Yin-Yang and the Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh: An Evangelical Egalitarian East-West Dialogue on Gender and Race

by Amos Yong | July 31, 2020

When we think about male-female roles in relationship to Asian American churches, especially those from evangelical and East Asian contexts, there is a sense of a general correlation between the complementarianism in evangelical Christianity and that of the Confucian tradition.2 But what about evangelical egalitarians who are of East Asian descent or those more dialogical (white and other) evangelicals who might think that theological construction in the twenty-first century ought to engage cross-culturally and transnationally with non-Western traditions in general, including Asian and especially East Asian sources? Is there a way forward beyond the dominant complementarian discourse at this nexus where a predominantly white North American evangelical Christianity has met racial and ethnic others, especially East Asians in the contemporary milieu?

The following develops the egalitarian thesis (sketched in the first section below) that the Day of Pentecost’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit on sons and daughters transforms male-female and East-West relations in anticipation of the coming divine reign.3 A parallel argument (in the next section) is then discerned when considered in global context, albeit one conducted protologically rather than teleologically—i.e., seeking to retrieve ancient sources rather than aimed eschatologically—focused in particular on how ancient Daoist understandings of yin-yang complementarity (which differs from how the term is used in North American evangelical discourse and will be clarified later) have the potential to check and balance traditionally received Confucian notions of female subordination. Such an East Asian approach is then brought into conversation with the Pentecost argument (in the final section) to suggest how the eschatological transformation of the divine breath can be understood also as fulfilling the potential of ha adam (Hebrew, “the human,” “Adam”), promised from the creation narratives and do so across the racial-ethnic lines compromised by the fall. Readers should be warned that the argument remains quite abstract, operating mainly at a rather dense theoretical level, in order to clear the space for an evangelical egalitarian dialogue on gender and race that is transcultural and comparatively theological.

One important set of caveats needs to be registered. My scholarship has focused thus far much less on race and even less on gender,4 and more in the comparative theological arena, especially Buddhist-Christian dialogue.5 But even in the latter venue, this is my first foray into the other two of the “three streams”—san chiao, literally “three ways”—around which East Asian cultures have been woven over the last two millennia: the Confucian or Daoist traditions. My approach here is therefore tentative as we cannot hope to be exhaustive in the present context, not least because the comparative theological enterprise recognizes that theological and philosophical concepts do not translate easily across religious traditions and hence their juxtapositioning, as initially set out here, has to be done with care, the kind of which cannot be fully accomplished in what is an exploratory paper. Furthermore, what we are attempting at this juncture is also methodologically fraught, bringing comparative theological approaches to bear on issues of gender and race, and in that sense, multiple discursive sites and currents need to be navigated. Consider the next few pages then, as no more than preliminary first steps for a (pentecostal and) evangelical transcultural, transnational, and transreligious dialogue where gender and race overlap. Not only will there need to be deeper engagements with East Asian wisdom traditions along these lines, but also further discussions with other non-Western interlocutors in order for a more robust global evangelical theological paradigm to emerge. The following seeks to contribute to the few brave souls charting such a global evangelical conversation,6 yet in this case, is focused at the intersection of gender and race.

Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh: Sons and Daughters Prophesying from Every Nation under Heaven

I have long argued that the Day of Pentecost narrative opens up to a trans-ethnic, transnational, transcultural, and thereby a transreligious theological exploration.7 In the present discussion, we will observe also that the Lukan account includes the registers of both race and gender. In brief, the promise of Pentecost not only extends to the “ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8) but also includes “sons and daughters,” indeed, “both men and women” (Acts 2:17–18).8 These are extrapolations to be sure, since contemporary notions of “race” and “gender” that read back into ancient biblical texts without careful qualification will undoubtedly be anachronistic. Hence, how can we attend to Luke’s own perspective at this juncture?

