How Can One Be A Taoist-Buddhist Confucian?--
        A Chinese Illustration of Multuple Religious Participation

        Chenyang Li

        Monmouth College

        International Review of Chinese Religion & Philosophy
        Vol. 1, MARCH 1996.  pp.29-66



        For many  people  in the  West, a person's  religious
        affiliation is a matter of total commitment; choosing
        one religion  implies one's being excluded from other
        religions.   People   in  the  West  may  think  this
        characteristic is one of being religious itself.

        Can a person integrate two or more distinct religions
        into his life? This essay aims to enhance  a dialogue
        and hence mutual understanding  between  the West and
        East  on this  matter  by  showing  how  the  Chinese
        practice of religion  is different  from that of most
        Westerners. My task is not merely to point out a fact
        or to present historical examples in this matter.  It
        is rather to help Westerners at least make some sense
        of  the  practice   of  Chinese  multiple   religious
        participation  by  putting  my  case  in  words  most
        accessible  to lay persons.  I will  show that in the
        Chinese   culture   there  is  a  fairly   harmonious
        interplay  between these three religions, not only in
        society as a whole, but in individuals as well.


        1.The Question

            For many people in the West, a person's religious
        affiliation is a matter of total commitment; choosing
        one religion  implies one's being excluded from other
        religions.  A religious  person  is either affiliated
        with religion A or religion  non-A, not both.  One is
        either  a  Christian  or  a  non-Christian,  e.g.,  a
        Judaist.  Within  the  Christian  tradition,  one  is
        either  Catholic  or  Protestant.   If  you,  of  one
        affiliation, want to be affiliated  with another, you
        need to be converted  to another.  Although there are
        ecumenical  conferences   and  organizations   mainly
        within Christianity , few people are ecumenical or
        interfaithful  across different religions.  People in
        the  West  may think  this  characteristic  is one of
        being religious itself.

            Can a person integrate two or more distinct religions
        into    one's    life?    Our    exploration     into
        multiculturalism  and religious pluralism must answer
        this  question.  The  issue  is not whether  one  can
        integrate  or combine elements  of various  religions
        together   to  make  up  a  new  religion,  which  is
        certainly  possible and has been done.(note 1) It is
        rather a matter of subscribing to different religions
        by the same individual  without being converted  from
        one religion to another. The renowned theologian Hans
        King called  this question  that of "dual citizenship
        in faith,(Note  2) or, as I will  discuss  in this
        essay, more  appropriately, it is  "multi-citizenship
        in faith."

            In recent years, along with the multiculturalism
        movement  there have been Louder voices among Western
        theologians  talking  about religious  pluralism  and
        religious  diversity.  For example, in support of his
        position of religious pluralism John Hick, one of the
        most  prominent  contempo-rary


        rary Western theologians, recently quoted from the Chinese
        Taoist Classic  Dao De Jing  (Tao Te Ching) and
        embraced the idea that "the Tao that can be expressed
        is not the eternal  Tao." For him, it means  that the
        Ultimate  Reality  or Truth  can never  be adequately
        expressed and grasped by humans. Hick proposes that a
        distinction  be made  between, on the  one  hand, the
        transcendent  Ultimate and, on the other, a plurality
        of masks or faces or manifestations  of this Ultimate
        "as Jahweh, as God the Father, as the Qur'anic Allah,
        as Brahman, as the  dharmakaya, and  so  on.(Note 3)
        The  transcendent  Ultimate  (the  Tao? )  cannot  be
        directly  expressed  or  grasped  in  any  particular
        religion.  For Hick this distinction  is analogous to
        the one "between the kantian noumenal Transcendent or
        Real  or Ultimate, and  its  plurality  of phenomenal
        manifestations  within human consciousness."(Note 4)
        Accordingly,  every  one  of  the  (major)  religious
        traditions  can  be true, yet no one has the ultimate
        truth.  While  this understanding  appears  to open a
        door for multiple religious participation, Hick shows
        a distaste:

            "we  have   to  ask  concerning   these   primary
            affirmations  whether  they  conflict  with  each
            other.  They conflict  in the sense that they are
            different and one can only centre one's religious
            life wholeheartedly and unambiguously upon one of
            them...   but  not  more   than   one  at  once."
            (Note 5)
            John Hick's distaste  for multiple  religious
        participation  is,  of  course, not  untypical  among
        Western theologians. Hans Kung maintains that one can
        hold multi-citizenship  culturally and ethically, but
        not religiously.  He claims  that  "even  with  every
        cultural and ethical possibility for integration, the
        truth  of every  religion  extends  to  a depth  that


        ultimately challenges every person to a yes or no, to
        an  either-or...   Therefore, ...  a  religious  dual
        citizenship  in the deepest, strictest sense of faith
        should  be excluded--by  all  the  great  religions."
        (Note 6)

            One might  be able to find support  for this kind
        of exclusionism  from  the  scriptures.  In the  Holy
        Bible,  for   instance,  the   first   of   the   Ten
        Commandments  is that  "You must  have  no other  god
        besides me." In Exodus 20 it states:

            "God  spoke  all these  words: I am the Lord your
            God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land
            of slavery. You must have no other god besides me.
            You must not make  a carved  image  for yourself,
            nor  the  likeness  of  anything  in the  heavens
            above, or on the  earth  below, or in the  waters
            under the earth. You must not bow down to them in
            worship;  for I, the Lord your  God, am a jealous
            God, punishing  the children  for the sins of the
            parents  to the third  and fourth  generation  of
            those who reject me."(Note 7)

        This passage clearly demands a total devotion from the
        worshippers. If a worshipper of this god is to follow
        these  words, he or she cannot  but reject  all other
        gods.  Of course, for such a person, this  god is not
        just a god; it is the god, or simply, God. Therefore,
        it is no surprise that the idea of multiple religious
        participation  has been rejected  almost entirely  in
        the Western Christian  circle.  As John H.  Berthrong
        observed,  "For  most  Christians,  that  people  can
        belong  to more than one community  of faith seems at
        best confusing and at worst, damning."(Note 8)

            But exclusionism certainly is not characteristic
        of religion per se.  For example, a recent article on
        Buddhism  in USA Today specifically  points  out that
        "Buddhists can be involved in other  religions."(Note 9)
        As a matter  of fact, as I will  show  in this essay,
        "multi-citizenship"  in religion  for the Chinese  is
        nothing new but a part of everyday life.

            My purpose here is to enhance a dialogue and hence
        mutual  understanding  between  the West  and East on
        this matter by showing  how the Chinese  practice  of
        religion  is different  from that of most Westerners.
        For this purpose, my task is not merely  to point out
        a fact  or to present  a historical  example  in this
        matter. It is rather to help Westerners at least make
        some sense the practice of Chinese multiple religious
        participation.  Therefore  I will have to put my case
        in words most accessible to lay persons;  I will have
        to  avoid  as much  as possible  technical  language,
        which may be more accurate  but not easily accessible
        to  most  Western  readers.  Since  Kung  has  listed
        Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism as religions,(Note 10)
        I will show that, in the Chinese  culture  there is a
        fairly  harmonious   interplay  between  these  three
        religions, not  only  in society  as a whole, but  in
        individuals as well. The question I attempt to answer
        here, then, is, how  multi-citizenship  across  these
        religions is possible; namely, "How can a person be a
        Taoist-Confucian?  "  "How   can   a  person   be   a
        Buddhist-Confucian?  "  "How   can  a  person   be  a
        Taoist-Buddhist?" or even  "How  can  a person  be  a
        Taoist-Buddhist-Confucian?   "   Here    I   do   not
        differentiate between being a Taoist-Confucian  and a
        Confucian-Taoist, etc., even though  there  might  be
        some differences. My concern is rather how the two or
        three can come together  in one person.  For the sake
        of simplicity, I will discuss  these questions  under
        one title: "How can a person be a Taoist-Buddhist-

