Religious Studies, 0(5). Retrieved from
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