Category Archives: Modern Chinese Philosophy

Confucian Fundamentalism?

As a follow-up to my earlier post regarding the controversy that has arisen around the proposed Christian church in Qufu, the following remarks from Prof. Peng Guoxiang of the Tsinghua University Philosophy Department are quite interesting (I quote his remarks with his permission):

…Some self-proclaimed Confucians…are trying to stop [the church] by launching a social movement. This fundamentalist attitude, mingling with nationalism, is embraced not only by the young people, but also by some scholars in Confucian studies. A typical feature of Confucian tradition, religious tolerance and open-mindedness, which we have been proud of and exactly from which that multiple religious participation and multiple religious identity has been developed, is now severely damaged by this extremism. How to redevelop a healthy and profound Confucian vision as one of the great spiritual traditions and make its contributions to humankind in a global context is really a painstaking project.

Also: Continue reading →

Zhao Tingyang on "Rethinking China"

Manyul’s post about Chinese “philosophy” relates in an interesting way to some reading I’ve been doing lately of the work of contemporary Chinese philosopher Zhao Tingyang 赵汀阳. Zhao first gained attention for his 1993 book 《论可能生活:一种关于幸福和公正的理论》[On possible lives : a theory of happiness and justice]. He vaulted into super-stardom with his 2005 book, 《天下体系:世界制度哲学导论》[The All-Under-Heaven System: An Introduction to the Philosophy of a World Institution]. This appropriation of the “tianxia” idea has been widely discussed, positively and negatively, both within philosophy and IR circles. Some of Zhao’s work is available in English translation; I’ll cite this at the end of this post. What I want to focus on, though, is Zhao’s insistence on the need to “rethink China (重思中国)” [Zhao 2005, 6]. Continue reading →