        2.The Religiousness of Chinese Religions

           At the outset it must be pointed out that the term
        "Taoism" has two but closely related denotations.  It
        refers   both   to  an  organized   religion   and  a
        religio-philosophic  tradition  which  can  be traced
        back  to the canon    Dao  De Jing.  Whereas  the
        latter  is characterized  by the ideal way of life as
        wu-wei (non-contention, non-striving) the former puts
        paramount value on longevity and immortality  through
        wu-wei and other means. The two are closely connected
        though.   Taoism  as  a  religio-philosophy   is  the
        theologic  source  of religious  Taoism.  Lao Zi, the
        author  of Dao  De Jing, is also  believed  to be the
        founder  of  religious  Taoism.  Dao  De Jing  is the
        scripture of religious Taoism. They both take the Tao
        to be the Ultimate.In  this essay  I treat  them as a
        single value system.(Note 11)

            In order to make my discussion in the rest of the
        essay  relevant, I need also to address  the issue of
        the  religiousness  of all three  Chinese  religions.
        Even though Taoism and Buddhism  do not embrace a god
        in the  strict  sense, their  resemblance  to Western
        religions  in institution  and societal function  has
        convinced  most religious  scholars  that the two are
        indeed religions.  Litttle concern has been expressed
        in  regard  to  the  religiousness  of  Buddhism  and
        Taoism.  Therefore  there  is no need for me to argue
        for the religiousness of Taoism and Buddhism here.

            There have been much discussion and even debates
        about the religiousness of Confucianism. Confucianism
        in many ways appears too secular to be a religion. It
        does  not  have  a  god,  nor  an  organized  way  of
        worshipping  in the way in which many other religions
        do. Nevertheless, today a major-


        ity of scholars have accepted Confucianism as a religion.
        Then, what is its religiousness?

            Tu Wei-ming, a new-Confucian at Harvard University
        writes: "We can define  the  Confucian  way  of being
        religious as ultimate self-transformation as communal
        act  and  as a faithful  dialogical  response  to the
        transcendent."(Note 12) According to Tu, being religious,
        for the Confucian, means being engaged in the process
        of learning to be fully human.  Tu's definition is in
        accord with John Hick's statement about religion:

            "the  function  of religion  in each  case  is to
            provide contexts  for salvation/liberation, which
            consists  in various  forms of the transformation
            of  human  existence  from  self-centredness   to
            Reality-centredness."(Note 13)

        Religion bears a fundamental concern for the ultimate
        in life.  It is this ultimate, which is transcendent,
        that defines value in life and provides the direction
        for one to strive  for in life, which  in turn  makes
        life meaningful.

            Specifically, I think the religiousness of
        Confucianism   can  be  seen  in  two  ways.   First,
        Confucianism, as any  other  religion  in the  world,
        establishes  the ultimate  through  a leap  of faith.
        Confucianism as an ethical system provides guidelines
        of a moral life.  The foundation  of Confucian ethics
        is  its  belief  in the  Tao  (Way)  or  Heaven.  The
        Doctrine of the Mean, a canon in Confucianism, starts
        by stating:

             "What  Heaven  imparts  to man  is called  human
             nature.  To follow our nature is called the Tao.
             Cultivating   the  Tao  is  called   education."
             (Chapter 1)

        Human  nature, or the destiny  of human life is given
        here  without  a  demonstration  of  any  form.   The
        Confucian would


        argue that human nature requires that one be moral or
        to endeavor to transform  oneself in accordance  with
        the Tao.  But why not something  other  than the Tao?
        The Confucian  does not offer a further  argument  or
        demonstration.(Note 14)
        The Tao is both an "is" (i.e., a given from Heaven in
        unfixed form) and "ought" (i.e., a moral prescription
        or decree by Heaven).  No rational  argumentation  is
        offered in this regard.  And not surprisingly so.  As
        Kierkegaard has persuasively  argued, in religion (he
        meant  specifically  Christianity), such  a  rational
        "proof"  is impossible.  There one can always ask the
        unanswerable  question  "Why  God  (or Why Tao)?" The
        only thing to which we can appeal  here is "a leap of
        faith." Confucianism  is no exception in this regard.
        The Tao is taken  as a given  in the first  place and
        the rest is ordered  accordingly.  This leap of faith
        puts Confucianism  into the same  category  with many
        other world religions.

            Second, a primary function of religion is to give
        meaning to people's life and Confucianism provides an
        answer to the question of the meaning of life.  Unlike
        believers  in  many  religions,  Confucians   do  not
        believe  that  the meaning  of life  lies  in another
        world.  Confucius  himself refused to speculate about
        afterlife   and   gods.   His  concern   was   almost
        exclusively  in this life.  Confucians in general are
        very  this-worldly  and believe  that  a this-worldly
        life alone  can be meaningful.  The meaning  of life,
        according   to   the   Confucian,   lies   in   one's
        self-transformation     through    building     human
        relationships  with one's fellow human beings.  Among
        these  relations, one can  be a good  son/daughter, a
        good  brother/sister, a  good  father/mother, a  good
        friend, a good partner, etc.  Confucius  once defined
        his central idea


        Jen or humanity as "to love people Analects, 17:22)."
        The value  of human  life  lies in the creation  of a
        community  in which one loves, and is loved by, other
        people.  Love by others  is a source, if not the only
        source, of  the  meaning  of  life.  Life  cannot  be
        meaningful without this kind of love. Since this kind
        of love  is most  likely  found  in  the  family, the
        Confucian  takes the family life to be the most basic
        and   meaningful   way   of   life.   Through   one's
        self-transformation into being fully human, one earns
        the love in the family  and the enlarged  family--the
        community. When one dies, one will be remembered with
        love  by others.  In the family  as in the community,
        one takes over the heritage  that the ancestors  have
        passed down and carries it on and then passes it over
        to later generations.  By doing  this one joins one's
        own  life, which  is finite  and temporary, into  the
        stream of the (hopefully) infinite and eternal.

            That which gives a person's life meaning may not
        be  necessarily   religious.   But   the  Confucian's
        meaningful  life  has  an important  dimension  which
        extends  into religiousness.  Common people by nature
        have  an unconscious  wish  for  immortality  and  in
        immortality   we  find  life   meaningful.   In  some
        religions  this wish is expressed  in the form  of an
        eternal   afterlife    or   an   eternal   cycle   of
        reincarnations.  One may say that in Confucianism the
        wish for immortality  is expressed  in the family and
        communal life.  In this sense, one can understand the
        Confucian   religiousness by   following   Herbert
        Fingarette in characterizing it as "the secular as
        sacred."(Note 15) That is, taking one's daily secular
        experience such as family life and social dealings as
        religious experience.  One can equally understand it
        by putting it the other way around: "the sacred as
        the secular."  For if


        the  meaning   of  life  is  a  sacred   matter,  the
        Confucians only find it in the secular everyday life,
        not in a Sunday church or anywhere else.  Because the
        Confucians  can find the sacred  in the secular, they
        can, following their Master, afford to not talk about
        afterlife  and immortality.  Like Blaise  Pascal, the
        Confucians  may  wager  on  this  issue, but  in  the
        opposite  way: If there is no afterlife, this life is
        the only  life we have;  If there  is afterlife, this
        life would be an extra bonus if we take it seriously.
        So, either way we must take this life very seriously.

