Wangheng Chen, Jun Qi and Pingting Hao

) period. It is during this period that the fundamental principles of Chinese aesthetics took shape. The same period gave birth to the two fundamental traditions of Chinese culture: Confucianism and Taoism. Confucian aesthetics and Taoist aesthetics represent the two main traditions of Chinese classical

Fu Youde and Wang Qiangwei

Jewish thought and culture and comparing it with our own, in particular, China’s mainstream culture, Confucianism. Finally, we hope to draw on this foundation of knowledge to enrich our own values. Early Confucian society, which was agricultural, and ancient Jewish society, which was both nomadic and


Ediert von Fenggang Yang and Joseph Tamney

Confucianism is reviving in China and spreading in America. The past and present interactions between the revived Confucianism and Daoism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity will likely shape the cultural and political developments in Chinese societies of mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc., and will have global implications in the globalizing world. In addition to the philosophical and theological articulations of Confucianism and other spiritual traditions, this volume includes empirical studies of and analytical reflections on the spiritual traditions in Chinese societies by historians, sociologists, and anthropologists. It is a collection of articles by the best minds in China and the West, and the top experts in multiple disciplines. Collectively, the volume provides an assessment of the present situation and points to the possibilities of future development of Confucianism and other spiritual traditions in modern China and beyond.

Confucianism and Reflexive Modernity

Bringing Community back to Human Rights in the Age of Global Risk Society


Sang-Jin Han

Confucianism and Reflexive Modernity offers an excellent example of a dialogue between East and West by linking post-Confucian developments in East Asia to a Western idea of reflexive modernity originally proposed by Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens, and Scott Lash in 1994. The author makes a sharp confrontation with the paradigm of Asian Value Debate led by Lee Kwan-Yew and defends a balance between individual empowerment and flourishing community for human rights, basically in line with Juergen Habermas, but in the context of global risk society, particularly from an enlightened perspective of Confucianism. The book is distinguished by sophisticated theoretical reflection, comparative reasoning, and solid empirical argument concerning Asian identity in transformation and the aspects of reflexive modernity in East Asia.

Li Xiangjun

Traditional Confucianism might be likened to a great tree, with various branches and trends of thought emerging from common roots. Continuing with this metaphor, Confucianism as a form of knowledge might be regarded as a main branch, and the resulting form of Confucianism constitutes the main body of Chinese learning. Due to modern society’s transformation, Confucianism as a form of knowledge has begun to disappear and the form of Confucianism which has its own discourse system and problem consciousness has become a disconnected tradition and an object of study of all the branches of learning in modern times. It is important for the present-day development of Confucianism that we break the rigescent modern academic system, propagate Confucianism as a form of knowledge, and rebuild the Confucian form of knowledge.

HUANG Yushun

Confucianism can be analyzed at three levels of ideas: life as existence (Sein) itself; the Confucian metaphysics about metaphysical beings; and the Confucian doctrines about tangible existences. In the eyes of Confucians, life itself is displayed as the feeling of benevolence in the first place. To reconstruct Confucianism is to return to life and perceive it as a fundamental source. That means to historically return to the original Confucianism during and even before the Axial Period, in essence it is to simultaneously return to our immediate life itself, and then on this basis to reconstruct both Confucian metaphysics and Confucian doctrines about tangible existences.

Chen Lai

To counter the tendency of making Confucianism “localized” and thereby turning Confucianism research into research of local social history, the author criticizes this tendency and thinks it is unilateral to emphasize or stress the importance of a small unit’s locality, but ignore the oneness of the distribution of Confucianism and the universality of Confucian thought. The thesis emphasizes that the main schools of Confucianism in the Song and Ming Dynasties are all not local ones and cannot be reduced to reflections of some local need and social structure. The author points out that we need to self-examine the following phenomena: aggrandizing the function of local social structure to culture and thought, coming down academic schools to reflections of local social benefits, opposing this kind of research to the research of thought itself, thus rejecting philosophical research and analysis of thought itself.

XIE Xialing

Mou Zongsan incorrectly uses Kant’s practical reason to interpret Confucianism. The saying that “what is it that we have in common in our minds? It is the li 理 (principles) and the yi 义 (righteousness)” reveals how Mencius explains the origin of li and yi through a theory of common sense. In “the li and the yi please our minds, just as the flesh of beef and mutton and pork please our mouths,” “please” is used twice, proving aesthetic judgment is necessary to understanding Mencius. An analysis of Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming’s ideas will show that Confucianism should be interpreted by appealing to aesthetic judgment, and a discussion of Kant’s theory of judgment and Gadamer’s critique of Kant’s theory will support the same point. The conclusion is that Chinese moral philosophy should be interpreted through aesthetic judgment.

Jie Xiong

The development of higher vocational education in China embodies a global trend of vocationalism that values skills and skilled workers, which is opposite, in some ways, to the Confucian tradition in Chinese education that values theoretical knowledge related to good governance. As the cultural trend supporting the development of higher vocational education, vocationalism is implicated in certain challenges including high tuition fees, limited upward mobility, and neglect of the humanities in education. Humanities for moral education, and mechanisms for upward mobility on equal terms for all, which are fundamental elements of Confucianism, may help resolve these challenges. This paper embodies the dialectic of a global trend and local culture in educational reform within the context of globalization.

Rediscovering Confucianism

A Major Philosophy of Life in East Asia


Torbjörn Lodén

This book provides an outline and an appraisal of Confucianism as a system of ideas and beliefs that evolved during the past 3 millennia and continue to do so. Its roots are traced back to pre-Confucian times, followed by a detaled examination of some 40 Confucian thinkers. It also describes the social context of evolution of Confucian thought.