Category Archives: Contemporary Confucianism

Confucianism and Resistance in Hong Kong

Earlier this month Joseph Chan, a well-known authority on Confucianism at the University of Hong Kong, published a short essay (in Chinese) that draws on the Analects (especially 8:13) to think about people’s responsibilities when a state “lacks the Way.” A very brief summary: when Confucius says that in a state lacking the Way one should “yin 隱” (which is translated “conceal” in that Ctext link), he does not mean that one should hide away and fail to engage with the society. It might be worth contrasting this with questions raised in 2014 during the Umbrella Movement about the lack of Confucian discourse at that time.

Bin Song on Ru Meditation

Bin Song has begun a podcast series of Ru meditation, starting from several audios about Ru Breathing. They are currently in his website: https://binsonglive.wordpress.com/ru-breathing/. He plans to do more in the future including topics such as postures of Ru meditation, Ru meditation in Motion, and how to manage one’s emotions, etc. Check it out!

New Book: State-Society Relations and Confucian Revivalism in Contemporary China

Qin PANG has published State-Society Relations and Confucian Revivalism in Contemporary China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019); see here for details. The abstract:

This book is a study of the causes of the Confucian revival and the party-state’s response in China today. It concentrates on the interactions between state and society, and the implications for the Chinese state’s control over society, or in other words, its survival over a rapidly modernizing society. The book explores the answers to questions such as: Why has Confucianism suddenly gathered great momentum in contemporary Chinese society? What is the role of the Chinese state in its rise? Is the state really the orchestrator of the Confucian revival as has been widely assumed? This book will be of interest to think-tank and policy researchers, sinologists, and those with an interest in Chinese society.

New Book: Bai, Against Political Equality—The Confucian Case

Bai Tongdong writes with information about his new book — congratulations!

My new book, Against Political Equality—The Confucian Case was just published by Princeton University Press.  In this book, I offer a viable political alternative to liberal democracy that is inspired by Confucian ideas.  In domestic governance, I argue that Confucianism can embrace the liberal aspects of democracy along with the democratic ideas of equal opportunities and governmental accountability to the people.  But Confucianism would give more political decision-making power to those with the moral, practical, and intellectual capacities of caring for the people. While most democratic thinkers still focus on strengthening equality to cure the ills of democracy, the proposed hybrid regime—made up of Confucian-inspired meritocratic elements with democratic elements and a quasiliberal system of laws and rights—recognizes that egalitarian elements are sometimes in conflict with good governance and the protection of liberties, and defends liberal aspects by restricting democratic ones.  I apply these views to the international realm by supporting a hierarchical order, the “Confucian New Tian Xia Order,” based on how humane each state is toward its own and other peoples, and the principle of international interventions under this order whereby humane responsibilities override sovereignty.

PUP’s official link: https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691195995/against-political-equality

(Enter discount code BAI1 on the PUP website to get 30% off, through June 30, 2020. *Shipping charges and local import fees apply*)

Amazon’s page:

https://www.amazon.com/Against-Political-Equality-Confucian-Princeton-China/dp/0691195994/

New Journal / Roundtable on Kim, Confucian Public Reason

Thanks to Kyung Rok Kwon for sharing the following information and the linked PDF of the the journal’s roundtable!

The Hong Kong Journal of Law and Public Affairs (HKJLPA) is the first student-edited
law and political science journal in all of Asia, established by the Government and Laws
Committee, Politics and Public Administration Association, with full support
from the Bachelor of Social Sciences (Government and Laws) and Bachelor of Laws
Programme (BSocSc (Govt&Laws) & LLB / Government and Laws / GLaws) at The University
of Hong Kong in 2018.

The theme of the inaugural volume is “Confucian Democracy and Constitutionalism”. In this volume, not only four articles on the theme but also book symposium for Prof. Kim’s Public Reason Confucianism will be published. The full text of the issue is available for download here.

Bin and Butina, Empirical Study on Perceptions of Ruism in the U.S.

Bin Song and Ben Butina have co-authored a paper titled “An Empirical Study and Theoretical Reflection on the Knowledge and Perceptions of Ruism in the United States,” which is newly published by Confucian Academy 2019 (1). The article is bilingual, and its English version is on p.82-98. The full issue is available here. Its results are somewhat surprising!

New article: Jiang & O’Dwyer, “The Universal Ambitions Of China’s Illiberal Confucian Scholars”

T. H. Jiang & Shuan O’Dwyer, “The Universal Ambitions Of China’s Illiberal Confucian Scholars,” has been published in the on-line journal Palladium. It begins:

Amid today’s talk of a coming civilizational clash between China and the West, it is easy to find philosophical experts on China holding forth on the cultural contours of Sino-Western civilizational difference. “China has always been and always will continue to be a communitarian society,” some have insisted; and its Confucian ethos is not a doctrine like America’s liberal individualism, but is instead the “ongoing narrative of a specific community of a people, the center of an ongoing ‘way’ or Dao.”

Such explanations amount to orientalist fantasies. How an industrialized society like modern China, transformed by both Communism and market reforms could still be defined by primordial cultural characteristics is not explained. Moreover, far from being a continuous, deeply organic narrative of the Chinese people, Confucianism is a diverse set of doctrines that have been ideologically contested, marginalized, reinvented and imposed as state dogmas at different times in Chinese history. This point holds for a brand of illiberal, statist Confucianism being promoted today in some of China’s leading universities, a brand whose future is still uncertain, but whose proponents hold out great hopes for its adoption into Chinese Communist Party orthodoxy. Moreover, this reinvented nationalist Confucianism is not without precedent in the modern history of East Asia; over a century ago, Japanese scholars educated in Europe were the pioneers of such a reinvention. This precedent, its cross-cultural inspirations, and its present day historical parallels in contemporary Chinese intellectual life merit examination, in view of the claims made by scholars for the cultural centrality of Confucianism in a morally renewed, globally rising China….

Vol 32 of The Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture (JCPC)

The editors are delighted to announce the publication of Volume 32 of The Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture (JCPC), the inaugural issue of the revised format of the journal. JCPC is published biannually (in February and August) and welcomes contributions of both articles and book reviews by qualified authors from around the world. This attached file contains the front matter, including a complete table of contents, of Volume 32. The complete volume will be available on line, within the week at our web site: http://jcpc.skku.edu/.