            Some people may still question the religiousness
        or  spirituality   of  the  Confucian   life.   Being
        religious, they may think, consists in possessing  in
        a person's  mind some belief  in a certain  deity  or
        deities, the belief  that such  a deity  must  indeed
        exist  somewhere  in the world, or for  that  matter,
        beyond the world.  This understanding  of religion, I
        contend, is too narrow.  Religion primarily has to do
        with  grand  principles   or  ways  of  life.   These
        principles  may not be ultimately  justified anywhere
        other  than a transcendent  belief  system.  In other
        words, even  though  one  can  justify  some  general
        principles  in life, the ultimate principle itself is
        not justifiable  by other principles.  It has to land
        in a transcendent  realm.  In this way, religion is a
        belief  system  that connects  us to the transcendent
        realm.  Understood this way, Confucianism, as well as
        Taoism and Buddhism, is indeed religious.

        3.The Distinctiveness of Three Religions

            Needless to say, the idea of multiple religious

        tion presupposes the existence of different religions.
        The distinctiveness of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism
        as three different value systems can be seen in their
        different attitudes toward life.

            The Confucian model of personhood is "jun zi"
        (chun tzu, "gentleman"). A jun zi is a person of Jen,
        who is conscientious  ("zhong"-loyal  to one's cause)
        and   considerate   ("shu"-altruistic)    (Confucius,
        Analects, 4:15).  Such  a person  is devoted  to  her
        person-making  commitment  and  holds  a  persevering
        determination  toward her goal.  She would take every
        step in her life seriously and work very hard to make
        steady progress in order to make her dream come true.
        Such a person is seldom relaxed;  she is cautious and
        watchful  over herself even when she is alone ( Great
        Learning: Chapter  VI).  She is also  considerate  of
        other  people.  She would  not do to others  what she
        would  not want  others  to do unto  her  ( Analects,
        12:2);  and she would  think  about  and bear in mind
        what others  would like when she is pursuing  her own
        advancement  (Analects, 6:28).  She would  take rules
        and rituals seriously  and insist on them.  While she
        likes  good  people, she would  overtly  express  her
        disapproval  of bad  actions  and bad  people  (e.g.,
        Analects, 4:3). In this way, a Confucian will be able
        to make  good progress  in her endeavors  and achieve
        success  through hardworking.  She may get along well
        with other people because she is considerate. Devoted
        to her  goal, she  would  evaluate  her  life  almost
        solely on the progress  she has made toward the goal.
        She would  feel  splendid  happiness  by sharing  her
        success  with her family and friends.  At an extreme,
        she  might  prefer  death  to fruitlessness.  Such  a
        person  rarely  lives at ease.  She may have too much
        tension, too little


        relaxation  in life.  She rarely  feels self-content.
        Because  she works hard and also likes others to work
        hard, people may feel pressured around her.

            In the eyes of the Taoist, the Confucian is too
        desire-driven.  The Taoist would feel that one should
        follow the flow of nature. He would follow the notion
        of "non-contention."  His attitude  towards things in
        the  world  is  one  of  "either-way"   (liang  xing,
        "walking two roads")(Note 16)
            In Chinese  it is called  "wu ke wu buke"  ("it's
        okay if okay, and it's  okay if not okay").  His life
        philosophy   is  being  "Water-like."   water,  being
        shapeless  and soft, can fit itself  into  and put up
        with almost any environment.  More importantly he can
        have things accomplished this way.  The Taoist Zhuang
        Zi's (Chuang  Tzu, between  399-295  B.C.)  narrative
        character  cook Ding can preserve  his knife like new
        after cutting up thousands of oxen because he follows
        the natural  way by only inserting  his knife  at the
        joints.(Note 17)
        Cook Ding would laugh at the Confucian  when she cuts
        up  the  ox  by  trying   harder  (i.e.,  using  more
        strength) instead of following the way of nature. For
        the Taoist, tactics is more important  than strength.
        Or to put it in a different  way, real  strength  can
        only result  from good tactics.  Like Zhuang  Zi, the
        Taoist would not take personal goals so seriously  as
        the Confucian  does.  After  all, we can never  be so
        sure about  the goal we choose.  If he has a goal, it
        would  be  a  realistic  one,  one  that  takes  into
        consideration his particular circumstances. The ideal
        of "non-contention"  always  reminds  him to take one
        step back in a situation, and by doing  so he is able
        to find  ample  room  for him  to maneuver.  He would
        never  push hard, but in achieving  his goal he would
        always   find   forces   in  his  opposites   or  the


        environment  to work to his advancement.  However, in
        focusing  this way, a less than mature Taoist may not
        establish  himself  on a solid  ground.  The idea  of
        "non-contention"  may cause him to miss opportunities
        in life;  believing  tactics  is all that matters, he
        may not work hard to acquire positive  knowledge.  He
        may waste his youth and end up accomplishing nothing.
        Hence, he may not find  such a life as fulfilling  as
        he would wish.  Seeing  all others as being misled, a
        Taoist  from the religious  group may concentrate  on
        longevity.   But  by  doing  so  he  may  not  be  as
        productive as the Confucian.

            The Buddhist would stick to his conviction that
        the world  is empty (sunyata).  In his eyes, even the
        Taoist  is too this-worldly.  After all, there is not
        anything in the world that is substantial  enough for
        us to fight for, one way or another.  Because  of the
        empty nature  of the world, he has no reason  to feel
        joy or sorrow  for things  in our daily life.  All we
        should  have is peace of mind.  In the mind, he finds
        everything  he needs.  He may have  a good  sense  of
        humor  which  Confucians  and Taoists  usually  lack.
        While the self-disciplined Confucian is working hard,
        the Taoist is speculating on tactics or contemplating
        the usefulness  of the useless,(Note 18) the Buddhist
        would feel very much content with doing nothing.  The
        Buddhist finds Contentment by reducing his desires to
        the minimum.  His slogan would be "Less desires, less
        striving, more  contentment."  But  in  real  life  a
        normal person can hardly maintain a Buddhist mind all
        the time.  People often feel the need to be happy and
        they  can  only  obtain  happiness  through  fruitful
        hard-working    or   intelligent    and    successful
        business-dealings.  Unless  a person has a very broad
        (open) mind, he cannot


        find the good life in Buddhism.

            The above  three  are idealized  stereotypes.  In
        real  life  few  people  are  exclusiely   Confucian,
        Taoist, or Buddhist in such a typical way.  The point
        is that the three religions  exemplify  three clearly
        different attitudes towards life.

