分类目录归档:关于我们

About US —Calling the scholars and donations to Chinese speakers

About the Name: The Light Comes From the East 光从东方来

ex oriente lux is a Latin phrase, meaning the sun raising from the east. Our aim is to introduce the eastern churches to the Chinese speaking people. From a historical and geographical perspective and camparing with the Catholic and Protestant in the west (mainly in the Western Europe and American) , the eastern churches primarily includes the Orthodox churches (mainly Greek and Russian), Syriac churches, Coptic churches, Armenian churches, Ethiopian churches, and even Chinese churches (since it is located in East Asia).

Our Vision

First, We take a hitorical and geographical approach——that is the angle of eastern churches, not Protestant and Catholic, to the eastern churches.

Second, academic research is our means and foundation, but it is not our purpose. Our purpose is to pleasing God in our real life.

Third, Our purpose is mainly to introduce the tradition of the estern churches through translation and academic researches, to fill the gap (at least ardity) of eastern churches in Chinese world.

Fourth, our co-workers and scholars should be Christians. All of them have the basic methodology of “building the house on the rock” (cf. Matt. 7:24-27).

Fifth, cultivating the future generation of Christian scholars.

Sixth, we fulfill the needs of the kowledge about the eastern churches in the academic level; and at the same time, we also cover the pastoral needs of the churches and the practical purpose of the Christians for Chinese speakers.

What are we doing?

First,Translations and pulications: 1) the tranlations of primary sources from its original language; 2) the tranlsations of modern academic researches.

Our translation project will be divided into two part:

1) Concerning the ancient classic Church litereture, we will tranlsate them into Chinese from its original language, that is from Greek, Syriac, Latin, Coptic and so on (of course, we will also concern their tranlsations in modern languages) . Our goal is to publish these translations not only for the conventional of Chinese academic level, but also for the more general Chinese readers. Our website will share sections of our tranlations for tasting the Patristic thoughts and their spirituality.

This Project’s details as following.

First draft: Philokalia introduction (《爱神集导读版》), I translated ten articles of Philokalia according to the instruction of the Philokalia class I took with Fr. Maximos Constas in Holy Cross Hennelic College in 2016. For the sections on this website, please see.

Ongoing: The Spirituality of St. Basil (《巴西尔灵修选集》), I just translated the part of his spiritual letters, right now, I am translating his Long Rules.

Ongoing: Hymns On Paradise (天堂之歌) by St. Ephrem the Syrian.

2) Concerning the modern academic research about the primary sources, we will translate the books and articles of famous scholars in the eastern churches into Chinese, so that on the one hands, the readers can know how the modern scholars’ interpretations of the primary sources, on the other hands, our project can keep up the steps of modern academic researches.

The details of this project as following.

Ware, Kallistos. “St. Nikodimos and the Philokalia .” In The Philokalia : A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality, edited by Brock Bingaman, Bradley Nassif, and Inc ebrary, 9–35. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Fr. Maximos Constas. “Nothing is Greater than Divine Love’: Evagrios of Pontos, St Maximos the Confessor, and the Philokalia.” In Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, edited by Andreas Andreopoulos and Graham Speake, 57–74. New York: Peter Lang, 2016.

The Jesus Prayer: Method from Sophrony, Archimandrite. His Life Is Mine (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1977), 112-120.

Note: Right now, we don’t have a specific publishing company to publish our translations, So if anyone knows any possibility of this, please let us know.

Second, Academic researches: 1) The Light from the East(《光从东方来期刊》) ; 2) blogs (博文) ; 3) Eastern Churches (《东方教会》)

1) The journal of The Light from the East (《光从东方来期刊》) is quarterly publication with specific themes, notes and bibliogrphy. It serves for general Chinese readers.

The details of this project as following.

2) the blogs includes reader questions and answers and some thoughts and events from the daily life.

3) The journal of Eastern Churches (《东方教会》) will be our next step when the scholars and fundings are well established. This journal will specifically serve for the Chinese academic scholars. However its initial step begins with the tranlsations of modern academic researches on above.

