Who’s Afraid of Confucius?

East Asian Values and the Africans

in African and Asian Studies
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The paper examines the popularly known Confucian values and ritual practices and questions the notion that these norms and practices are unique to East Asia. By evoking the essential social values and norms of the Akan culture (in West Africa) the analysis posits that the so-called East Asian values as codified by Confucius are actually universal principles. The essay examines how the principles of filial piety and ancestor worship play out in the social practices of the Asante people (of the Akan ethnic group) and the Confucian communities, and suggests that a proper comparative examination of these practices across cultures would show that some cultural groups outside the East Asian zone might turn out to be more ‘Confucian’ than some of the East Asian countries.

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