First, let’s be clear about the cosmic horizons of the Lukan texts (both the Third Gospel and Acts). The introductory segments of the messianic narrative already announce, drawing from the prophet Isaiah, that he would be “a light of revelation to the Gentiles” and that through his ministry, “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 2:32a, 3:6; cf. Isa 40:5, 42:6, 49:6, emphases added). Jesus himself then is described as inaugurating his public ministry by referencing an Isaianic passage that is replete with images of the nations being drawn into Israel’s orbit and, in that procession, toward the God of Israel (Luke 4:16–19; cf. Isa 61:1–2, passim).9 We are therefore not surprised when the disciples’ Jerusalem-centric questions to Jesus before his ascension, about when he would “restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6b), is answered more universalistically: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The Pentecost scene then suggests that this initiating of a movement outward, to the ends of the earth, is preceded, complemented even, by a centripetal dynamic.10 As these messianists “were all together in one place” in receiving the divine breath (2:1b), their glossolalia (2:4) is heard by “devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem” (2:5). It is not only that the sixteen regions or ethnic/national groups (2:9–11) are meant to be representative of the known world, but “visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes” are noted as present (2:10b). This means that the blowing of the divine wind needed not wait until the end of the story (Acts 28) to reach the edges of civilization—Rome, from the apostolic Jerusalem-centered perspective—but that the center and the periphery are already brought together from this Pentecost beginning, all together caught up in the outpouring of the divine breath.

If Luke would have known about the Americas and Oceania, or about East, South, and Southeast Asia, he would have included them on his list. What is clear is that the divine breath enabled “speaking in the native language of each” (2:6b), leaving a bewildered, amazed, and astonished (2:6a, 7a) gathering of those from around the known world to ask, “how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?” (2:8), and then, in a sense, answer their own question: “in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power” (2:11). What is clear, then, is that the promise of Pentecost concerns the capacity of the gospel to be announced in the native languages of the world. Indigenous, local, and glocal cultural-linguistic traditions thus have the potential to be conduits of the divine word, carried by the divine wind.

There is one more point to be made, which is when Luke records Peter’s explanatory response to the perplexed crowd (Acts 2:12), drawing on the prophet Joel: “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy” (2:17–18; cf. Joel 2:28–29). As if to accentuate the cosmic scope of the divine breath’s gift, Luke (through Peter and Joel) underscores that the promise is for and upon all flesh. As there are none who are neither sons nor daughters (or neither men nor women)—at least in the ancient near Eastern mind—that is the egalitarian point: Any and all can be visited by the divine wind and hence can speak or bear witness to God’s redemptive work.11

Then put together, I would read the Pentecost narrative as inviting our attentiveness to the witnesses of those to and from the ends of the earth—in this case, East Asian cultures and traditions. More specifically, we ought to heed the witnesses of women, those who are daughters among us. This is not to say that any testimony is equal to any other—that is, the ongoing task of discernment;12 it is to say that the witnesses of all persons ought to be listened to on their own terms, no matter the color of their skin, whether male or female, and regardless of national, cultural, or geographic origination.

Spirit Poured Out on East Asian Flesh: Implications of Yin and Yang Complementarity for Male-Female Relationships

I now wish to turn East, in part because this reorienting belongs to my own lifelong sojourn to connect more deeply with my ethnic and cultural heritage,13 but in part, also because in our new global context, all theological reflection and construction will need to be cross-cultural and inter-religious in some fundamental respects. Here, however, we step back behind the important efforts of retrieving and documenting women’s voices, not because such work is unimportant, even as this would be the natural extension of the Pentecost narrative’s authorization of female speech (prophesying, etc.).14 Instead, given the theological reframing of the preceding that empowers our reaching out to engage with East Asian traditions, we now transition also theologically, albeit refracted on the philosophical key given the non-theistic character of the East Asian context, in order to probe the theology and philosophy of gender. In particular, our question is how to engage with East Asian understandings of gender amid our quest for a global egalitarian theology. We shall see that reliance upon traditional Confucian sources is less promising than a turn to the philosophical and other currents flowing into Daoism that coalesced during the latter part of the so-called Axial Age (ca. eighth – third centuries BCE).

