AAR Confucian Traditions Panels

The AAR Conference is about to take place; here is information about the Confucian Traditions Group’s panels. Please note that you need to be registered for the conference in order to access the virtual panels.

Even if you are not going physically to San Antonio, you will be able to participate in this year’s Confucian Traditions Unit activities.  We are hosting three panels, and we encourage you to attend all three!  The information is down below.  The first session is in person, and the latter two are virtual.  We hope to see you there, at least on our computer screens.

In-person sessions begin with an A-prefix (i.e., A20-109), whereas Virtual sessions begin with an AV-prefix (i.e., AV21-115)

All Times are Listed in Central Standard Time (CST)

Confucian Traditions Unit
Theme: Thinking Through Emotion, Confucian and Comparative Perspectives
Saturday, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM (In Person)
Convention Center-208

Jin Y Park, American University, Presiding
This panel is an important opportunity for five thinkers to gather together and present their current research on emotions in Korean religions. While three of these presenters deal more or less with the Four-Seven debate (arguably the most significant philosophical movement in the history of Korean Confucianism), all five are related to thinking through emotional experience within a Confucian cultural horizon of interpretation. Together the relative focal singularity and interpretive diversity of the panel will be a great contribution to the Confucian Traditions Unit at AAR and beyond. This scholarly AAR unit embodies a broader and deeper appreciation for the values of Asian and comparative religious thought that will be significantly exemplified by this unique panel of presenters. While affect theory and practice through emotions have been explored in various fields of intercultural comparative religious studies, this particular focus on Korean Confucianism should be an important contribution to the ongoing conversation of intellectual culture that we all aspire to enrich the practices of academic philosophy in a global context.

• Edward Chung, University of Prince Edward Island
The Role of Emotions in Self-Cultivation: A Comparative Study of Yi Yulgok’s Neo-Confucian Ethics
• Suk Gabriel Choi, Towson University
Gyeong/Jing 敬 (Reverence) in the Korean Neo-Confucian Philosophy of Emotion and Its Availability in Contemporary Ethical Debates
• Joseph Harroff, American University
Confucian Ethical Individuality: The Korean Four-Seven Debate in Light of Recent Archaeology and Present Democratic Predicaments
• Hyo-Dong Lee, Drew University
The Neo-Confucian Concept of Emotions (情 Jeong) as a Core Political Notion of ‘Confucian Democracy’ in South Korea
• Jea Sophia Oh, West Chester University
Emotions (情 Jeong) in Korean Confucianism and Family Experience: An Ecofeminist Perspective

Young-chan Ro, George Mason University

Comparative Religious Ethics Unit and Confucian Traditions Unit
Theme: Author Meets Critics: Aaron Stalnaker’s Mastery, Dependence, and the Ethics of Authority (Oxford University Press, 2020)
Sunday, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM (Virtual)

Shannon Dunn, Gonzaga University, Presiding
Aaron Stalnaker’s Mastery, Dependence, and the Ethics of Authority (Oxford University Press, 2019) is at once a major contribution to our understanding of early Confucian thought and an intervention in ongoing discussions within ethical and political theory. Drawing contributions from early Confucian thinkers like Mengzi and Xunzi into contemporary debates, Stalnaker works to complicate the modern Wests pervasive skepticism of authority, which he argues is too narrowly conceived of as mere coercion. He does so by making a case for the viability of an early Confucian social theory that recognizes the crucial role played by shared social practices, practical mastery, and relations of dependence and authority in fostering an autonomous citizenry, responsible leadership, and harmonious society. This panel brings together a group of four scholars working from different intellectual traditions, and Stalnaker himself as respondent, to discuss his striking argument for the relevance of early Confucian thought to how we ought to live today and its implications for similar projects of comparison and retrieval.

• Thomas A. Lewis, Brown University
Forging Common Conversation: Labor, Literature, and the Practices of Formation
• Molly Farneth, Haverford College
Masters, Mastery, and Freedom
• Mercedes Valmisa, Gettysburg College
Paolo Freire and the Early Confucians
• Christopher Yang, Brown University
Virtue and Skill in Early Confucianism

Aaron Stalnaker, Indiana University

Confucian Traditions Unit
Theme: New Studies in Confucian Thought: Ritual, Canonization, and Politics
Sunday, 12:30 PM-2:30 PM (Virtual)

Michael Ing, Indiana University, Presiding
This session includes three papers on diverse aspects of Confucianism as a religious and political tradition. The first paper explores the moral significance of the ritualized body by looking into its aesthetic qualities, arguing that in early Confucian thought the ritualized body is considered aesthetically appealing to the spectators, and witnessing it is a morally formative experience for them. The second paper examines the debates regarding Hu Juren’s canonization in the national Confucius temple in 1573 and 1584, in order to deepen the understanding of the mechanism of canonization in the Confucius Temple, how local intellectuals may influence this process, and in what ways Ming Dynasty Confucians formed role models through canonization. The third paper argues, against common contemporary preconceptions, that to achieve harmony in a modern pluralistic society, a Confucian political thinker should support a state that refrains from promoting Confucian values and stays neutral in making policies.

• Baldwin Wong, Hang Seng University of Hong Kong
Confucianism and Neutrality: Why a Legitimate Confucian State Should Be Neutral
• Shumo Wang, Harvard University
Hu Juren’s Path to Canonization
• Naiyi Hsu, Indiana University
The Moral Significance of the Ritualized Body in Early Confucian Thought: An Aesthetic Interpretation

Bin Song, Washington College

Business Meeting
Aaron Stalnaker, Indiana University, Presiding
Michael Ing, Indiana University, Presiding

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