Saturday, April 16, 2016

443. Dr. Dave Wang's Paper Discussed by American Creation Blog

The following is from the blog, American Creation,---A group blog to promote discussion, debate and insight into the history, particularly religious, of America's founding.

"Well, the understanding of Eastern philosophies was fairly shallow in the 18th century. Even 19th century Transcendentalists like Emerson had only the vaguest acquaintance with Buddhism, for instance. It's not the depth of the founder's understanding of Confucianism I find commendable, but the breadth of their spiritual interest and their curiosity in seeking out non-Western traditions as sources of possible religious insight.

In citing Franklin as one of the founders who expressed interest in Confucius, I am not understating or minimizing the depth of his theological thought. Obviously, he was an intensely moral man, and David Wang on the faculty of St. John's College has written a paper on Franklin's debt to Confucius for the program of ethical self-improvement that he lays out in the Autobiography. Franklin was intensely devout in the sense of being scrupulous, principled and contemplative--but also unorthodox in his opinions, embracing a freethinking attitude toward revelation that could consider Confucius, along with the Bible, in his personal canon."  (by Revolutionary Spirit )

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