What is so commensurate about Confucian gender perspectives and evangelical complementarianism is the subordination of female to male, especially in their assigned spheres: the former to the domestic arena and the latter to the public realm. In the Analects itself, there are only three references to women, with the most problematic one comparing women to “small men” (in contrast to what would have been normally expected for male capacities; 17:25) almost offset by the other two that justify consultation with a woman (6:28) and include a woman among other governing officials (8:20).15 Yet what was the presumed division of labor of Confucius’ time came to be codified in the Liji (the Record of Rites that most scholars date to the first century BCE): “The woman follows the man: in her youth, she follows her father and elder brother; when married, she follows her husband; when her husband is dead, she follows her son.”16 It was this subordinationism—known initially as the “Three Obediences” and then later as the “Three Bonds,” both indicative of female submission under male domination—that came into full flowering over the course of the next millennium when, during the Neo-Confucian revival, only males were allowed to be educated and to participate in civil, legal, and political activities and women were relegated to the domestic sphere.17 This long history of sociopolitical hierarchicalism and patriarchalism is what correlates with Victorian-era sensibilities that clearly define male and female roles, locating the latter predominantly in the household.18

Ironically, such gendered Confucian “complementarianism” has developed despite a Daoist “minority report” that yin-yang “complementarity” is arguably egalitarian in at least some respects of this latter contemporary notion. What we now call Daoism—related to the primary canonical documents such as the Dao de Ching and the Zhuangzi that found convergence around the third century BCE—itself drew inspiration from various pre-existing tributaries, not least the Yīnyángjiā or School of Yin-Yang, a speculative system of metaphysical and cosmological thought that derived from the occult arts of astrology, almanacs, divination, and physiognomy.19 In brief, as summarized by Wing-tsit Chan, “all things and events are products of two [opposite] elements, forces, or principles: yin, which is negative, passive, weak, and destructive, and yang, which is positive, active, strong, and constructive.”20 Yin and yang were certainly correlated with female and male respectively, but these were also natural and cosmological associations, not merely anthropological or gendered notions. So, if the primordial forces of heaven and earth, the chi of the world, not only encompass and connect but also regulate the yin-yang movement, then the cosmos is an ongoing dynamic of alternation, waxing into and waning out of balance continuously.21 Yin and yang are thereby potencies that rotate through and constantly transform the five elements—metal, wood, water, fire, and earth—that produce the phenomenal world as we know it. With the appearance of human creatures, the yin-yang structure of the world also interrelates their actions, whether of individuals, communities, societies, governments, etc., with heaven and earth’s natural rhythms, so that human activity is optimized when ritualized in accordance with the seasons of the cosmic environment.

Intriguingly, while yin and yang are “Chinese chains of opposition,” these are of the complementary rather than the contradictory or conflicting sort.22 Thus, if in the West, binaries contest against each other toward erasure, in the East Asian mentality, yin and yang “are the assimilating and differentiating influences behind chains of pairs,”23 each everlastingly impinging upon the other, neither with capacity without the other, relationally interconnected and never apart. Primarily “symbols of movement or action, rather than the symbols of entity or substance,” yin and yang are thereby “[co]existentially opposite but essentially united.”24 Put pointedly, yin (becoming-changing) and yang (being-unchanging) coinhere in all reality and things and are “interdependent, interactive, intertransforming, and interpenetrating . . . [and] enjoy equal metaphysical status to the extent that neither could exist without the other [both are indispensable] and neither is absolutely dominant over the other.”25 Epistemically, then, yin-yang is both-and holism, rather than either-or binarism,26 while culturally and operationally, East Asian idealism presumes yin-yang interrelationality and inter-connectedness.

Applied to our topic at hand, however, yin-yang philosophy is more about the cosmic and relational dynamics of human-becoming than reducible to male-and-female distinctions.27 Yes, the yin is generally linked with the female and the yang with the male. Yet, as one Korean American theologian writes: “I am yang in my relation to my wife but yin in my relation to my father. It is thus the relationship that determines whether I am yin or yang.”28 Yin and yang therefore are about not just male-female but all relationships. From this perspective, then, the Daoist tradition’s absorption of the yin-yang cosmology also moderates the subordinationist norm for women in the East Asian world bequeathed through the later Confucian tradition. If “Daoism definitely favors yin, the moon, and soft, while Confucianism prefers yang, the sun, and strong,” the interdependency of yin and yang means that the “charge of sexism should belong to the Confucian view of women rather than to the Daoist view of women.”29 The Daoist tradition has thereby perennially lifted up women as cosmic life-givers, as divine teachers and media of cosmic revelations and healing potencies, and as embodiments of the essential ingredients for human and personal transformation,30 even if it achieves all of this in ways that support rather than subvert Confucian values such as filial piety and loyalty to the state.31 Thus, Asian American evangelical women have been drawn to and also attempted to develop a yinist-feminist paradigm toward an anthropological theology of harmony in dynamic equilibrium.32