Third, the education aspect will includes 1) the free academic lectures and 2) Areopagus Workshop

1) About free academic lectures, we will invite the Christian scholars (Cross denominations) on the eastern church to have the lectures for the Chinese audience.

We welcome all Christian scholars who interested in envinglizing the Chinese speakers into Orthodox (or generally the eastern churches) to join this project. We will offer the simultaneous interpretation for the scholars who speak in english or other modern languaes. We will share these lectures through Youtube and other network disks.

If any of you interested in this project, please do not hesitate to contact me with this email: areopagusworkshop@gmail.com; Or you have a wechat, you can scan this:

The details of this project is following.

Nov. 11, 2022: The sayings of desert fathers: an introduction by Yongjia Yuan

Nov. 25, 2022: The welfare built by St. Basil by Daniel Li

….

2) Areopagus Workshop is a online study workshop for anyone who interested in further studies of eastern churches. Our teachers will come from the scholars in free academic lectures. The classes will divided into three catagories: (1) general studies classes, including the church history, general intrucation of Bible studies; (2) specified classes, such as the spiritual, liturgical, canonical classes; (3) ancient language classes, such as the Ancient Greek, Syriac, Latin, Coptic, Russian, Sogdian.

The details of this project is following.

(1) general studies classes: Jesus and Apostolic Fathers, the Church history Second seasons from apostolic fathers to 400 AD: Latin tradition ten classes, Greek tradition ten classes, Syriac tradition ten classes.

(2) specified classes: Philokalia introdcution class, the Saying of desert fathers: an introduction class.

(3) ancient language classes: the elementary Greek, the Intermediate Greek

Our ministries are serving the Chinese speakers by introducing the eastern churches, especially the Orthodox. May the light coming from the incarnation also shining to all Chinese speakers. If anyone interested in our ministries and projects above, please let us know through this email: areopagusworkshop@gmail.com.

If you want to make a donation for our ministries, please click here.

About me

Yongjia Yuan
  • 2021-2024                      SOAS University of London, MPhil/PhD Candidate
  • 2019-2021                      Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, MTS (Syriac Christianity)
  • 2017-2018                      Hellenic College Holy Cross, ThM (Greek Patristic Spirituality)
  • 2015-2017                      Hellenic College Holy Cross, MTS (Christianity and History)

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感谢您赞赏光从东方来的事工。关于我们事工的整体介绍,请参见关于我们 (About us) 。请在付款时注明是给笔者的“个人奉献”还是“光从东方来”的整体事工,谢谢。

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新年愿望 || 以翻译、授课和写作养家

前两天准备年夜饭,席间,我与妻子干杯说:“求主保守我们今年全家健康平安,并且发大财。” 这是我自出国以来头一遭,新年愿望竟然是发财。与其说发财,不如说是靠自己的双手赚钱养家,我知道这就是上帝给我的带领。现在这点更加清晰,就是:如果上帝乐意,我将以翻译、授课和写作来养家。

2015年,我出国读神学时,我家人都不好意思跟人家说我在国外学什么,因为他们认为:读这个有什么用,又赚不了钱。在读神学这几年,我好些时候在犹豫,我是不是选错了职业。因为俗话说得好,女怕嫁错郎,男怕入错行。站在现今的行情,我真是入“错了行”,我应该选个编程什么的,这样毕业出来肯定能找个工作。

我从圣十字架神学院毕业后,也曾尝试过在教会里服侍,然而几年下来,我发现这是不可能的。在我看来,原因也很简单,因为我最开始就选错了学校,我的出生“不正”。这就像金庸武侠小说里,一个华山派的弟子突然来到少林寺要求出家做个和尚。因此,我对这条路并不抱任何希望,并且我也从未感到神呼召我要去做全职侍奉。

在我们来伦敦之前,有不少弟兄姐妹担心我们的生计。有的建议我去当助教,有的建议我去打工,我自己也甚至想过开出租车,当司机,学个管工什么的。然而,自从我上次我分享我在餐馆打工以后,有两位弟兄姐妹建议我还是做自己的专行。我想他们说得有道理,说不定是上帝的带领。