        4.Tension and Complementarity

            4.1. As different religions coexisting in the same
        land, the relationships  between  them  are  twofold:
        conflicting and complementing.  Conflicts can be seen
        mainly  between  Confucianism  and Taoism and between
        Confucianism    and   Buddhism,   probably    because
        Confucianism has been mostly the dominating among the
        three.  As early  as in the pre-Qin  era (before  221
        B.C.), conflicts between Confucianism and Taoism were
        already  evident.  As two  philosophies, Confucianism
        values "being"  (you) whereas Taoism values "nothing"
        or "non-being" (wu).  This difference has resulted in
        a direct  conflict  in their political  philosophies.
        While   Confucianism    advocated    positive   moral
        construction  in society by stressing the concepts of
        Jen  and Yi (benevolence  and  righteousness), Taoism
        opposed  this kind of moral construction.  The Dao De
        Jing states:

            "When Tao is obliterated, we have benevolence and
            righteousness.    Prudence   and   circumspection
            appear, and we have much  hypocrisy.  When family
            relations  no longer  harmonize, we  have  filial
            piety and paternal devotion. When the country and
            the clans decay through  disorder, we hav loyalty
            and allegiance." (Section 18)

        The Taoist believed that the Confucian's advocacy for
        lence and righteousness indicated that these virtures
        were already lost in society, and the talk about these
        virtues merely made them hypocritical labels. Against
        Confucianism, the Taoist's  solution  is to return to

            "Abandon your saintliness; put away you prudence;
            and the people  will  gain a hundredfold! Abandon
            your benevolence;  put away  your  righteousness;
            and the people  will return  to filial  piety and
            paternal  devotion.  Abandon  smartness;  give up
            greed;  and thieves  and robbers  will  no longer
            exist." ( Dao De Jing, Section 19)

            The  direct  conflict  between  Confucianism  and
        Taoism in this regard is whether, as a solution to an
        allegedly  demoralized  society,  we  should  enforce
        moral rules or turn people back to simplicity through
        laisser faire government.  The Confucian  was for the
        former whereas the Taoist the latter.

            After Buddhism was introduced into China, there
        was  a  prolonged  battle  between  Confucianism  and
        Buddhism.  The battle was primarily centered on three
        issues.  First, whether monks living a monastery away
        from  home, hence  away from their  parents, violated
        the traditional  (Confucian)  belief in filial piety.
        Second, whether  monks should kowtow  to the emperor.
        In the Confucian tradition the emperor symbolized the
        highest  power on earth and kowtowing  to him was the
        necessary  ritual  to recognize  this  symbolization.
        While the monk as a religious  symbol was supposed to
        stand  for a religious  power (the Buddha?) which  is
        supposedly  higher  than  the secular, including  the
        emperor.  Thirdly, whether human spirit survives  our
        physical  death.  Confucius  himself refused  to talk
        about spirit or soul after death.  Confucian scholars
        such  as  Wang  Chong  (Wang   Chung,  27-100   A.D.)
        explicitly denied that the spirit could


        survive  the  physical  death.  While  the  Buddhist,
        particularly   of  the  Pure   Land   school,  relied
        substantially  on  the  idea  of human  spirit  after
        death.   These   conflicts   clearly   indicate   the
        difference between Buddhism and Confucianism.

            4.2 On the other hand, these three religions also
        complemented each other. In the pre-Qin era there was
        the so-called  "Confucianism-Taoism  complementarity"
        (ru  dao  hu bu), which  can  be seen  in that, while
        Confucianism provides an active and positive attitude
        toward life, Taoism provides  a largely  passive  and
        even  perhaps  negative  attitude.  Because  of  this
        difference, a person  can retreat  from the former to
        the latter.  One may follow the idea of "In office  a
        Confucian, in retirement a Taoist."(Note 19) That is,
        as  a participating  citizen, one  should  contribute
        one's part to the country  and be Conscientious  with
        one's  social  duties.  Once retired, one should  not
        keep worrying  about official  business, instead  one
        should follow and enjoy nature.

            The complementarity between Confucianism and
        Buddhism  is  evident  in that, whereas  Confucianism
        encourages   a  person's   success   in   life,  both
        economical  and intellectual, Buddhism  encourages  a
        life which values neither but internal  peace.  Also,
        whereas   Confucianism    offers   little   help   or
        consolation  for  human  desire  for  afterlife, some
        versions  of Buddhism  do.  As H.G.  Greel  observed,
        "traditional  Chinese thought  had been almost silent
        on life after  death.  Buddhism  offered  at least  a
        hope, and at times when men were living  in a hell on
        earth it was much to be able to hope for heaven after
        death."(Note 20) In fact, the complementarity between
        Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism partly explains why
        Buddhism, a foreign religion to start with, has found
        roots  in  the  largely   foreign-resistant


        Chinese  culture.  It is this kind of complementarity
        between   Confucianism,  Buddhism,  and  Taoism  that
        provides   a   foundation    for   their   harmonious
        coexistence in China.  In practice, efforts were made
        to  reconciliate  different  faiths, particularly  by
        Buddhists during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) when
        Buddhism  flourished.  The efforts  were  to show the
        commonalities  and common grounds  between  the three
        religions.   For   example,  the   Buddhist   Zong-mi
        (Tsung-mi, 780-841 A.D.) stated that:

            "Confucius, Lao  Zi, and  Sakyamuni  all attained
            Sainthood.   They   preached   the  teaching   in
            different ways in accordance  with their time and
            place.   However,  they   mutually   helped   and
            benefitted the people by their teachings."(Note 21)

        Chi-chung, another Buddhist, stated:

            "All of three teachings are good.  All the ways
            taught by saints are right----The  good and right
            teaching   is  not   only   Buddhism,  not   only
            Confucianism,  not  only  this,  not  only  that.
            Buddhism and Confucianism  are only offshoots  of
            the original truth."(Note 22)

        According to Hajime Nakamura, till the Five Dynasties
        (907-960 A.D.) and Sung Dynasty (960-1279  A.D.), the
        theory  that "the three  religions  were the same was
        widely believed and supported by the general public."
        (Note 23) This belief  and the pragmatic  philosophy
        along with it greatly  facilitated  the commoners  in
        accepting all three religions.

            While these reconciliating remarks sound similar
        to   John   Hick's    view   of   the   Ultimate-many
        manifestations, unlike in Hick, the Chinese  view has
        led directly to multiple religious participation. The
        co-existence of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism is
        not merely an existence side


        by side in the same  land, they  also have co-existed
        in the same mind.  That is, the same  individual  may
        subscribe  to all three  value  systems  at the  same
        time.  The Taoist Ko Hung (Ge Hong, 283-363 A.D.), in
        his classic  work Bao-pu  Zi (Pao-pu  Tzu), advocated
        the view that while  Confucianism  is to be used  for
        social  affairs, Taoist  method  of  body-maintenance
        should  be used  for personal  internal  needs.  Zhao
        Shen, the emperor  Xiao Zong of South Song (1163-1189
        A.D.), proposed that one should use "Buddhism for the
        mind,  Taoism  for  the  body, and  Confucianism  for
        organizing  society." (Note 24) As a symbol  of this
        integration, today there  are at least  seven temples
        in Taiwan where incense is offered  to Confucius, Lao
        Zi, and the Buddha.(Note 25)

           Today it is no longer new to many Westerners that
        the Chinese practice multiple religious participation.
        Henrik Kraemer, for example, observes that:

            "(In China) The religious allegiance of the average
            man is not related to one of the three religions.
            He does not belong to a confession  or creed.  He
            participates  unconcerned as to any apparent lack
            of   consistency,  alternatively   in   Buddhist,
            Taoist, or Confucian  rites.  He is by  nature  a
            religious pragmatist."(Note 26)

            4.3 It should be noted that "multiple religious
        participation"  must not be confused with syncretism.
        "Syncretism"   may  be  defined  as  "the  borrowing,
        affirmation, or integration  of concepts, symbols, or
        practices of one religious  tradition into another by
        a process of selection and reconciliation."(Note 27)
        There certainly  has been syncretism  in China as has
        been in any major tradition.  But multiple  religious
        participation  is different  from syncretism  in that
        multiple religious participation  practices more than
        one  reli-

        gion  with  a recognition  that  they  are  different
        religions, and does it without  making  an effort  to
        integrate   them  into  one  single  religion.   John
        Berthrong is right as he writes: "(In China) A person
        can be a Taoist, Confucian  and Buddhist more or less
        at the same  time.  But this  is a question  slightly
        different from syncretism per se. It is more properly
        the question  of dual  or multiple  membership."(Note 28)
        Here  Berthrong   of  course  is  using  "membership"
        metaphorically  for none  of the three  religions  in
        China  is  strictly  a membership  religion.  To this
        multiple   "membership"   of  Chinese  way  of  being
        religious now we turn.

