Thursday, September 24, saw the start of a rainy, soggy period of time. At 7: 30 PM in the Edmunds Auditorium, PC finally hosted the long-awaited lecture titled “Having Tea with Confucius and Paul: Truth, Goodness and Beauty” by biblical scholar Dr. K.K. Yeo, a Harry R. Kendall Professor of New Testament at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.
The lecture was co-presented by the Confucius Institute, the Department of Religion and Philosophy and Cornelson Institute for Christian Practice and Vocation.
As a Christian with a traditional Chinese upbringing, Dr. Yeo presents his findings of the shared values between Confucianism and Christianity. According to him, there are many areas where the ancient Chinese sage and the great apostle see eye to eye. The commonly-held golden rule “Do to others what you would want them to do to you”, for example, is found in both Christian and Confucian teachings.
Confucianism differs from Christianity in one key area, as Dr. Yeo noted, which is that the former deals far less with a transcendental power that oversees the world. Instead, “Confucius did not talk about prodigies, force, disorders and gods” (The Analects).
The lecture was concluded with several questions that Dr. Yeo wanted the audience to contemplate with regard to truth, goodness and beauty, followed by a big round of applause.
Yeo was born and raised in a traditional Chinese family in Malaysia. He obtained his Ph.D. at Northwestern University. He has since then taught and lectured in Hong Kong, mainland China and the US. He is an author of over 30 books, many dealing with Christianity and culture.