“One Moment of Beauty”: An East-West Dialogue of Paul Tillich and Farewell My Concubine


  • Kris H. K. Chong Fuller Theological Seminary


Paul Tillich, Botticelli’s art, Chinese cinema, aesthetics, religion


This paper looks at Paul Tillich’s discourse on the religious dimension in art and culture, and the way Sandro Botticelli’s painting shaped his aesthetics. Since Tillich’s depiction of his encounter with beauty through art is so similar to a Beijing opera scene in Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige’s movie, Farewell My Concubine, I will draw on Tillich’s aesthetic notions to dialogue with the motion picture. To my knowledge, there is no scholarly work in whole or in large part that analyzes Tillich’s thoughts in conjunction with this film from a theological perspective. At the same time, the opera scene discussed in this paper is also a less investigated aspect of this movie.


Author Biography

Kris H. K. Chong, Fuller Theological Seminary

MPhil, University of Cambridge.

Phd student, Fuller Theological Seminary. Concentration in Theology and Culture, dissertation focuses on Theolgoy and Chinese Film.

Interest in Chinese (language) films, Christian theology, Japanese film and culture, Japanese and Chinese literature.




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• Irvine, Dean. “Chen Kaige: Capturing the Best and Worst of Times.†CNN.com. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/03/09/ta.chenkaige/#cnnSTCText (Accessed October 14, 2013).

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How to Cite

Chong, K. H. K. (2014). “One Moment of Beauty”: An East-West Dialogue of Paul Tillich and Farewell My Concubine. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies, 2(2). Retrieved from https://ajouronline.com/index.php/AJHSS/article/view/1124