        5. A Taoist-Buddhist-Confucian

            Now, how can the same person be a Taoist-Buddhist-
        Confucian  today? The  question  here  is not  merely
        whether  the same  individual  can  pay tribute  to a
        Taoist  temple  today  and participate  in a Buddhist
        ceremony   tomorrow.   It  is  rather  how  the  same
        individual  can subscribe  to three  different  value
        systems in a persistent and sensible way.

            5.1. We can understand this practice in two ways.
        The first is basing multiple religious  participation
        on one's multiple dimensions of existence. The second
        is dialectical co-existence within the same dimension
        of one's existence.  First, as discussed earlier, the
        three  religions  occupy  different  dimensions  of a
        person's life and perform different functions.  Since
        a person has more than one dimension in life, one can
        incorporate  different  religions.   By  Zhao  Shen's
        model, a person  can  have  the  peace  of mind  of a
        Buddhist, take good care  of his body like  a Taoist,
        and be a good citi-


        zen as a Confucian.  A person may go on pilgrimage to
        the Guanyin  at a Buddhist  monastery  for having  an
        heir, invite a Taoist master  to help get evil spirit
        out of his home, and ask Confucius to bless his loved
        one to get into a top university.

            The Chinese historian Chen Yinke (1890-1969)
        observed that, "those who outwardly observe Confucian
        norms may inwardly follow the principles  of Buddhism
        or  cultivate  themselves  according  to the  way  of
        Taoism; there is no conflict between them."(Note 29)
        A contemporary exemplar of " Buddhist-Confucian " was
        Liang  Shuming   (1893-1988).   Liang   was  a  major
        Confucian  in this century, spending most of his life
        practicing and reviving Confucianism', but he himself
        also  claimed   that  "(my  whole)  life  belongs  to
        Buddhism."(Note 30) In Liang's final years he maintained
        that he was still a Buddhist while also accepted the
        title  "the Last Confucian."(Note 31) Many have been
        perplexed  by this apparent discrepancy.  How is this
        possible? Liang was after two different issues in his
        life.  One  was  the  ideal  of  life, a question  of
        personal  existence;  the other  was the  problem  of
        China's  future, which demands  a social solution  to
        its  modern  predicaments.  These  two problems  were
        intertwined  in Liang and he was so troubled  that he
        attempted suicide at the age of nineteen.(Note 32)
        As  an  individual,  he  found  meaning  of  life  in
        Buddhism;  as  a  citizen  he  found  that  the  only
        solution   to   China's   modern   predicaments   was
        Confucianism.(Note 33)

             5.2. But the first way of multiple religious
        participation in one's
        multiple dimensions of existence is not the whole picture.
        Different religions do come into the same dimension and thus
        create tensions between each other.  I


        suggest that in the second way there is a dialectical
        tension-complementary    relation    between    these
        religions,   which   is   far   more   important   in
        understanding   the   complementarity    of   Taoism,
        Buddhism, and Confucianism.  A Confucian  scholar has
        said  that Buddhism  is like  floating  on the water,
        drifting wherever the current takes you, Confucianism
        is like having a rudder  in the boat to guide it in a
        cretain direction.(Note 34) This simile was meant to
        show  the  advantage  or superiority  of Confucianism
        over  Buddhism.  But if we read  it from  a different
        perspective  with  an  open  mind, we  can  find  new
        meanings.  Is it always  so bad  drifting  along  the
        current? Perhaps  it is better  to drift  for a while
        before using the rudder  again.  Sometimes  it may be
        better to follow both ways alternately.  Reading  the
        simile  this  way may help us understand  how one can
        employ both Confucianism and Buddhism. How can Taoism
        fit into  this simile? Taoism  may be best understood
        in this picture as using the force of the current  to
        determine  and get to the desired direction.  For the
        Taoist, it would  be  foolish  to fight  the  current
        head-on.  He should  make  the  current  work  to his
        advantage;  in  this  case, moving  him  towards  his
        destiny.  Similarly, for a person, even though  it is
        hard  to  act  like  a  Taoist,  a  Buddhist,  and  a
        Confucian  simultaneously  at every moment, the three
        can  work  in the same  person.  One  example  is the
        famous Chinese poet Tao Qian (Tao Yuanming, 365-427).
        Tao was a Confucian, but his Taoist  conviction  made
        it  possible   for  him  to  quit  the  post  of  the
        magistrate  of Pengze county for a simple  life close
        to nature  and to write  the poetry  that  few of his
        contemporaries  could really  appreciated.  As Donald
        Holzman  points  out, Tao  Qian's  great  achievement
        describes  a complex  but


        original attitude  towards life and towards the world
        in general  "that enabled  him to remain faithful  to
        traditional  values  of loyalty  and respect  for the
        social  order while  realizing, thanks  to his poetic
        imagination,  a  new  kind  of  fulfillment   of  his
        ambitions  in retirement." (Note 35) The traditional
        values of loyalty  and respect  for social order were
        undoubtedly   Confucian   values,  while  the  Taoist
        attitude  in him made  it possible  for Tao  Qian  to
        fulfill   life  away  from  society.   Zhang   Longxi

            "Confucianism,  Taoism, and  Buddhism..  are  not
            incompatible with one another in Chinese culture,
            and  it would  be pointless  to  argue  that  Tao
            Qian's  thinking  is  exclusively   Confucian  or
            Taoist.  He never  had  to choose  between  those
            different  schools  of thought  but was  able  to
            incorporate, as  so  many  Chinese  intellectuals
            have  done throughout  the centuries, the various
            elements into a healthy eclectic outlook. In that
            very eclecticism the Chinese mind is able to keep
            itself  open  to the  different  possiblities  of
            thinking."(Note 36)

            Without entering Tao Qian's mind or having a personal
        account from himself, it may be still difficult for a
        Westerner  to see  how Confucianism  and Taoism  were
        incorporated  in him.  I will offer another way, much
        closer to home to Westerners, to illustrate  how this
        may take place in a modern  person.  Suppose  you are
        the coach of a basketball team.  You want to win. You
        take the job of coaching seriously.  You inspire your
        players  to be confident  of winning  and give them a
        strong desire to win.  You make your players practice
        hard.  But that is not enough.  You need to study not
        only  the  strength  of your  team, but perhaps  more
        importantly the weaknesses of your oppo-


        nents.By applying  the Taoist idea of wu-wei, you may
        be able to turn their  strength  into a weakness  and
        make it work to your advantage.  You may also want to
        give  individual  players  more  room  for their  own
        growth, let them find their unique place in following
        the flow of the world. After the game is over, either
        win or lose, your Buddhist  mind (and perhaps  Taoist
        mind as well) would  remind  you that you should  not
        make a big deal  of it.  If you lose, you should  not
        feel  too bad about  it.  If you win, it is not a big
        deal either. After all, it is only a game.