One comment is important before transitioning back to explicitly evangelical theological considerations. The option for the Daoist minority report is not meant to suggest that Daoist traditions are free from the patriarchalism of East Asian cultures more generally, nor even that Daoist complementarity would not even resituate the relationship with the main lines of Confucian development in a more both-and rather than either-or frame of reference. Put otherwise, the preceding is meant to serve as a heuristic reappropriation of East Asian resources that can allow for a more egalitarian vision to emerge from out of the dominant gender complementarianism that especially evangelicals have associated with contemporary Confucian perspectives. In that respect, Daoist complementarity suggests that evangelicals working on issues of gender across racial lines can engage fruitfully across the East-West chasm since received Confucian complementarianism does not need to have the final word on how to think about male-female relations, not just in a North American, but also in a global context.

Spirit Poured Out on Ecclesial-Catholic Flesh: Gender Egalitarianism and Trans-Ethnic Complementarity in the Anointed Messiah

In this final section, I wish to return toward an evangelical egalitarianism but now informed by East Asian—and Daoist, in particular—sources. If evangelical complementarianism (note the -ism with which I consistently deploy in this regard) maps onto and mutually reinforces Confucian subordinationism, then evangelical egalitarianism may gain from a trans-cultural dialogical exchange with Daoist and yin-yang complementarity (note: not an -ism). There are three brief steps in sketching the contours of how such a more robust conversation might ensue.

First, we began with the Pentecost event in Acts 2 to discover that its message regarding the outpouring of the divine breath upon all flesh, male and female alike, was the fulfillment of ancient Israelite prophecy regarding the eschatological renewal and redemption of the world. In the Daoist and yin-yang scheme of things, the world and its members are all derived from a primordial heavenly modulation of continuously dynamic and complementary interactions. Daoist protology here anticipates Pentecostal eschatology, and both have implications for reconsidering male-female relations in the egalitarian perspective. I am not here wishing for any simplistic appropriation of Daoist ideas with Christian theology.33 This is but an initial step that begs for deeper comparative analysis.34

From this, and second, the pneumatological approach toward a Pentecost-theological anthropology is consistent with the christological framing of a Pauline conception: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:27–28). The formation of the new people of God is about, in this case, the overcoming of the three most obvious barriers dividing human beings: ethnicity, social status, and gender.35 The new body of Christ does not in this case erase the particularities of human identities and bodies: There are still Jews and Greeks, just as there remain those enslaved and those free (see also 1 Cor 7:21–24), and human bodies continue on as male and female in this ecclesial dispensation. Precisely for these reasons, Asian and Asian American biblical scholars emphasize Galatians “as a resource for Christocentric inclusivity,” reconfiguring the body of Christ beyond East and West.36 As Jews and Greeks are no longer divided in Christ, so also Asians and Americans are united in Christ, beginning with the experience of the spirit of Jesus (Gal 3:2–3).

Yet, thirdly, the Pauline phrase may have other eschatological ramifications for gender beyond those related to ethnicity. If the apocalyptic imagination foresees that the eschatological people of God will nevertheless retain those distinctly distinguishable “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev 5:9b; also 7:9), then Jesus’ response to the Sadducees’ questions and disavowals about the resurrection of the body was that men and women “neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matt 22:30). Yet the point here is less to deny that male and female become something else, like angels, than to undermine the Sadducee assumptions about the character of the resurrected life. From this perspective, the “neither male nor female” in Galatians was not about anticipating a non-gendered resurrected embodiment but about overcoming the divisions between men and women in this present aeon. More precisely, this is about redeeming and renewing the promise of maleness and femaleness heralded in the creation. As Craig Keener puts it,

Paul here uses the precise terminology for male and female that appears in the creation narrative. Most commentators thus suspect an allusion to Gen. 1:27 here; the three-word phrase together quotes exactly the phrase in Genesis. Paul envisions a restoration of the primeval unity of male and female that flourished before the judgment of Gen. 3:16. . . . Some find here an allusion to primeval androgyny, a prototype of the new creation. Some Jewish thought understood the original Adam as a hermaphrodite before Eve was taken from him; God first made “man” and then separated out the female component; originally the man was “neither male nor female.” Paul’s interest, however, is not a return to the putative androgyny of the old creation, but rather the transcendent status of a new creation.37

Yin-yang cosmology thereby also maps onto the male-female complementarity identified in first creation.38 Whereas yin and yang are mutually interdependent, male and female are also two aspects of ha adam, and it is the hierarchical domination of one over the other that is overcome in Christ by his breath. Pentecost announces that the coming divine reign is now present, at least in part, by the spirit of Jesus, and that this eschatological transformation both heals the subordinationism of female to male normalized in both the West and East, and fulfills the promise of the first creation, not to mention the yin-yang vision of anthropological complementarity.

