New Book: Lewis, Confucian Ritual and Moral Education

Confucian Ritual and Moral Education

By Colin J. Lewis


It is widely accepted that moral education is quintessential to facilitating and maintaining prosocial attitudes. What moral education should entail and how it can be effectively pursued remain hotly disputed questions. In Confucian Ritual and Moral Education, Colin J. Lewis examines these issues by appealing to two traditions that have until now escaped comparison: Vygotsky’s theory of learning and psychosocial development and ancient Confucianism’s ritualized approach to moral education. Lewis argues first, that Vygotsky and the Confucians complement one another in a manner that enables a nuanced, empirically sound understanding of how the Confucian ritual education model should be construed and how it could be deployed; and second, just as ritual education in the Confucian tradition can be explicated in terms of modern developmental theory, this ancient notion of ritual can also serve as a viable resource for moral education in a contemporary, diverse world.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Adaptation and Education: (Non)nativism and Moral Development
Chapter 2: Education and Moral Education: Vygotsky’s Incomplete Account
Chapter 3: Confucian Ritual: A Definition
Chapter 4: The Ritual Cultivation Model: A Nuanced Interpretation
Chapter 5: Ritual and Moral Education: How and Why it Works
Chapter 6: Is it New? Is it Needed? Ritual’s Place Alongside Other Tools
Chapter 7: Orthopraxy and Intuition: The Importance of a Ritual Framework
Chapter 8: Developing Promoral Classrooms: Adding Ritual to the Toolkit

More information on the book is available here:

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