            I must not be misunderstood as meaning in the
        above that as long as a person  uses alternately  the
        three   life   attitudes   he  or  she   must   be  a
        Taoist-Buddhist-Confucian. No. Not so simple. Whether
        a person practices a way of life religiously does not
        depend  on individual  actions.  It  depends  on  the
        larger  picture  in which  a person  lives his or her
        life.  It depends on the significance  a person makes
        of his or her  actions.  Specifically, it depends  on
        the  connections   one  makes  between  one's  chosen
        attitudes and actions on the one hand and fundamental
        values  in life  on the other.  Just  as one  can eat
        bread  with wine without  being  a holy communionist,
        one  can  do things  in ways  similar  to the  Taoist
        without  being  a  Taoist, similar  to  the  Buddhist
        without   being  a  Buddhist,  and  similar   to  the
        Confucian  without  being  a Confucian.  But, if  one
        makes the fundamental  connections  and thereby makes
        one's actions a consciously  religious  practice, one
        is being  religious.  If one consciously  chooses  to
        follow  the  Taoist, the Buddhist, and  the Confucian
        ways of life alternately  or even simultaneously, one
        is a Taoist-Buddhist-Confucian.

            I am not suggesting this is the only way for the three


        to come together.  They  can be at play everyday.  On
        the one hand, you need to take things  seriously  and
        work hard, i.e., to be conscientious. On the other it
        is important not to go against the current. And it is
        also important  to relax and enjoy peace of mind.  In
        my opinion, when a person  is growing  up, she should
        probably practice more Confucianism. It will give her
        the motivation and driving force to learn and develop
        her  potentials  fully.  After  she is ready  for and
        enters the real life in society, she should have more
        Taoism. Together with her skills and knowledge learnt
        in her early  years, Taoist  strategies  will enhance
        her career.  After she becomes  old, she should  have
        more Buddhism.  In order  to have a good older  life,
        she  should  not be overburdened  by her  success  or
        failure in her early years. With a mind of emptiness,
        she will be able to have peace with herself.

            Clearly, a good combination of all three is most
        desirable. Of course, all three cannot interplay in a
        harmonious and beneficial way unless one masters some
        kind  of  practical  wisdom  (phronesis),  to  borrow
        Aristotle's  terminology, unless  one knows  when and
        how to choose which.  The issue of practical  wisdom,
        however, is beyond our present concern in this essay.

        6. Some Philosophical Considerations

            6.1. Then, what is the philosophical foundation
        for Chinese multiple
        religious participation? I think the foundation can be found in all three
        religions.  One psychological obstacle for multiple religious
        participation is a strong hold-


        ing  to  the  self, which  is lacking  in  all  three
        religions.  The Buddhist  believes  that  the self is
        unreal  and non-substantial.  The Taoist advocates  a
        "water-like"  attitude.  Lao Tzu said "the  sage does
        not have  a constant  mind."  ( Dao De Jing, Ch.  49)
        Confucius   said  that  "the  gentleman   is  not  an
        implement  (qi/chi)  (  Analects    , 2:12)."  An
        implement   is   something   fixed,  unchanging,  and
        inflexible. The idea of not being an implement leaves
        room  for flexibility  to incorporate  other  things,
        including Taoism and Buddhism.

            Human psychology is not a unitary process.  It may
        need  different  things  and take  different  courses
        under different circumstances and at different times.
        This   characteristic   of  the   Chinese   mind   is
        well-illustrated  in Archie J.  Bahm's comparison  of
        the Western, Indian, and  Chinese  attitudes  towards
        activity  and passivity.  Bahm  observes  that  while
        Europeans   encourage   activity,  Hindus   encourage
        passivity, Chinese  accept the need for both activity
        and passivity, each in turn. He explicates:

            "Why accept both activity  and passivity, each in
            turn? Observe  everyday  experience.  There  is a
            time to arise  and a time to go to bed, a time to
            work  and a time to rest.  The sun rises, and the
            sun sets. Initiation of activity is symbolized by
            yang.  Completion of activity or rather achieving
            of passivity  is symbolized  by yin.  Every being
            (tao) consists of both yang and yin...  Being and
            doing  are  equally  important, equally  natural,
            equally good."(Note 37)

        The Chinese  have a tendency  to strive for a balance
        by harmonizing different aspects of things. They tend
        to let each aspect have its turn and thus, instead of
        mixing  them  together,  let  them  alternately  work
        together.   In  the


        Chinese   mind,  since   different   religions   have
        different  strengths  and  weaknesses, they  may play
        respective roles in the same persons's life.

            Conceptually and philosophically, both Confucianism
        and Taoism  believe  in the Way as the Tai Chi (Great
        Ultimate),  which  literally  means  the  highest  or
        greatest   utmost.   The  highest  utmost  cannot  be
        exhausted  by a single  teaching.  When Buddhism  was
        first introduced to China, it was put in the language
        familiar   and   congenial   to   Confucianism    and
        Taoism.(Note 38) Therefore,  regardless   of  the
        apparent  discrepancies  between  the three religious
        doctrines, scholars  could bring all three  under the
        Way with relatively little difficulty.  After all, no
        one can claim to have exhausted the Way.

            6.2. Now one may want to ask: How can one believe
        in different  things? What about truth? The rationale
        here seems  to be that, if A is true, then non-A  has
        to be false.  If you believe  in A, you cannot at the
        same time rationally  believe in non-A.  Here perhaps
        lies  one of the  greatest  differences  between  the
        Chinese  and the  Western  mind.  The Chinese  do not
        regard   epistemic/semantic   tructh  as  highly   as
        Westerners.  As Chad  Hansen  put  it, Chinese  moral
        theories have "the requirement  that our utterance be
        appropriate  as opposed to being true."(Note 39) The
        Chinese have never assigned an unconditional value to
        truth as has been done in the West.

            In Chinese culture the problem of epistemic/semantic
        truth has not traditionally  been an issue of philosophical
        significance.(Note 40) In Chinese classics, the word
        "true/truth" ("zhen") was used to express the meaning of
        "cheng" ("sincerity" or "being truthful to what you are
        destined to


        be").  It is primarily  a metaphysical  as well as an
        ethical concept (See Tao De Jing, and The Doctrine of
        the Mean ). The term for truth is "zhen li." "Li" can
        be translated as "principles," "laws," or "patterns."
        They are the manifestations  of the Tao/Way.  In this
        sens, to live  truthfully  is to  live  an  authentic
        life, to follow  the Tao, and hence  to manifest  the
        Tao throught one's own way of being. The message from
        the Chinese  is similar  to the one R.C.  Zaehner has
        read from Hinduism. It is worthwhile to quote in full
        what Zaehner writes at the end of his remarkable book

            "What, then is the message of Hinduism? If it has
            a message  at all, it would  seem  to be this: to
            live  out your dharma  which  is embedded  in the
            conscience, to do what is instinctively  you know
            to be right, and thereby to live in harmony  with
            the dharma  of all things, so that in the end you
            may see all things  in yourself  and yourself  in
            all things and thereby enter into the eternal and
            timeless peace which is the dharma of moksha, the
            'law'  of 'freedom'  that  has its being  outside
            space and time yet comprises and hallows both."(Note 41)

        If one can see all things (including people) in oneself
        and oneself  in all things, then  one has become  one
        with  the  Tao  or  dharma.   All  distinctions   are
        distinctions  within one's being, not without.  This,
        then, is the truth of life.

