CFP: Conference on the Four Books

This is an announcement and Call for Papers for an international symposium to be held in Beijing in late April on the Four Books. For details, read on!

International Symposium on Four Books
April 28—29, 2012

The International Symposium on Four Books will be held in Beijing, China, during April 28—29, 2012, under the auspices of Journal of Chinese Philosophy and the School of Classical Chinese Learning (国学院)of Renmin University of China. You shall register on the 27th.

The Four Books (in the learning order of Daxue, Zhongyong, Lunyu and Mengzi) represents the Confucian mainstream tradition of philosophical and political thought for over one thousand years in China and other areas in East Asia.  It has held supreme authority in both the intellectual and social life of China until modern period of 1919 when Confucianism was discredited. However after eclipsing nearly 100 years, Confucianism has been slowly reinstalled as the Chinese representative ideology.  Consequently,the Four Books gain wider attention among scholars and the public again.  It becomes obvious that if we wish to know Chinese culture and philosophy we cannot ignore the study of the Four Books which constitute the foundation and fountainhead of Confucianism.

A proper understanding of the Four Books incur many interesting scholarly questions which include:  What is the unifying theme of the Four Books?What are the differentiating views among the Four Books?  What is the best way of integrating the ideas of Four Books without suppressing their differences? Why is Xunzi excluded from the central learning of the Four Books and how compatible is it with the Four Books? What is the canonical status of the Four Books?  How to compare it to the canonical tradition of the West?  How and whether the Four Books can be taught as canonical literature in the world?  In particular,how are the Four Books to be incorporated in the educational curricula of the contemporary academe and universities?

In light of these questions, we call for papers on themes of the following:

1.      Textual and Commentaries studies of the Four Books
2.      Interpretation and Hermeneutics of the Four Books
3.      Influence of Four Books in Chinese society and Chinese culture
4.      Philosophy in the Four Books and core values in the Chinese ethics
5.      Comparative studies including religious and aesthetic studies
6.      Four Books and contemporary philosophy and education in China

As you are known to work in an area related to the above questions of the Four Books, you are cordially invited to participate in this Symposium and to present an academic paper on a relevant theme or topic. Your room and board during the conference are covered by the Symposium, but your travel from your hometown to Beijing will have to be borne by yourself.  Hence you are encouraged to apply to your institution for financial support.  All titles, abstracts and full articles are to be submitted before or no later than April 10, 2012.  For inquiries, please forward them to the following address.

Linyu Gu, Ph. D. in Philosophy
Journal of Chinese Philosophy

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