This essay has operated at the so-called 30,000-foot level in being mainly theoretical and abstract in its comparative theological consideration of race and gender in evangelical contexts. If we were to begin to touch down in the historical realms of evangelical practice, there would be a lot more unpacking of implications for male-female relations ecclesially and interpersonally. My approach would be to bring scholarship on women in Luke-Acts or evangelical and pentecostal models of women in ministry, for instance, into the evangelical egalitarian conversation, but now in dialogue with Daoist complementarian perspectives.39 The issue with evangelical complementarianism is that the possibilities of male and female mutuality are undermined by subordinationist impulses, so the key would be to imagine reciprocal praxis looking backward and forward to both creational and eschatological horizons. My wager is that Daoist notions can helpfully factor into such an exploration to inspire imaginative forms of interrelational practice for a global evangelical ecclesia.

In this essay, I have made some very preliminary suggestions about how we can develop a pentecostal and evangelical egalitarian theology in transethnic and intercultural dialogue with East Asian sources. I have suggested that a yin-yang approach provides a dialogical lens for evangelical thinking about theological anthropology that connects our protological ruminations with our eschatological hopes.40 Much more work needs to be done, not only comparatively and constructively between Western and East Asian Christian communities, but also between men and women in both venues and in between (such as in Asian America). May a fresh Pentecost blow upon male and female bodies for this venture.

Notes

1. Thanks to Mimi Haddad and CBE (Christians for Biblical Equality) International for inviting my participation on the panel on gender and race in the “Evangelicals and Gender” section of the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting, San Diego, California, 21 November 2019, and then to the CBE journal Priscilla Papers for publishing my essay along with those of other panelists at the event, for the encouraging peer review report, and for the editorial corrections. I have taken this invitation to consider matters intersectionally to press further into the East Asian dimension of my own ethnic identity and, from that perspective, have turned to resources that I am familiar with, predominantly that of the comparative theological enterprise with which I have long been engaged. Given this East Asian trajectory of argumentation, I thereby also appreciate Priscilla Papers for a publication policy that does not inhibit appearance elsewhere, and to the editors and peer reviewers of ChristianityNext for both accepting this paper and substantive referee feedback that helped to render the argument, however preliminarily, more coherent and compelling. I am grateful also to Jeremy Bone, my graduate assistant, for proofreading prior versions of this essay twice. All remaining errors of fact and interpretation are my responsibility.

2. As evident in Nikki A. Toyama and Tracey Gee, eds., More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith (IVP, 2006).

3. Within pentecostal churches—the ecclesial tradition within which I have been a lifelong member and participant—we can find as many (if not more) complementarians as egalitarians, certainly in practice; for egalitarian arguments, see Estrelda Alexander and Amos Yong, eds., Philip’s Daughters: Women in Pentecostal-Charismatic Leadership, Princeton Theological Monographs Series 104 (Pickwick, 2009).

4. I have edited one book on pentecostal-charismatic Christianity and gender (see above footnote) and written a number of essays on race, generally as an Asian American and not necessarily specifically from an East Asian perspective: “Race and Racialization in a Post-Racist Evangelicalism: A View from Asian America,” in Anthony B. Bradley, ed., Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions (P&R, 2013) 45–58 and 216–20, and “Mission after Colonialism and Whiteness: The Pentecost Witness of the ‘Perpetual Foreigner’ for the Third Millennium,” in Love L. Sechrest, Johnny Ramírez-Johnson, and Amos Yong, eds., Can “White” People Be Saved? Triangulating Race, Theology, and Mission, Missiological Engagements (IVP Academic, 2018) 301–17.