            Therefore, unlike Aristotle, a Chinese philosopher
        would  not say  "Although  I love  my teacher, I love
        truth more than I love my teacher."  For the Chinese,
        the  most  important  thing  is  to  participate   in
        creating a better world for everyone, not to find out
        something objectively true. So to questions like "Who
        is smarter, Lao Zi or Confucius?" the


        Chinese  may answer  "They  are both very smart."  Is
        that not enough? Does it really  matter  that much if
        we  have  an  either-or  answer?  Not  at  all.  This
        non-obsession  with  truth  partly  explains  why the
        Chinese  have no problem having in them the "trinity"
        of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
             6.3.   Another reason for embracing different
        religions  is that  "breadth"  has been a traditional
        Chinese virtue.  Breadth is not merely tolerance.  To
        be tolerant means to be able to put up with different
        things.  Breadth  requires  more  than tolerance.  It
        means  being tolerant  with a genuine  understanding.
        Therefore, with  this  attitude, even  if  one  finds
        discrepancies  between  different  religions  one may
        reserve them and concentrate  on what is important in
        these ways of life.  In Chinese  this is called  "qiu
        tong  cun  yi"  or  "seeking   common  grounds  while
        reserving differences."  It is an important aspect of
        Chinese wisdom.

            Finally, one most important Chinese value is harmony
        (he/ho).  The Chinese believe that harmony is a value
        in  itself  and  is preferable  to conflict.  In  the
        Chinese  view of dialectic  harmonization, the Tao or
        Way  is  a  process  of  harmonizing  differences  of
        things.  The  Tao is one  and  is the  source  of all
        polarities.  It has  two  complementary  elements  or
        aspects, yang and yin. A harmonious interplay of yang
        and  yin is most  desirable.  The  world  is full  of
        polarities.  When  we find  ourselves  at one  of the
        polarities  and at the edge of a conflict, we can and
        should, through understanding and re-understanding of
        reality  and  ourselves, "project  ourselves  into  a
        situation   where   conflict   and  antagonism   will
        disappear through an overall process of adjustment of
        ourselves to the world."(Note 42) For instance,
        Ming Tai Zu (Tai-tsu), the first emperor
        (1368-1398?) of the


        Ming  Dynasty,  attempted  to  harmonize   the  three
        religions  by saying  that while Confucianism  is the
        Way of yang or manifest  virtue, Taoism  and Buddhism
        are yin or hidden virtue. For him, the yang virtue is
        the culmination  of this-worldly  doctrine and can be
        relied  upon  for  countless   generations,  the  yin
        virtues  are secret aids of the kingly Way;  together
        the  two comprise  the Way  of heaven.(Note 43) The
        Chinese  pragmatic  minds  tend  to take  principles,
        particularly  theoretical principles, not so rigidly.
        Between the option of "harmonizing  differences"  and
        "fighting  it out" they tend to choose harmonization.
        This  is perhaps  the  ultimate  reason  for  Chinese
        embracing multiple religious participation.

        7. Conclusion

            Then, what lessons can be drawn from all this?
        Today  we are  promoting  multiculturalism.  Cultures
        include    religions.    In    order    to    promote
        multiculturalism  we need first of all to be tolerant
        towards different religious beliefs and practices. We
        need to be able  to put up with  religious  practices
        other than our own.  But that is not enough.  We need
        to look beyond  tolerance.  We cannot  live with  our
        neighbors  of different  religions  unless  we have a
        genuine understanding  of them.  And we cannot have a
        genuine  understanding  of them unless  we understand
        their  religions.  One  way  to understand  religions
        different   from  our  own  is  to  try  to  practice
        different  religions.  A  Chinese  Christian  with  a
        strong  Confucian  background  may  understand   both
        better than a mere Confucian or a mere Christian. She
        may be


        better equipped for promoting both cultures
        and living  across the two cultures.  Some people may
        think she is being incoherent. But what is wrong with
        such an "incoherence?" The Chinese  lessons  indicate
        that  as long as we keep  an attitude  of breadth, we
        will be able to accommodate different religions. This
        attitude  toward  religion  is  "multiple   religious
        participation," and  I believe  it  is  an  important
        dimension of multiculturalism.

            John Hick and others have explored, in theory, the
        possibility  of coexisting  religions which are valid
        respectively on their own account. This theory can be
        used  to  support  the  idea  of  multiple  religious
        participation. If no single religion has the ultimate
        truth and each only reflects  a facet of the Ultimate
        as  Hick  maintains,  then  no  one  is  absolute  or
        perfect.  If with  religion  is the human  drive  for
        perfection,  then  one  ought  to  embrace  different
        religions  in order  to make one's spiritual  life as
        perfect/fulfilling    as   possible    within   human
        limitations.  Of course there is a provision to it --
        there  must  be a productive  way to put them  all to
        work.  The Chinese case I have presented  provides  a
        practical  illustration  of how some  religions, even
        though seemingly contradictory  to each other, can be
        integrated into an individual's  live.  Our case is a
        practical   demonstration   for  multiple   religious

            Although my thesis in this essay can be prescriptive,
        it is first of all descriptive.  It describes the way
        in which millions  of Chinese have lived their lives.
        So,  the  question   here  is  not  whether  multiple
        citizenship     in    faith    multiple     religious
        participation)   is  possible,  but  whether   it  is
        desirable.   I  do  not  claim   multiple   religious
        participation  is the only  way for multiculturalism.
        But it is one way. And


        very likely a good way.(Note 44)

        1. For instance, Theosophy "brings together elements
            from     Hinduism,     Buddhism,    Christianity,
            Spiritualism,   Egyptian   Hermeticism,   perhaps
            something  from  Jewish  Kabbalism, and occultism
            generally."  These Also Believe, Charles  Braden,
            New York: The Macmillan Company, 1949, p.243.

         2. Hans Kung and Julia Ching,  Christianity and
            Chinese  Religions  , New  York: Doubleday, 1989,
            "Epilogue:   Dual   Religious    Citizenship:   A
            Challenge to the West," pp.273-283.

         3. John Hick, "A Religious Understanding of Religion:
            a model of the Relationship  between Traditions,"
            in Inter-  Religious  Models and Criteria, edited
            by J. Kellenberger, New York: St. Martin's Press,
            1993, pp.25-26.  A similar idea was expressed  in
            his God and the  Universe  of Faiths, London  and
            Basingstoke: Macmillian, 1973.

         4. Ibid., p.27.

         5. John Hick, An Interpretation of Religion : Human
            Responses to the Transcendent , Yale University
            Press, New Haven, 1989, p.373.

         6. Hans Kung and Julia Ching, 1989, pp.281-282.

         7. Quoted from  the Oxford Study Bible: Revised English
            Bible  with  the  Apocrypha, edited  by  M.  Jack
            Suggs, K.D.  Sakenfeld, and J.R.  Mueller, Oxford
            University Press, New York, 1992, p.82.

         8. John    H.    Berthrong,   All   Under    Heaven:
            Transfor- mation Paradigms in Confucian-Christian
            Dialogue, SUNY  Press, Albany, 1994, p.27.  For a
            discussion  of  this  rejection, see  Berthrong's
            Introduction in this book.

         9. USA-Today  (US),  "Nirvana  in  the  '90s: Buddha
            Beckons  the Material  World," by Marco R.  della
            Cave, August 10, 1994, 1D.

        10. There  is the question  of what religion is.
            It is not my intention to provide a definition of
            religion  here.  For the purpose  of this essay I
            use "religion" in the sense in which Confuciansim
            can be called a religion. In this sense, religion
            must be understood  very broadly to extend beyond
            the understanding  of religion  in many  ordinary
            believers in the West.

