I am pleased to announce to the launch of a revised and expanded website devoted to Chinese-language writings related to progressive Confucianism, jinburuxue.com! Some of the essays on the site are appearing for the first time in Chinese translation; thanks to their authors for permission to translate them and much gratitude to the students and scholars who done the lion’s share of the translating. The new site is simplified a bit (for example, no more English-language interface, but given that all the content is in Chinese, that seemed superfluous and made maintaining the site much more complicated) but also much more robust, for which I am grateful to my terrific research assistant, Kate Liu. If you have or know of any content (essays of course, but also, at least in principle, other sorts of digital material) that you feel fits with the themes of the site, please contact me.
First, I thought, it is somehow sad that there is not any voice from Taiwan which, according to many observers, is doing pretty well in terms of progressive values . But then, on closer reflection, I told myself that the target audience of this project is simply not located in open societies (thus, no traditional characters?!!).
Hi Kai — the original version of the website also had a full traditional character interface (and an English one too, even though the materials are all in Chinese), but actually making that work and then maintaining it proved beyond my technical competence. We essentially had three parallel versions of the same website, and trying to keep them interlinked and also equally up-to-date was more significantly more than triple the work … with the result that the site mostly sat idle. I made the decision to simply things — and only use simplified characters — as a result. And of course it is mostly very easy to shift how characters are displayed between simplified and traditional.
As for why nothing yet from a Taiwanese author, two reasons. First, the initial motivation here was to make available essays that originally appeared in English for Chinese-speaking audiences, so that makes up the bulk of what is here now (including an essay focused on South Korea by Sungmoon Kim). Second, this is a work in progress and I’d be thrilled to take suggestions for materials to add. It’s not meant for work that is mainly historical or methodological, but I know that there is plenty that is relevant by Taiwanese authors. I just haven’t gotten there yet.
Hi Steve, many thanks for your quick response! I understand your considerations. Sungmoon Kim was just here in Taipei, and he had a very fruitful exchange with Taiwanese scholars. There are certainly many similarities between South Korea and Taiwan, not only in historical terms, but also relating to culture and politics. And, as far as I understand, Joseph Chan also has moved over to Taiwan. I will also have a look and see whether I can find something relevant written by a Taiwanese author.
I thought about posting some of my students’ essays. Liberal voices who sometimes also describe themselves as Confucian. But I am not sure whether this is appropriate here. Contact me if you need them.