Confucian Tradition panels at AAR

The annual American Academy of Religion meeting is coming up, with a number of promising-sounding panels. Here are those cosponsored or co-sponsored by the Confucian Traditions group:

Confucian Traditions Group
Theme: The Ambiguous Place of Xiao (Filial Piety) in Premodern Chinese Thought
Pauline Lee, Saint Louis University, Presiding
Sunday – 9:00 AM-11:30 AM
Hyatt-Williams (Atlanta Conference Level)
All students of Chinese culture are familiar with the overwhelming importance that xiao 孝 (Filial Piety) has had in Chinese history and thought. The concept is so familiar that we assume that it was an unchanging and permanent feature of the Chinese world. The three papers of this panel all explore the boundaries and meanings of the concept of xiao in premodern China. Each in its own way shows that what seems so familiar is not. Although many works treat xiao as of central importance to Confucian thought, two of this panel’s papers cast doubt on its significance within Confucius’ master-disciple community. The other paper posits that, although early law codes severely punished unfilial sons, a Confucian conception of filial piety was only gradually incorporated within imperial law. One of the papers also notes that xiao’s political importance was only fully developed when it was paired with zhong 忠 (loyalty).

Liang Cai, University of Notre Dame
The Master Kept a Distance from His Own Son: Is Confucian Xiao 孝Consanguinism?
Keith Knapp, The Citadel
Punishing the Unfilial: A Confucianization of Early Chinese Law?
Wei Zhang, University of South Florida
Xiao in Early Confucian Texts and Later Imperial Discourses
Business Meeting:
Yong Huang, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Books under Discussion
Confucian Traditions Group
Theme: Roundtable Discussion on Anna Sun’s Confucianism as a World Religion: Contested Histories and Contemporary Realities (Princeton University Press, 2013)
Filippo Marsili, Saint Louis University, Presiding
Sunday – 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Hilton-Crystal AF (Level 1)
This Roundtable Discussion on Anna Sun’s monograph •Confucianism as a World Religion: Contested Histories and Contemporary Realities• begins with discussants’ formal comments on this Winner of the 2014 Best First Book in the History of Religions Award, followed by a response from the author, upon which the discussion will be open to the audience. An outstanding book in itself, this book also opens up discussion to critical themes in the study of world religions and Confucianism at large.

Thomas A. Wilson, Hamilton College
Stephanie Wong, Georgetown University
Yong Huang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Anna Sun, Kenyon College

Books under DiscussionQuadsponsorship
Chinese Religions Group and Confucian Traditions Group and Daoist Studies Group and Religions in Chinese and Indian Cultures: A Comparative Perspective Group
Theme: Author Meets Critics: Conceiving the Indian Buddhist Patriarchs in China (University of Hawai’i Press, 2015)
Tao Jiang, Rutgers University, Presiding
Sunday – 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Hilton-206 (Level 2)
This is an “author meets critics” panel on Stuart Young’s newly published book, Conceiving the Indian Buddhist Patriarchs in China (Hawaii, 2015).

Benjamin Brose, University of Michigan
Elizabeth Morrison, Middlebury College
C. Pierce Salguero, Abington College
Stuart Young, Bucknell University

Confucian Traditions Group
Theme: How the Changes Changed: Yijing Exegesis in Post-Imperial China
Michael Lackner, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Presiding
Monday – 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Hilton-308 (Level 3)
In traditional China, the Yijing (Book of Changes) was considered the most profound of the canonical five Confucian classics, being regularly consulted by emperors and literati alike for practical and spiritual guidance. Although the historical Confucius probably did not even know of the Classic, it has been associated with Confucian traditions since the late Warring States or early Han.

The earliest textual layer of the Changes was composed in the Western Zhou no later than about 700 BCE, at least two centuries before Confucius’ lifetime and consists of an assemblage of fragments of extreme obscurity. Yet this early text came to be read as embodying Confucian ethics, cosmology, and philosophy. The authority of the classic was justified by mythic accounts of its origin.

This proposed session will show how the changes in Chinese society in the twentieth century were associated with a critical re-examination of the Yijing’s traditional Confucian interpretations.

Geoffrey Redmond, Columbia University
Doubting Antiquity and the Reconstruction of the Ancient Zhouyi
Tze-ki Hon, State University of New York, Geneseo
Reading the Hexagrams for the New Nation: Yijing Studies in Twentieth-Century China
Dennis Cheng, Hong Kong Institute of Education
Tian (天, Heaven) and Yijing Philosophy
Stéphanie Homola, Collège de France, École des Hautes études en Sciences Sociales
A Cultural Encounter between the Yijing and Modern Astronomy: The Case of Liu Zihua刘子华 (1899-1992)
On-cho Ng, Pennsylvania State University

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