        11.  For the difference  between Taoism
            as a philosophy and as a religion, see Ren Ji-yu,
            "the Taoist and Taoist  Religion, " in Taoism and
            Traditional  Culture  (Dao Jiao yu Chuan Tong Wen
            Hua), edited  by the Editorial  Board of Cultural
            Knowledge, Beijing: China Books Publishers, 1992,

        12. Tu Wei-ming, Centrality and Commonality: An Essay
            on Confucian  Religiousness, State University  of
            New York Press, Albany, 1989, p.94.

        13. John  Hick, An Interpretation  of Religion: Human
            Responses  to the  Transcendent, Yale  University
            Press, New Haven, 1989, p.14.

        14. In  this regard, Mencius'  effort  in the Book of
            Mencius  (2A:6, 6A:1-6)  is more  an illustration
            that  an argument.  In contrast, one can say that
            Xun Zi's case that human  nature  is evil is just
            as forceless or forcelles as Mencius'.

        15. The  title  of Herbert  Fingarette's  little  but
            influential book is "Confucius --  The Secular As
            Sacred," Harpaer Torchbooks, New York, 1972.

        16.  Zhuang Zi: Making All Things Equal .

        17. See  Chuang  Tzu: Inner  Chapters, translated  by
            Gia-Fu  Feng and Jane English  (New York: Vintage
            Books, 1974), p.55.

        18. The  Taoist  believes  that  everything   can  be
            useful, depending on how you look at it.

        19. Holmes  Welch, Taoism: The  Parting  of the  Way,
            Beacon Press, Boston, 1966, p.158.

        20. H.G. Greel, Chinese Thought from Confucius to Mao
            Tse-tung , the University of Chicago Press, 1953,

        21. Zong  Mi, Yuan Ren Lun, quoted  from  The Ways of
            Thinking  of Eastern Peoples, by Hajime Nakamura,
            published by the Japanese National Commission for
            UNESCO, 1960, p.288.

        22. The Way of Thinking of Eastern Peoples, by Hajime
            Nakamura,  published  by  the  Japanese  National
            Commission for UNESCO, 1960, pp.288-9.

        23. Ibid., p.288.

        24. Zhao Shen, "Treating All Three Doctrines Fairly"
            (San  Jiao  Ping Xin Lun), Book  A.  Quoted  from
            Taoism and Traditional culture (Dao Jiao yu Chuan
            Tong Wen Hua), edited  by the Editorial  Board of
            Cultural    Knowledge,   Beijing:   China   Books
            Publishers, 1992, p.39.

        25. Cheng    Chih-ming,   Chung-kuo    shan-shu    yu
            tsung-chiao    (Chinese    Morality   Books   and
            Religion),  Taipei:  Student  Book  Store,  1988,
            chapter   13.   Also  in  Julia   Ching,  Chinese
            Religions,  Maryknoll,  New  York:  Orbis  Books,
            1993, p.218.

        26. Henrik  Kraemer,  The  Christian   Message  in  a
            Non-Christian World , London: Edinburg House, for
            the  International   Missionary   Council,  1938,
            p.201.   Quoted  from  Judith  A.   Berling,  The
            Syncretic  Religion  of  Lin  Chao-en, New  York:
            Columbia University Press, 1980, p.1.

        27. Judith A.  Berling, The Syncretic Religion of Lin
            Chao-en  , New York: Columbia  University  Press,
            1980, p.9.

        28. John H. Berthrong, All Under Heaven: Transforming
            Paradigms  in Confucian-Christian  Dialogue, SUNY
            Press, Albany, 1994, p.178.

        29. Chen Yinke, "the Relation  between Tao Yuanming's
            Thought  had  'Clear  Talk'"  (Tao  Yuanming  zhi
            sixiang  yu qingtan  zhi  guanxi), in Jinmingguan
            conggao  chubian  (Chen's  Essays, First Series),
            Shanghai: Shanghai  Guji,  1980,  pp.196.  Quoted
            from  Zhang   Longxi,  The  Tao  and  the  Logos:
            Literary   Hermeneutics,  East   and  West,  Duke
            University Press, Durham and London, 1992, p.121.

        30. Collected Works of Liang Shuming, vol.1, Shandong
            Publishing House, 1989, p.528.

        31. Guy Alitto, the Last Confucian: Liang Shuming and
            the   Chinese   Modernity,  the   University   of
            California Press, erkeley, Ca., 1986, 337-338.

        32. Jiang  Jin, "Liang Shuming  and the Emergence  of
            20th-Century     New    Confucianism",    Chinese
            Historians, Vol.VI, No.2, pp.1-26.

        33. For some insightful discussion see Zheng Jiadong,
            "The Religiousness  of Confucian Thought," (Rujia
            Sixiang de Zongjiaoxin Wenti) in New-Confucianism
            Forum (Xinrujia Pinglun), Vol.2, edited by Zheng
            Jiadong   and   Ye  Haiyan,  China   Broadcasting
            Publishing House, 1995, pp.187-245.

        34. This  metaphor  is  attributed  to Chang  Shih, a
            colleague  of Master Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi, 1130-1200).
            See  Wm.  Heodore  De  Bary, "Neoconfucianism  as
            Traditional  and Modern," in Interpreting  Across
            Boundaries: New Essays in Comparative Philosophy,
            edited  by G.  Larson  and E.  Deutsch, Princeton
            University  Press,  Princeton, New  Jersey,  188,

        35. Donald  Holzman, Book  Review  on  Six  Dynasties
            Poetry  by Kang-i Sun Chang, Harvard  Journal  of
            Asian Studies, Vol.48, June 1988, pp.244-250.

        36. Zhang  Longxi, The Tao  and  the  Logos: Literary
            Hermeneutics,  East  and  West,  Duke  University
            Press, Durham and London, 1992, pp.123-4.

        37. Archie J.  Bahm, Comparative Philosophy: Western,
            Indian and Chinese  Philosophies  Compared, World
            Books, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1977, p.54.

        38. For  instance, Hajime  Nakamura  gave  some  very
            detailed  examples of how sinified  Buddhism  was
            made  in the  process  of being  translated  into
            Chinese.  See his The Way of Thinking  of Eastern
            Peoples, Japanese National Commission for Unesco,
            1960, "Part  III: They  Ways  of Thinking  of the

        39. Chad    Hansen,   "Chinese    Language,   Chinese
            Philosophy,  and  'Truth, '"  Journal   of  Asian
            Studies, vol.  XLIV, No.3, 1985, p.515.  In  this
            article   Chad  Hansen  argues  outrightly   that
            "Chinese  philosophy  has  no concept  of truth,"

        40. Therefore, they  did not need a Nietzsche  to ask
            the  question  astonishing  to  most  Westerners,
            "What is the good/value of truth?"

        41. R.C.   Zaehner,   Hinduism,   New   York:  Oxford
            University Press, 1968, p.192.

        42. Cheng Chung-ying, New Dimensions of Confucian and
            Neo-Confucian  Philosophy,  SUNY  press,  Albany,
            1991, P.195.

        43. Judith A. Berling, 1980, pp.46-7.

        44. This  essay  was presented  at the 4th Interfaith
            Dialogue  Conference,  October  7-8, 1994,  Grand
            Rapids, Michigan, and at Monmouth College Faculty
            Colloquium, spring of 1995. For valuable comments
            and  suggestions,  I  would  like  to  thank   my
            audience  on both  occasions  and  my  colleagues
            Farhat Haq, Douglas Spitz, Virginia Hellenga, and
            especially  Robert  Cathey, whose critiques  have
            helped revising later drafts.