A series of lectures were held in late April to explore the relationship between Martin Luther and the Third Enlightenment.
From April 26 to 30, Paulos Huang, the director and distinguished professor of the Sino-European Center of Shanghai University, gave ten lectures with the theme of "Martin Luther and the Third Enlightenment."
Co-organized by the Shanghai Library Lecture Center and the Sino-European Center of Shanghai University, the serial lectures were held virtually and in-person at the same time for the limited number of participants due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The organizer introduced that, first of all, Luther was not only a religious reformer, but also a reformer of philosophical theory, ideological culture, and social practice. However, in the Chinese language circle, especially in the study of philosophy and history of thought, Luther had been seriously ignored, so there were obvious misunderstandings in the introduction and understanding of Western learning. Secondly, Huang proposed the new concept of "the Third Enlightenment," which is to be carried out in the Chinese language community after the first enlightenment movement of the May Fourth New Culture Movement started in 1919 and the second one after China’s reform and opening up in 1978.
The Third Enlightenment, advocated by Huang, aimed to deal with "modernity", "Westernization" and "Chinese characteristics" in the "globalization warning" as the core, and to explore the relationship between Sinology and Western learning, and to reflect on how China and the world face the future challenges ahead. The role of the intellectual tradition represented by Martin Luther in The Third Enlightenment would be crucial, he added.
The ten lecture topics were respectively "Martin Luther and the Third Enlightenment", "Luther and Soul Care", "Luther and Reason", "Luther and the Paradox", "Luther and Liberalism", "Luther and Conservatism", "Luther and the Unity of Man and Nature (or God) ", "Luther and the Law", "Luther and Philosophy" and "Luther and Humanism."
In the first lecture, Professor Huang shared the contribution of Martin Luther and present-day restudy of the significance of Martin Luther for the Third Enlightenment in Chinese-speaking communities. He said in the face of the third transformation in the humanistic academic history of China, combining Luther and the third enlightenment, it was necessary to explore the relationship between modernity, Westernization, Chinese characteristics, and universal truth.
Huang, a double Ph.D. holder in East Asian Studies and Western Intellectual Tradition at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sino-Western Studies and Brill Yearbook of Chinese Theology, focuses on Chinese studies, Sino-Christian Academic Theology, dialogue between Chinese studies and Western studies in the light of globalization, the world's finest Finnish education, and translation of Martin Luther's works.
- Translated by Abigail Wu