于是,我在去年12月开“光从东方来”网站,那段时间,由于太太在上班,我无法出去打工,只能在家带娃,我就争取每天写一篇博文。首先,我把自己这些年的一些心得感想和译作节选分享出来,结果真的出乎我的意料。我没想到真的有不少人对东方教会传统感兴趣。原来,上帝要我把自己掰开,把这些年所得分享出来,当我这样做时,他就借着读者的代祷、转发,赏赞,学堂的学员来供应我。

我以前还以为,我读这个没有用,我所学的这个世代并不需要。然而,我错了。我所学的并不是没有用,而是人们不知道它,更别提对它的需要了。以我所学的材料来看,早期教会的心祷默观传统正是这个世代极其需要的。如果一百多年前一位西方学者提出的丝绸之路的概念在当今中国能产生如此大的反响,那么东方教会的清心圣祷传统必将在不远的将来复兴整个中国人的灵性状态。试问,面对现今社会道德堕落,官员腐化,教会世俗化,还有什么比清心圣祷的传统更对症的药吗?难道儒释道给国人开出了什么好药方吗?

有人说,我这是一条新路,又有人说,我是在拓荒。是的,这条路是首先从心里,从我们的观念意识中铺开的,这个荒也是从那里开垦的。这个领域无关乎经济效益,投资,赚钱,乃在乎公义、圣洁和良善,在乎与主相亲,在乎让心灵回家,与上帝密契。这是一条走入内心的路,因为在那里我们遇见上帝,在那里,我们得着力量对抗这个世代的腐化和堕落。这就是笔者所说的静观之路。

中国教会迈向大公传统的第一步——翻译研究早期教会文献

封面图:拆的可不只是十字架

本文是《为何中国教会要回到大公传统》的续篇,本文要回答的就是中国教会迈向大公传统的第一步是什么?答案就是:在学术上,从原文阅读,翻译和研究早期文献。

为何是在学术研究上,而不是直接走静观之路呢?(请读笔者专文《学术的有限性,兼论静观之路的必要性》)

这个不难回答,因为学术翻译研究是给静观之路打材料基础的。以我们现在谈的灵修,操练敬虔为例,简直可以用一团乱象来形容,各人有各人的理解,各个教会有各个教会的理解,有些教会把灵修看成是说方言,医治赶鬼,有些教会将灵修单纯地等同于读经祷告。

因此,除非借着翻译研究早期教会文献给静观之路打好一个坚实的基础,否则我们所说的“静观之路”只是各说各话了。若有教派站出来说,它就是大公教会,并持有大公传统,那么至少也要拿点东西出来证明,不然怎能服众呢?所以,那些声称自己教派是大公教会的人更该殷勤从事翻译研究早期教会文献的任务。

笔者对早期教父的爱是从读橡树出版的一系列书开始的,尤其是圣巴西尔《论创世六日》,神学家格列高利《神学讲演录》,阿塔纳修《论道成肉身》。感动我的不仅是他们的思想,更是文字下面清晰可见的灵性,虽然相隔上千年,我却觉得他们无形地牧养了我。是他们的灵性埋下了我打算从原文翻译希腊教父著作的种子。如果教父们的灵性是海,那我只想借着翻译取一小杯水,以解我心之饥渴。

这种从原文阅读并翻译教父著作的渴望带领我到圣十字架神学院学习,进而从希腊教父拓展到叙利亚教父,甚至景教研究;也正是这种渴望告诉了我中国教会迈向大公传统的第一步的答案:从原文阅读、翻译并研究早期教会文献。[1] 笔者列举三条理由来论证此点。

首先、大公传统不等同于圣经研究,更见于早期教会文献,尤其是早期东方教会文献

何为大公传统?我已发文《再论圣经与大公传统》、《论对唯独圣经的误解和误用》和《教会、圣经与大公传统》中做了一些反思和谈论。现笔者总结如下:

