We Are Comrades!--Tongzhi (Comrade) Theology (同志神学) and its Contribution to Christian Theologies of God in the New Millennium
Ngeo, Boon Lin
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Queer theology emerged in the 1960s and 70s, when the civil rights, feminist, black power, and the gay rights movements called world attention to power inequalities and injustice. The discourse of queer theology, however, has been dominated by the West, especially by white, Anglo-Saxon, middle-class gay men. This dissertation seeks to improve upon queer theology by introducing and developing Tongzhi Theology (同志神学), which is a Chinese queer theology that has its roots in both Confucian discourse and in Whitehead's process philosophy, and to articulate its critique of and contribution to Christian theologies of God. Chapter one seeks to scrutinize the historical context of the development of queer theology. Chapter two argues that classical theism fails to embrace and explain the experiences of LGBTI people, and that heterosexism in Christianity is largely attributed to the conception of God in classical theism; until Theos, the subject of theology, is revolutionized, queer theology is never queer enough. Chapter three intends to transform the theology of God in classical theism by introducing the concept of Tian and Dao in Confucianism and argues for Confucian reflections on transcendence. Chapter four explores the concept of God in Whitehead’s metaphysical scheme and argues that the process-relational nature of God in Whiteheadian thought strikingly resembles the ideas of Tian and Dao in Confucianism. Chapter five ventures to construct Tongzhi Theology (同志神学), especially a Tongzhi theology of God, by integrating and appropriating Whitehead’s concept of God and Confucianism. With the creative fusion of Whitehead’s metaphysical scheme and the concepts of Tian and Dao in Confucianism, God and the world are organically related and all creatures are highly interdependent. Not only are we tongzhi (comrades) to each other, but God is the chief exemplification of the comrade. In conclusion, Tongzhi Theology (同志神学) combines and synthesizes a theological development of the idea of God and an ethical development of a form of Christian religion that embraces the experiences of, and is good for LGBTI people, as well as the marginalized in our society.