Double vision hermeneutics of a Chinese pastor’s intersubjective experience of Shì engaging Yìzhuàn and Pauline texts
Ooi, Hio Kee
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The aim of this thesis is to unfold the multilayered intersubjective experience of the author himself, a Chinese pastor. The author postulates himself as the subject in whom the said experience was evident, so that it can be analyzed and interpreted. The author argues for a cultural-linguistic experience of shì勢 as the locus at which the intersubjective experience takes place. He then shows that such experience embodies a Chinese Christian’s ‘two texts’ inheritance, and argues that it is through unfolding or revealing of such experience that the nature of his relationship with them can be demonstrated. The author will show that his relationship to these “two texts” is a continuing appropriation of them. The appropriation is not done through arbitrary readings of the texts, but careful exegetical study of both biblical and Chinese classic. The subjective appropriation will be studied by paying attention to the texts with their literary and historical contexts considered, not simply for the sake of reconstruction but for their relevancy to what the subject experiences. To unfold this experience, the author identifies five key texts that are found in his intersubjective experience: Text A1: Shì勢, Text A2: Yìzhuàn易傳, Text B1: Pauline notion of principalities and powers, Text B2: Pauline Texts I and II: Galatians and 1 Corinthians, and Text 0 (zero), his initial or seminal experience of shì. The author provides the hermeneutical rationale in dialogue with Michael Polanyi and Hans Georg Gadamer, and proposes that a double vision hermeneutic will help interpret the multilayered intersubjective relationships between texts and the subject. The thesis will reveal, through the double vision hermeneutic, a unique way of conceiving Chinese Christian self that embodies fusion, intermingling and layers of understanding of texts and notions from the Bible and Chinese tradition. The author argues that study of this intersubjective experience reveals a vital facet of Chinese Christian self, and significantly enhances the study of Chinese theology. The author also hopes that the double vision hermeneutic as demonstrated will contribute to the understanding of a facet of Chinese Christian way of being.