Category Archives: Contemporary Confucianism

CFP: Taiwanese Philosophy and the Preservation of Confucian Tradition

Call for papers: Taiwanese Philosophy and the Preservation of Confucian Tradition

International Conference organized by University of Ljubljana, EARL Ljubljana, and TRCCS (Taiwan Research Center for Chinese Studies) in Taipei

10-12 October 2019


Although the philosophical currents in modern and contemporary Taiwan belong to the most influential and important streams of thought in contemporary East Asian theory, they are still unrecognized as specifically Taiwanese. The main reasons for the immense importance of Taiwanese philosophy for East Asia and the contemporary world are twofold. First, they can be found in its contributions to the preservation of traditional Chinese, especially Confucian thought. Secondly, its development of specific innovative philosophical approaches and systems profoundly influenced the theoretical discourses in the entire East Asian region. The philosophical currents in modern Taiwan were mainly developed during the second half of 20th century, in which the philosophical theory in mainland China was largely limited to the Sinization of Marxist thought. Hence, for many decades, Taiwanese philosophy represented the only driving force of developing, modernizing and upgrading traditional Chinese thought and its syntheses with Western thought. Hence, they soon also gained a wide spread popularity in most of the other East Asian societies that were traditionally influenced by classical Confucian thought, as for example Japan and South Korea.

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The Progressive Confucian Web

I’m happy to announce that a project I have been working on for some time has now reached a level of maturity that I feel comfortable sharing it publicly. is a mainly Chinese-language website that aims to share Chinese versions of writings about progressive approaches to Confucianism. (Jinbu ruxue or 进步儒学 means progressive Confucianism.) Some of the material originally appeared in Chinese, and some of it was originally in English and has been translated specifically for this project. (All work appears with permission.) The site also has an English-language version, although the underlying essays and other materials are still in Chinese.

The contributors to this website have many differences, but share a common understanding of Confucianism as a living tradition, a still-developing tradition. In addition, we believe that as Confucianism develops in the contemporary world, it must be inclusive, supporting the ability of all people to improve ethically. In the essays and other materials collected on the site, we argue that the values of the Confucian tradition should be expressed in new ways in the 21st century. This is what the Book of Changes calls “changing with the times 与时偕行,” the Greater Learning calls “daily renewal 日新,” and the Analects calls “reviewing the old to know the new 温故而知新.” We call this contemporary, developing form of Confucianism “Progressive Confucianism.”

The site focuses on Chinese-language versions of our material because in the first instance, our goal is to have an impact on Chinese-language discussions of what Confucianism is and can be. Any thoughts on this project or suggestions for changes or future development are welcome!

Program for BU Conference on “Rectifying the Name of Confucianism”

Rectifying the Name of Confucianism

September 28-30, 2018
Boston University

Organizer: Boston University Confucian Association: Dr. Bin Song, Chapel Associate for the Confucian Association, and Br. Lawrence A. Whitney, LC†, University Chaplain for Community Life

Host: Marsh Chapel at Boston University, The Rev. Dr. Robert Allan Hill, Dean

Reporters: Anna Sun (Kenyon College) and Robert C. Neville (Boston University Emeritus)

The most up-to-date program for the conference is available here.

2 PhD Positions on New Confucianism

2 PhD Positions on New Confucianism

The Institute for European Global Studies at the University of Basel invites applications for two PhD positions starting on February 1, 2019. They are part of the research project “The Exterior of Philosophy: On the Practice of New Confucianism” funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). The candidates will complement the research team of Prof. Dr. Ralph Weber and Philippe Major, Ph.D. The research project studies New Confucian philosophy by deploying a sociological perspective for philosophical aims. Existing scholarship has often chosen an approach that is either historical, as in the genre of intellectual history, or philosophical, tuned towards showing the contemporary philosophical relevance of New Confucianism. The current project builds on recent studies that add to these established approaches by offering sociological perspectives on New Confucianism. The project hence breaks new ground in terms of its disciplinary approach beyond the specific context of New Confucianism. Drawing on work done in sociology, the research project explores the possibilities of a sociology of philosophy approached as a philosophical sub-discipline. For more information, see here.

Joseph Chan to be Princeton Global Scholar

Joseph Chan (University of Hong Kong) has accepted an invitation to be a Global Scholar at Princeton University for the next three spring semesters, starting February 2019. He will be affiliated with the University Center for Human Values and teach one course in Confucian political philosophy in the Department of Politics.