New book on Confucian revival

A promising-looking new collection of essays on the multi-faceted revival of Confucianism in contemporary China, to be released in February by SUNY Press:

The Sage Returns: Confucian Revival in Contemporary China


Until its rejection by reformers and revolutionaries in the twentieth century, Confucianism had been central to Chinese culture, identity, and thought for centuries. Confucianism was rejected by both Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong’s Communist Party, which characterized it as an ideology of reaction and repression. Yet the sage has returned: today, Chinese people from all walks of life and every level of authority are embracing Confucianism. As China turned away from the excesses of the Cultural Revolution and experienced the adoption and challenges of market practices, alternatives were sought to the prevailing socialist morality. Beginning in the 1980s and continuing through the years, ideas, images, behaviors, and attitudes associated with Confucianism have come back into public and private life. In this volume, scholars from a wide range of disciplines explore the contemporary Confucian revival in China, looking at Confucianism and the state, intellectual life, and popular culture. Contributors note how the revival of Confucianism plays out in a variety of ways, from China’s relationship with the rest of the world, to views of capitalism and science, to blockbuster movies and teenage fashion.

Kenneth J. Hammond is Professor of History at New Mexico State University. He is the author of Pepper Mountain: The Life, Death, and Posthumous Career of Yang Jisheng, the editor of The Human Tradition in Premodern China, and the coeditor (with Kristin Stapleton) of The Human Tradition in Modern China. Jeffrey L. Richey is Associate Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Berea College. He is the author of Confucius in East Asia: Confucianism’s History in China, Korea, Japan, and Viet Nam and the editor of Teaching Confucianism.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Daniel A. Bell

Introduction: The Death and Resurrection of Confucianism
Kenneth J. Hammond and Jeffrey L. Richey

Part One. Confucianism and Intellectual Life

1. The Tenacious Persistence of Confucianism in Imperial Japan and Modern China
Robert W. Foster

2. Scientism and Modern Confucianism
Jennifer Oldstone-Moore

Part Two. Confucianism and the State

3. Selling Confucius: The Negotiated Return of Tradition in Post-Socialist China
Anthony DeBlasi

4. The Return of the Repressed: The New Left and “Left” Confucianism in Contemporary China
Kenneth J. Hammond

5. Chat Room Confucianism: Online Discourse and Popular Morality in China
Jeffrey L. Richey

Part Three. Confucianism and Popular Culture

6. Like the Air We Breathe: Confucianism and Chinese Youth
Robert L. Moore

7. The Sage’s New Clothes: Popular Images of Confucius in Contemporary China
Julia K. Murray


2 replies on “New book on Confucian revival”

  1. Why are all these new books about Confucianism so expensive? It will be not good for ordinary audience to know Confucianism. It seems like a rarity targeted only for academic elite. As a doctoral student, I even can’t purchase it and must wait for a copy in the school library.

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