Category Archives: Religion

New book: Mastery, Dependence, and the Ethics of Authority, by Aaron Stalnaker

Oxford University Press has just published my new book on early Confucian social thought, and what contemporary people might learn from it: Mastery, Dependence, and the Ethics of Authority.  The publisher’s page is here.  At present the cheapest way to purchase it is directly from Oxford, with a discount code for 30% off (AAFLYG6).

This comes with hearty thanks to Steve Angle and Bryan Van Norden, who were belatedly revealed as the press’s referees.

Continue reading →

Confucian Traditions Unit, American Academy of Religion: Panels

The Confucian Traditions Unit invites you to attend the two sessions held by us at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (November 23-26, 2019 San Diego, CA). On Saturday 9:00 to 11:30 AM, we will hold a session entitled “Animals, Real and Imagined, in Chinese Religions: Late Antique and Medieval Periods.” And on Sunday 1:00 to 3:00 PM, we will have a session on “Dragons, Mosquitos, and the Hundred Animals: Changing Conceptions of Animals in Pre-Modern China,” followed by a business meeting. You can find the titles of papers and names of presenters here at the bottom of this invitation.

Continue reading →

CFP: EAA on Asian Philosophies and Religions

Education About Asia (EAA) is the peer-reviewed teaching journal of the Association for Asian Studies. Our print and online readers include undergraduate instructors as well as high school and middle school teachers. Our articles are intended to provide educators and academics in the humanities and social sciences who are often not specialists with basic understanding of Asia-related content. Professors and high school teachers also utilize many EAA articles and essays as student readings. Qualified referees evaluate all manuscripts submitted for consideration.

We are developing a special section for spring 2020 titled “Asian Philosophies and Religions.” This special section will include a wide variety of articles and essays on both philosophical and religious traditions commonly associated with Asia, as well as Western philosophies and religions such as liberal democracy, Marxism, or Christianity that substantially affect parts of Asia. A significant number of special section articles and essays will hopefully focus upon contemporary practices and beliefs, as well as the impact of Asian governments on the human and civil rights of religious practitioners. At least two articles on religious festivals and holidays specifically designed for middle school teachers will appear in this special section.

Continue reading →

New Book: Treatise on Awakening Mahāyāna Faith

Oxford University Press has published a second translation in the Oxford Chinese Thought series, which is the Treatise on Awakening Mahāyāna Faith, a translation of the Dasheng qixin lun 大乘起信論. We are very pleased to make widely available this scholarly translation of one of the most influential texts in East Asian Buddhism. This is the product of years of careful work by John Jorgensen, Dan Lusthaus, John Makeham, and Mark Strange. A short description follows below the fold.

Continue reading →

New episodes of The Issue is Not The Issue

The Issue is Not the Issue: A Podcast with Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfs0MY7rs8J6jWlCdneoPVQ

 

Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas discuss contemporary debates on “political correctness” and related moral and social issues. They point to concepts such as virtue speech (“virtue signalling”), civil religion, “profilicity,” and the role of critique to better understand their nature.

 

Episode 3—Critique:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W1m0Bez8vU

Philosophy today runs the risk of once more becoming the “handmaiden of theology” by being put in the service of civil religion. The Kantian concept of critique is revived to reflect on contemporary dogmatism and associated power structures that lead to phenomena such as “competitive wokeness” in entertainment (Taylor Swift) or the need to write “diversity statements” in academia. The idea of a therapeutic rather than a normative philosophy is suggested and it is explained how society, along with critique, evolves rather than progresses.

 

Episode 4—Profilicity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yz1C0-mtWI

Why do we need to produce “virtue speech”? We need it to be competitive in society and to bolster our public profiles. A new profile-based identity paradigm, called “profilicity,” is on the rise. It is replacing other identity paradigms such as sincerity and authenticity and provides not only individuals but also institutions (political parties, companies, universities, etc.) with identity value.

New book: Heaven is Empty: A Cross-Cultural Approach to “Religion” and Empire in Ancient China by Filippo Marsili

SUMMARY

Heaven is Empty offers a new perspective on the relationship between religion and the creation of the first Chinese empires. Heaven Is Empty offers a new comparative perspective on the role of the sacred in the formation of China’s early empires (221 BCE–9 CE) and shows how the unification of the Central States was possible without a unitary and universalistic conception of religion.

Continue reading →

The Issue is Not the Issue: A Podcast with Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas

Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas discuss contemporary debates on “political correctness” and related moral and social issues. They point to concepts such as virtue speech (“virtue signalling”), civil religion, and the role of critique to better understand their nature.

Episode 1–Virtue Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pg8H-b87Cs;

The phenomenon of virtue speech (“virtue signalling”) has become a central feature in recent outrage movements pervasive throughout the West. Virtue speech, which is implicitly tied to accusations of hate speech, is a form of moralistic discourse setting speech examples that make it difficult to openly discuss elements of our culture without falling into the trap of moralizing.

Episode 2–Civil Religion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EDEuXCPHOQ

Civil religion plays a central role in the virtue speech, or political correctness, discourse. The history of the concept is discussed as well as the structure of the American form of civil religion and how tenets of civil religion are constantly being performed and re-enacted, particularly in current social media outrage movements.