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Philosophy | The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China

The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China

Fan, Ruiping (Ed.)

2011, X, 266 p.

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  • A unique non-European vision of the debate in China regarding the place of Confucianism in its future;
  • An access for the first time in English to the new Chinese Confucian scholars who are attempting to reinvigorate Confucianism as the moral, cultural, and political anchor for a China self-consciously free of European cultural dominance;
  • A collection indispensable for Chinese studies in presenting the new Confucian challenge to Western assumptions regarding a global ethics and an account of appropriate governance;
  • A presentation of a watershed change in Chinese thought likely to shape the character of the 21st century.
  • No one exploring cultural development should be without the resources offered by this volume’s seminal picture of a reawakening Confucian Chinese self-consciousness.

Under the clear and thoughtful editorship of Ruiping Fan, The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China provides new and highly substantive insights into the emergence of a renewed, relevant, and perceptively engaged Confucianism in 21st century China. Through the vibrantly diverse essays contained in this volume, and in cogent overview through Fan’s introduction, one learns that Confucianism is thoroughly misunderstood, if it is seen only through Western lenses. It cannot be absorbed into that rights-based “global” discourse that has been the West’s troubled inheritance from the Enlightenment. Extraordinarily thoughtful Chinese voices are found in this volume that converse with each other in serious and revealing ways. Should genuine exchange continue to develop between Western thinkers and Chinese Confucians, The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China will surely be an indispensable pathway into those core issues, moral and social, that will unavoidably be encountered as China and the West advance further into the 21st century.


Stephen A. Erickson, Professor of Philosophy and the E. Wilson Lyon Professor of the Humanities, Pomona College, USA


The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China features an important school of Confucianism in Mainland China today, “Political Confucianism,” powerfully articulated by Jiang Qing, author of the leading article in this volume. “Political Confucianism” is unique: on the “Political” side, it rejects many core values of liberalism, the dominant political ideology in the West; and on the “Confucianism” side, it rejects the one-sided emphasis on the inner sageliness of “New Confucianism” developed in Hong Kong and Taiwan in the last century. In this volume, the programmatic essay by Jiang Qing is followed by penetrating essays, either further expanding on or critically examining various themes of Jiang’s original essay, by eminent scholars, many of whom are committed Confucians themselves. The volume concludes with an informative biography of Jiang Qing. It is a must-read for anyone who is interested in learning about the situation of Confucianism in contemporary China in particular and about Confucianism or contemporary China in general. 


Yong HUANG, Chief Editor, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy

This is the most important recent study of Chinese culture and political theory. It offers a rich insight into the renaissance of authentic Confucian commitments in contemporary China and the foundationally different moral and political direction that it proposes for China’s future. The essays Fan brings together tie the power of China’s rich past to the prospect of a China quite different from what the West envisages. It is a “must-read” for anyone seeking to understand China in the 21st century.


David Solomon, W.P. and H.B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre Dame

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Confucian Academies - Confucianism - Equality - Ethics in China - Feminism and Confucianism - Filial Piety in Confucianism - Jiang Qing - Liberalism - Political Confucianism - Political Theory

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Philosophy

Table of contents 

Introduction. The Rise of Authentic Confucianism
    Ruiping Fan

Part I. The Renaissance of Confucianism

1. From Mind Confucianism to Political Confucianism     
    Jiang Qing 
2. The Rise of Political Confucianism in Contemporary China  
    Ruichang Wang

3. On “One-Continuity” in Jiang Qing’s Confucian Thought   
    Dan Lin

4. Jiang Qing on Equality        
    Ruiping Fan

5. The Confucian Conception of Transcendence and Filial Piety  
    Qingxin K. Wang

6. Toward a Proper Relation between Men and Women: Beyond Masculinism and   Feminism            
 Tangjia Wang
7. The Soft Power in the Confucian “Kingly Way”   
    Anthony Yeung

Part II. Critiques and Responses

8. Jiang Qing’s “Political Confucianism” 
    Daniel Bell
9. Declaration towards a Global Ethic? Jiang Qing’s Response  
    Jonathan Chan

10. Jiang Qing on the Inevitable and Permanent Conflict between the Christian Faith and       Confucian Culture      
      Ping-cheung Lo

11. The Characteristics and Prospect of Confucian Academies: A Commentary on Jiang Qing's Ideas on Confucian Academies
      Xiuping Hong

12. Three Political Confucianisms and Half a Century    
      Albert H.Y. Chen

13. Is Political Confucianism a Universalism? An Analysis of Jiang Qing’s Philosophical Tendency  
Xianglong Zhang

Part III. A Note on Jiang Qing

14. A Confucian Coming of Age       
      Erika Yu and Meng Fan

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