The Christian spirituality of Cardinal Sou-hwan Kim (1922–2009) was informed by the cultural resources of Korea, especially by classical Confucianism. This study examines facets of his Christian appropriation of the Confucian ethico-religious tradition in order to bring to light a specific texture of the hybridity of his "Confucian-Christian" spirituality. In so doing, it hopes as well to offer a case study of the hybrid nature of Korean Christian spirituality itself. Kim inherited the Korean Catholic heritage with its sense of compatibility and complementarity with Confucianism. Building upon it and encouraged by Vatican Council II, he assimilated Confucian resources as far as he could so as to enrich and strengthen his Christian spirituality. Thus, Confucian spirituality flowed into and fused with his contemporary Catholic spirituality. This study highlights salient Confucian traits as lived qualities of Kim's Confucian-Christian spirituality. As a Korean Christian, he doubtlessly reflected on himself in the light of the exemplary pattern of Confucius' spiritual growth as a cultural standard and mirror. This study thus dwells on intriguing parallels between Confucius' and Kim's spiritual profiles. It also stresses that in his mature public career, Cardinal Kim used well-known Confucian adages to drive home his points in a culturally meaningful way, sometimes addressing specific socio-political situations of Korea. His deliberate choice of Confucian themes is indicative of primary concerns in his life and spirituality. His use reflects, moreover, a dual concern present in both Confucian and contemporary Catholic spirituality: "personal/religious" and "social/political."


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pp. 185-220
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