Becoming a shengren
DOI link for Becoming a shengren
Becoming a shengren book
Finding the Confucian outlook on life compatible with Christianity, the Jesuits adopted some of the existing Chinese vocabularies to explain their new religion. One of such words, sheng or shengren (common in Neo-Confucian discourse to describe the ideal, honorable, or exemplary figure), was used by the missionaries to translate the Latin sanctus (holy) in Christianity. In the Chinese language, the term sheng is both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective, it denotes an ennobled quality of a human person. A shengren, literally a person revered as sheng, is the highest title in Chinese society that can be bestowed upon a person. Although the Confucian and Christian traditions developed independently of one another and had their own particular concerns, concepts, worldviews, and goals in life, they do have a common interest in human formation. The choice of rendering sheng in English as sage or saint depends on whether one primarily sees the term from a humanistic or religious perspective.