5. My doctoral coursework in religious studies, including the study of core texts in Confucian and Daoist wisdom traditions, launched me as a comparative theologian; see my books, Pneumatology and the Christian-Buddhist Dialogue: Does the Spirit Blow through the Middle Way? Studies in Systematic Theology 11 (Brill, 2012), and The Cosmic Breath: Spirit and Nature in the Christianity-Buddhism-Science Trialogue, Philosophical Studies in Science & Religion 4 (Brill, 2012).

6. For instance, my Fuller Seminary colleague, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World, 5 vols. (Eerdmans, 2013–2018).

7. My earliest work was devoted to this line of inquiry; for an early crystallization of my argument on this front, see my The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh: Pentecostalism and the Possibility of Global Theology (Baker Academic, 2005) chs. 4–5.

 8. Unless otherwise noted, all scriptural quotations will be from the New Revised Standard Version.

9. In my discussion of this section of Isaiah, called “Third Isaiah” by many scholars of that prophecy, I have suggested that 61:1–2, and 61:1–9 more generally “is the pivot upon which the visions of the restored Jerusalem turn (60:1–22 and 61:10–62:12), and is the hinge around which the judgment (chaps. 56–59) and redemption (chaps. 63–66) of Yahweh are thereby also achieved to the ends of the earth”; see my Mission after Pentecost: The Witness of the Spirit from Genesis to Revelation, Mission in Global Community (Baker Academic, 2019) 129.

10. Those familiar with my work will not be surprised at my Day of Pentecost starting point; I have developed such a Pentecost hermeneutic in my The Hermeneutical Spirit: Theological Interpretation and the Scriptural Imagination for the 21st Century (Cascade, 2017).

11. Luke in general and the Acts account more specifically are surely not egalitarian by modern standards – on this point see, Mitzi J. Smith, The Literary Construction of the Other in the Acts of the Apostles: Charismatics, the Jews, and Women (Pickwick, 2011) chs. 3–4 – but ours is a theological reading that exploits exegetical openings, and it is the latter that I am highlighting in this discussion.

12. Which was my primordial theological concern, dating back to my doctoral thesis: Discerning the Spirit(s): A Pentecostal-Charismatic Contribution to Christian Theology of Religions, Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series 20 (Sheffield Academic, 2000; reprint, with a new “Preface”: Wipf & Stock, 2018).

13. See in my books on Buddhist-Christian dialogue and also in my The Future of Evangelical Theology: Soundings from the Asian American Diaspora (IVP Academic, 2014).

14. Much work needs to be done; a retrieval of classical East Asian sources, which are still predominantly those of men whose writings were deemed more valid for preservation than of women, gives us some insight into women’s lives and fortunes historically. See Kang-I Sun Chang and Haun Saussy, eds., Women Writers of Traditional China: An Anthology of Poetry and Criticism (Stanford University Press, 2000).

15. See also Anne Behnke Kinney, “Women in the Analects,” in Paul R. Goldin, ed., A Concise Companion to Confucius (John Wiley, 2017) 148–63.

16. Liji 9.3.10; see Robin R. Wang, ed., Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture: Writings from the Pre-Qin Period through the Song Dynasty (Hackett, 2003) 53.

17. For discussion, see Lijun Yuan, Confucian Ren and Feminist Ethics of Care: Integrating Relational Self, Power, and Democracy (Lexington, 2019) ch. 1.

18. Even scholars who urge that the Confucian tradition is not monolithic grant that East Asian filial piety and gender patriarchalism are embedded within the social hierarchy relating family and state at their appropriate levels; see the editor’s “Introduction” to Dorothy Ko, JaHyun Kim Haboush, and Joan R. Piggott, eds., Women and Confucian Cultures in Premodern China, Korea, and Japan (University of California Press, 2003) 8.

19. For more on the Yīnyángjiā, see Fung Yu-Lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, ed. Derk Bodde (Free, 1966) ch. 12; cf. A. C. Graham, Disputers of the Dao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China (Open Court, 1989) 315–70.

20. Wing-tsit Chan, trans., A Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy (Princeton University Press, 1963) 244, in the discussion at the beginning of his chapter 11 on “The Yin Yang School.” Although yang and yin are correlatable with male and female generally, J. C. Cooper, Yin and Yang: The Taoist Harmony of Opposites (Aquarian, 1981) 14, notes that these “are only one aspect among endless others – [chiefly] passive and active, receptive and creatives forces in Nature – which can subdivide again and again.”

