Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

The Cave and the Butterfly: An Intercultural Theory of Interpretation and Religion in the Public Sphere

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

The Cave and the Butterfly: An Intercultural Theory of Interpretation and Religion in the Public Sphere

Article excerpt

The Cave and the Butterfly: An Intercultural Theory of Interpretation and Religion in the Public Sphere. By Paul S. Chung. Eugene, Ore.: Wipl & Stock, 2008. ISBN: 978-1-6060-8503-1. xx and 298 pages. Paper. $35.00.

In this work, Paul S. Chung, associate professor of Mission and World Christianity at Luther Seminary in Sc. Paul, examines postcolonial theory of mission by comparing the image of Plato's cave with that of a dreamed butterfly as discussed in the writings of the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi. Chung locates the roots of our disenchantment with the Enlightenment in Plato's cave. There, human beings are prisoners insofar as they seek truth based on the shadows of their confinement. In the eastern Chinese context, however, Zhuangzi's butterfly represents a freedom from self-confinement brought about through recognition of the Other.

Chung seeks a "fusion of horizons" between those represented by the cave and those represented by the butterfly. He consults several post-Enlightenment thinkers along the way, and they are daunting guides if the reader is not Familiar with contemporary philosophy. …

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