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Kierkegaard and the Faith of Chinese Christians in Business


DENNIS P. McCANN, Wallace M. Alston Professor Emeritus, Department of Religious Studies, Agnes Scott College; Director of the International Business Ethics Case Studies Institute, the Center for International Business Ethics, University of International Business and Economics. Specialties: religious social ethics, comparative religious ethics, philosophy of religion. E-mail:


Chinese philosophers today are challenged to make sense of faith in God, and particularly Christian faith as expressed by Chinese Christians, as an existential affirmation centering their personal and social lives. I offer here a philosophical approach to Christian faith, based upon interpretations of Søren Kierkegaard's work, Sickness unto Death. Kierkegaard's phenomenology of Christian conversion helps us understand and evaluate the recently obtained testimonies of 37 Hong Kong Chinese Christian business executives. Our study reveals not only what Christian faith means to our informants, but also how Kierkegaard's interpretations are helpful in attempting a philosophical analysis of their testimonies.