21. There is much more that can and should be said about chi in an essay that suggests a Pentecost and pneumatological approach to issues of race and gender in dialogue with East Asian sources, but that has to be deferred for the moment; those interested in assessing the state of the chi discussion in intercultural perspective can consult Grace Ji-Sun Kim, The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other: A Model of Global and Intercultural Pneumatology (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) 14–16, and Koo Dong Yun, The Holy Spirit and Ch'i (Qi: A Chialogical Approach to Pneumatology (Pickwick, 2012); also, note Hyo-Dong Lee, Spirit, Qi, and the Multitude: A Comparative Theology for the Democracy of Creation (Fordham University Press, 2014) 4.

22. A. C. Graham, Yin-Yang and the Nature of Correlative Thinking, rev. ed. (Quirin, 2016) 43.

23. Graham, Yin-Yang and the Nature of Correlative Thinking, 166.

24. Jung Young Lee, The Trinity in Asian Perspective (Abingdon, 1996) 27; for Lee, in the West, change is a function of being, but in yin-yang cosmology, being is a function of change.

25. Bo Mou, “Becoming-Being Complementarity: An Account of the Yin-Yang Metaphysical Vision of the Yi-Jing,” in Bo Mou, ed., Comparative Approaches to Chinese Philosophy (Ashgate, 2003) 86–96, at 94.

26. Lee, The Trinity in Asian Perspective, 32–33.

27. I put it this way in part because, as Catherine Despeux and Livia Kohn, Women in Daoism, 2nd ed. (Three Pines, 2011) 246, put it with regard to the yin-female correlation: “Since they represent half of the cosmic powers, women have the ability to run households, manage affairs, supervise palaces, and take on major responsibilities.”

28. Lee, The Trinity in Asian Perspective, 31. Or, put alternatively, it is the socio-cultural contextual expectations and performances that determines yin or yang; see Robin R. Wang, “Yinyang Gender Dynamics: Lived Bodies, Rhythmical Changes, and Cultural Performances,” in Ann A. Pang-White, ed., The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender (Bloomsbury, 2016) 205–28.

29. Lijun Yuan, Reconfiguring Women’s Equality in China: A Critical Examination of Models of Sex Equality (Lexington, 2005) 19, 20.

30. Despeux and Kohn, Women in Daoism, 6.

31. See the introduction to Susan Mann and Yu-yin Cheng, eds., Under Confucian Eyes: Writings on Gender in Chinese History (University of California Press, 2001) 1–8, esp. 3–4, along with ch. 1 of this volume: “Biography of the Daoist Saint Wang Fengxian by Du Guangting (850–933),” trans. Suzanne Cahill, 17–28, at 20.

32. See Young Lee Hertig, The Tao of Asian American Belonging: A Yinist Spirituality (Orbis, 2019) ch. 1.

33. But even conservative evangelicals who would be very cautious about the deployment of the yin-yang cosmology because it may in some articulations deny the qualitative chasm between God and creation are open to considering this Daoist formulation vis-à-vis male-female relations; see Morris A. Inch, Doing Theology across Cultures (Baker, 1982) ch. 5.

34. Which have been already forged, e.g., by Heup Young Kim, Christ and the Tao (Christian Conference of Asia, 2003).

35. Gordon D. Fee, Galatians: A Pentecostal Commentary (Deo, 2007) 141.

36. Yeo Khiok-khng, What Has Jerusalem to do with Beijing? Biblical Interpretation from a Chinese Perspective (Trinity, 1998) ch. 2.

37. Craig S. Keener, Galatians: A Commentary (Baker Academic, 2019) 308–9; emphasis Keener’s.

38. See Yeo What Has Jerusalem to do with Beijing?, 58–64.

39. E.g., Greg W. Forbes and Scott D. Harrower, Raised from Obscurity: A Narratival and Theological Study of the Characterization of Women in Luke-Acts (James Clarke, 2016); cf. Leah Payne, Gender and Pentecostal Revivalism: Making a Female Ministry in the Early Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

40. See also Tat-siong Benny Liew, What is Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics? Reading the New Testament (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008) ch. 2, which unfolds his own proposal for a yin-yang hermeneutic, although Liew uses yin-and-yang more as a rhetorical trope than he engages the notion historically or metaphysically.