如果把大公传统比喻为一个人的话,那么那不可见的圣父、圣子、圣灵(尤其是圣灵,因为五旬节降临了,我们应许受圣灵)三位一体在教会内的工作就是它的灵魂,而其心脏的两个心房就是圣礼(主要指洗礼、圣餐礼,包括傅油礼)和圣经,然后由此延伸出躯干、头脑、四肢等。具体而言,就是大公会议信经,决议和教规;地方会议(后来教会都认同的)决议和教规;教父众口一词的教导;灵修传统及文献、教规和礼仪文本(甚至包括圣徒传记,纪念日等)。

在这些大公传统的文献中,东方教会在会议决议、礼仪、灵修和教父文献中占据着相当大的比例,甚至可以毫不夸张地说大多是从东方教会开始的(这也是笔者取网站名为“光从东方来”的原因之一)。

然而与之相对比的学术状况而言。基督徒学者中(似乎是因着唯独圣经中正确解经的顾虑)出现了一大批研究圣经、改教时期的学者(亦包括一些研究中国教会的学者),但研究早期教会历史的比例偏少。在非基督徒学者中,多是从哲学宗教的角度来研究教会历史,他们的研究偏重于西方教会,尤其是具有代表性的教父,比如奥古斯丁、托马斯阿奎那。对于笔者所涉猎的早期东方教会历史和景教研究,却不多见。

其次,不从翻译和研究早期教会文献开始,我们对大公传统的追寻将毫无根据

正所谓巧妇难为无米之炊,没有对一手材料的翻译和研究,谈回到大公传统是没有根据的。虽然对前沿学术的研究和翻译也很有必要,但从学术追根溯源的精神看,我们必须达到从原文阅读、翻译、研究的地步,才能为大公传统的追寻找到切实的材料基础。

最后,环境的艰难恰恰表明中国教会必须迈出这第一步,才能看到未来

现今中国教会的艰难是不言而喻的,面临着在学术、出版、教育、社会公共领域等的全面萎缩和不友好状态,可以说中国教会正面临着生死存亡的考验。在笔者看来,这个考验正是中国教会能否回到大公传统,从其中汲取力量得以站立得稳。如果中国教会是浪子,那么,现在是回家的时候了。

比如说使徒时期的殉道精神和之后延续的修道主义精神恰恰是中国教会所缺,用以对抗世俗化的灵性资源;大公会议的决议,教父们众口一词的教导也能给中国教会力量去对抗各类异端和“个人化”解经的倾向;教会留下的礼仪文献能为教会平信徒提供灵性生活的指南,帮助他们养成虔诚生活的习惯;教会留下的教规抑制教会分裂的趋势。所有这些资源都能在灵性上,教义上,礼仪上和外在面貌上给中国教会力量,向下扎根,向上结果,真正形成一个整体的见证和风貌。

为何是早期教会文献?早期教会文献包括哪些?

早期教会文献是离根源更近,也是最少受争议的文献,因为那个时候还没有宗派之分。并且对大公传统的追求,也应该是从耶稣基督开始,从地区上向外延伸,从时间上往后走,不拘他们操什么语言,是否在罗马境内,都一视同仁地学习他们的语言,阅读翻译他们的文献,了解他们的思想。

按笔者理解,我们应该从使徒时期开始(圣经的学者已有不少研究),然后按语言分为三大传统:

  • 希腊传统走到8-9世纪,约到认信者马克西姆,大马士革的约翰时期。
  • 拉丁传统走到9-10世纪,甚至追溯到经院哲学兴起之前。
  • 叙利亚传统走到7-8世纪,以叙利亚的圣以撒为代表。

至于其他传统,如科普特传统,亚美尼亚传统,埃塞俄比亚,保加利亚传统,以及后来的俄罗斯圣统可以放到第二步去研究和翻译。当然,目前就俄罗斯圣统而言,国内已有学者涉猎,笔者不再详述。

[1] 关于中国教会为何要回到大公传统,以及阻碍中国教会回到大公传统的两大障碍:君士坦丁之后教会堕落说和教派的门户之见,请参见笔者专文《为何中国教会要回到大公传统?