How Love Is Possible: A Christian Approach to the Problem of Social Justice in China
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The issue of love and justice has become increasingly an outstanding moral and social problem in contemporary China. The marginalized group of people in the areas of education, job market, and social welfare in China raises various problems of conflict and inequality, which demand justice in those areas. Regarding just settlement for this group, some relevant studies in disciplines such as political science, law and sociology have attended more to institutional, distributive arrangements and economic factors. This chapter aims to understand the moral identity of this marginalized group from Christian theological perspective of love and explore its implications to the problem of social justice in China. Drawing from and attempting to integrate both Reinhold Niebuhr and Nicholas Wolterstorff’s distinctive positions on love and justice, this chapter points out the possibilities and limitations of applying Christian love in its relationship to social justice in Chinese society. It proposes that if justice is embedded into the ideal of love, justice will not become a pure and mechanic political concept, on the one hand, and the ideas of “justice in love” and “love complementing justice” will enrich and enhance the discourse on social justice in the Chinese context on the other.
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