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Lecture: “Hyo” and The Public Sphere: An Asian American Public Theology of Family

April 9 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


CU April Lecture
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Korean theologian Sung Bum Yun contrasts Western and Eastern approaches to ethics; the Western locates reason as the source of universal values and emphasizes individual duty, the Eastern underscores principles governing interpersonal relationships. Yun then identifies family as the starting point for Christian ethics, specifically focusing on the father-son relationship in Confucian thought, and the notion of filial piety (hyo in Korean) which provides a sense of public order and parallels the relationship between God the Father with his only-begotten. While the German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg is not a Confucian thinker, and his preference for “freedom, love, and equality” over “humility, order, and peace,” is more Western than Eastern, the speaker will argue that the filial hyo the Son shows to the Father may have constitutive significance for Pannenberg’s understanding of the Trinity. Confucian filial piety, similar to the Father-Son relationship in Pannenberg’s immanent and economic trinities, assumes that the father cannot be the father without the son and the son cannot be the son without the father. Following this, the father-son relationship becomes the foundation for public ethics. Drawing on the concepts of Trinity and Hyo, this lecture will discuss an Asian American public theology of the family, noting the formative significance of the Asian American family, and the new family of the Asian American body of Christ. This public theology centered around the Trinitarian hyo will also note feminist critiques of patriarchy, universal reason. The lecture will also discuss another (possibly alternative) familial concept, Jeong (love), offering insights for public-minded Asian Americans located in liminal spaces navigating their Western and Eastern sensibilities.

About the Speaker: Jae Yang is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Religion Department at Calvin University. He is the author of many articles around topics of systematic theology, the theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg, Asian American theology, and public theology. He is the author of the book, Christianity Outside the Church: Pannenberg’s Public Theology in Dialogue with Max Stackhouse.


April 9
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Meeter Center Lecture Hall