Where Is China Headed? New Tendencies in the Humanities and Social Sciences

In: Journal of Chinese Humanities

China as a whole is facing a marked trend toward indigenization. The past thirty years have seen rapid and profound changes in the social sciences, heralding a new season in the humanities, in which the study of traditional culture has shifted from the sidelines to the center of academic research. Traditional culture, especially Confucianism, with its worldly orientation, is bound to play a central role in deepening and expanding the ongoing conversation with liberalism. At the same time, however, it must still develop values for structuring society and everyday life that are as influential as those of liberalism. The three main challenges to a Confucian revival today are the ruling ideology in China (namely, Marxism), the dominance of Western sociopolitical theory, and the current practices of disciplinary organization.

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