Comparing the doctrine(s) of the conscience in the philosophies of St. Paul and Wang Yangming

Nang Kwok Orlando HO

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Culturally speaking, what is human being? What makes humans humans? These are essential questions that every serious thinker needs to ask and must propose an answer. It happens that both Apostle Paul (c. 5 BCE? – c. 67) of the Christian tradition and Wang Yangming (1472 – 1529) of the Confucian tradition have both come up with a doctrine of The Conscience. Their thoughts have, unquestionably, inspirational impacts on educators throughout the ages. This paper will therefore ask: What then are the commonalities and differences in their doctrines of The Conscience? We will apply the methods of historical and textual studies, to examine the significant writings of St. Paul and the works of Wang Yangming. The aim is to establish them for comparative inter-perspectival dialogue across traditions. In addition, what pedagogical implications their prototypical ways of conceptualizing the moral self might have for the teaching of life and values in our contemporary setting will be explored; for this will then be the unique contribution of this philosophizing, in the context of the secularized and performative cultures of the present century.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


Apostle Paul
Human Being
Christian Tradition
Textual Studies


Ho, O. (2016, April). Comparing the doctrine(s) of the conscience in the philosophies of St. Paul and Wang Yangming. Paper presented at the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong (CESHK) Annual Conference 2016: Learning to Live Together & Comparative Education, and Third Across-Strait Four Region Forum on Comparative Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China.


  • St. Paul
  • Wang Yangming
  • Conscience
  • Inter-perspectival dialogue
  • Confucianism
  • Ethics