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The immanence and transcendence of God is clearly outlined in Aquinas and these, he sees as being complementary rather than separate. Only in God are existence and essence united, since he is a simple being and so utterly transcends created things. Nevertheless, God is immanent in His creation because created things depend for their existence on God, who sustains them in their existence. The notion of the transcendence and immanence of God is not so clear in Confucian philosophy. Matteo Ricci in his classic text, T’ien-chu Shih-i [ The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven , 天主實義] considers the question of whether the concept of the Lord of Heaven corresponds to the Christian God and though there are similarities there are important distinctions (Ricci, The true meaning of the Lord of Heaven. Trans. Introduction and notes D. Lancashire and P. Hu Kuo-chen, ed. by E.J. Malatesta. The Institute of Jesuit Sources, St. Louis, 1985). Transcendence and immanence are present in Mèngzǐ and these concepts in Aquinas and Mèngzǐ are outlined and compared.

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