Confucian Marxism

A Reflection on Religion and Global Justice

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Weigang Chen

Buttressed by an autocratic system, China’s colossal economic growth over the past decades seems to have had the paradoxical effect of undermining the foundation of Western domination but at the same time invigorating Eurocentricism. In particular, it highlights the current relevance of the central conviction of Weber’s Orient: the absence of civic roots in non-Western societies will create a kind of “uncivic” capitalist system in which one has no choice but to seek to compensate for instabilities through authoritarian institutions. Does this mean that the West may alone afford to harmonize political stability with the universalistic ideal of justice as the basic structure of society? If not, how then is it possible to develop a notion of the primacy of social justice that transcends the limits of liberal democracy? This book aims at addressing these timely questions by drawing on “Confucian Marxism”—a distinctive perspective on civil society.

Five Classics of Fengshui

Chinese Spiritual Geography in Historical and Environmental Perspective

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Michael Paton

In Five Classics of Fengshui Michael Paton traces the theoretical development of this form of spiritual geography through full translations of major texts: the Burial Classic of Qing Wu, Book of Burial, Yellow Emperor’s Classic of House Siting, Twenty Four Difficult Problems, and Water Dragon Classic.
This theoretical development is analysed through the lens of history, philosophy and sociology of science in an attempt to address Joseph Needham’s conundrum of the "great beauty of the siting" in traditional China being based of such a “grossly superstitious system” and to understand what part fengshui played in the environmental history of China.

The Mozi as an Evolving Text

Different Voices in Early Chinese Thought

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Edited by Carine Defoort and Nicolas Standaert

Mozi (ca. 479-381), known as the first outspoken critic of Confucius, is an important but neglected figure in early Chinese philosophy. The book Mozi, named after master Mo, was compiled in the course of the fifth - third centuries BCE. The seven studies included in the The Mozi as an Evolving Text take a fresh look at the Core Chapters, Dialogues, and Opening Chapters of the book Mozi. Rather than presenting a unified vision of Mohist thought, the contributions search for different voices in the text and for evolutions or tensions between its chapters. By analysing the Mozi as an evolving text, these studies not only contribute to the rejuvenation of Mozi studies, but also to the methodology of studying ancient Chinese texts.

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Paolo Santangelo

Although the preface says that the tales in this collection of supernatural stories should not be taken seriously and just aim to dispel boredom, Zibuyu is a work with different reading levels, which allows to uncover several deep trends, taboos and fantasies of late imperial intellectual circles. Disgust, surprise and laughter are constantly evoked, by continually attracting and repulsing the reader.
Yuan Mei’s approach guides the reader to an adventure in the dangerous recesses of the self. It is a sort of allegoric fantastic reflection on the relative and polyphonic essence of human beings, the multiplicity of selves from psychological perception, and a challenge to the traditional biographical and historical perspective for the unreliability of destiny. Dreams, madness, delusions and other extreme cognitive and affective conditions, abnormal events, gods and spirits, and the dark world of death lead to a reversal of perspective and destroy the Apollonian vision of the social-centered Confucian orthodoxy.
With introduction, translation and comments.

The Challenge of Linear Time

Nationhood and the Politics of History in East Asia

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Edited by Viren Murthy and Axel Schneider

The papers collected in this volume congeal around a debate about the ways and extent of the dominance of linear time and progressive history and the concomitant delineation of the nation in Chinese and Japanese historiography. As China and Japan entered the global capitalist system of nation states, the Chinese and Japanese regimes implemented a number of reforms, which resulted in transformations that affected everyday experience. In the face of imperialism and the perceived threat of being split up, the Meiji and late Qing governments radically reoriented policies in order to become wealthy and powerful in the global arena. People not only began to experience time and space in new ways, but elites also were increasingly exposed to Western theories of history and concepts of nationhood, which became dominant. These changes contributed to the production of new types of historical consciousness and collective identity. The essays in this volume each provide a perspective on the complex ways in which imagining national and regional identity in East Asia were and continue to be enmeshed with visions of time and history. This book should be of interest to all those who are interested in nationalism, modernity in China and Japan, global capitalism and the politics of time.

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George L. Israel

In Doing Good and Ridding Evil in Ming China: The Political Career of Wang Yangming, George Israel offers an account of this influential Neo-Confucian philosopher’s official career and military campaigns. While his contribution to China’s intellectual history and the outlines of his political life are well known, the relation between his thought and what he did in his capacity as a Ming official has been given less attention.
Prior writing on Wang Yangming has passed judgment on his ideas by either idealizing or condemning him for how he treated those he was assigned to govern. Through a detailed reconstruction of his career in the context of issues of empire, ethnicity, and violence, George Israel demonstrates that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Late Works of Mou Zongsan

Selected Essays on Chinese Philosophy

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Edited by Jason Clower

In Late Works of Mou Zongsan, Jason Clower publishes English translations of this most famous and influential of modern Chinese philosophers for the first time. In essays chosen for their clarity and approachability, this leading contemporary Confucian speaks on the topics that best define his career: the future of Chinese culture and philosophy, the unique achievements of Confucianism, the place of Buddhism and Daoism in Chinese culture, and the possibility of a new partnership between Chinese and Western thought.

Signposts of Self-Realization

Evolution, Ethics and Sociality in Modern Chinese Literature and Film

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Xinmin Liu

In Signposts of Self-Realization, Xinmin Liu offers an ontological study of education and development of the individual self through the prisms of ethical progress and social evolution in the context of modern Chinese literature and film.

Did self-realization in the Chinese modern follow the law of Social Darwinism: the biggest ego always won out? Is individualism always self-regarding, never other-regarding? How did the Greater I evolve out of the Lesser I socially and ethically? Confronting these questions, the author navigates through the terrains of paraphrastic translation, Buddhist nonself, lyrical epiphany, redemptive memory and ethnic orality to map out an alternative path for the growth of a modern Chinese self.

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Edited by Yuri Pines, Paul Goldin and Martin Kern

Ideology of Power and Power of Ideology in Early China explores ancient Chinese political thought during the centuries surrounding the formation of the empire in 221 BCE. The individual chapters examine the ideology and practices of legitimation, views of rulership, conceptualizations of ruler-minister relations, economic thought, and the bureaucratic administration of commoners.
The contributors analyze the formation of power relations from various angles, ranging from artistic expression to religious ideas, political rhetoric, and administrative action. They demonstrate the interrelatedness of historiography and political ideology and show how the same text served both to strengthen the ruler’s authority and moderate his excesses. Together, the chapters highlight the immense complexity of ancient Chinese political thought, and the deep tensions running within it.
Contributors include Scott Cook, Joachim Gentz, Paul R. Goldin, Romain Graziani, Martin Kern, Liu Zehua, Luo Xinhui, Yuri Pines, Roel Sterckx, and Charles Sanft.

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Kenneth M. Wells

This outline of Korea’s civilisation is a cultural history that examines the ways the Korean people over the past two millennia understood the world and viewed their place in society. In the traditional era, the interaction between several broad religious and philosophical traditions and social institutions, state interests and, at times, external pressures, provides the framework of the story. In the modern era, the chief concern is with the rapid and momentous cultural changes that have occurred over the past one and a half centuries in the idea and spread of education, the rise in influence of students, the development of mass culture, the redefinition of gender, and the continuing importance of religion.