A new generation of Confucian scholars is coming of age. China is reawakening to the power and importance of its own culture. This volume provides a unique view of the emerging Confucian vision for China and the world in the 21st century. Unlike the Neo-Confucians sojourning in North America who recast Confucianism in terms of modern Western values, this new generation of Chinese scholars takes the authentic roots of Confucian thought seriously. This collection of essays offers the first critical exploration in English of the emerging Confucian, non-liberal, non-social-democratic, moral and political vision for China’s future. Inspired by the life and scholarship of Jiang Qing who has emerged as China's exemplar contemporary Confucian, this volume allows the English reader access to a moral and cultural vision that seeks to direct China’s political power, social governance, and moral life. For those working in Chinese studies, this collection provides the first access in English to major debates in China concerning a Confucian reconceptualization of governance, a critical Confucian assessment of feminism, Confucianism functioning again as a religion, and the possibility of a moral vision that can fill the cultural vacuum created by the collapse of Marxism.
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Under the clear and thoughtful editorship of Ruiping Fan, The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China provides new and highly substantive insights into the emergence of a renewed, relevant, and perceptively engaged Confucianism in 21st century China. Through the vibrantly diverse essays contained in this volume, and in cogent overview through Fan’s introduction, one learns that Confucianism is thoroughly misunderstood, if it is seen only through Western lenses. It cannot be absorbed into that rights-based “global” discourse that has been the West’s troubled inheritance from the Enlightenment. Extraordinarily thoughtful Chinese voices are found in this volume that converse with each other in serious and revealing ways. Should genuine exchange continue to develop between Western thinkers and Chinese Confucians, The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China will surely be an indispensable pathway into those core issues, moral and social, that will unavoidably be encountered as China and the West advance further into the 21st century.
Stephen A. Erickson, Professor of Philosophy and the E. Wilson Lyon Professor of the Humanities, Pomona College, USA
The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China features an important school of Confucianism in Mainland China today, “Political Confucianism,” powerfully articulated by Jiang Qing, author of the leading article in this volume. “Political Confucianism” is unique: on the “Political” side, it rejects many core values of liberalism, the dominant political ideology in the West; and on the “Confucianism” side, it rejects the one-sided emphasis on the inner sageliness of “New Confucianism” developed in Hong Kong and Taiwan in the last century. In this volume, the programmatic essay by Jiang Qing is followed by penetrating essays, either further expanding on or critically examining various themes of Jiang’s original essay, by eminent scholars, many of whom are committed Confucians themselves. The volume concludes with an informative biography of Jiang Qing. It is a must-read for anyone who is interested in learning about the situation of Confucianism in contemporary China in particular and about Confucianism or contemporary China in general.
Yong HUANG, Chief Editor, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy
This is the most important recent study of Chinese culture and political theory. It offers a rich insight into the renaissance of authentic Confucian commitments in contemporary China and the foundationally different moral and political direction that it proposes for China’s future. The essays Fan brings together tie the power of China’s rich past to the prospect of a China quite different from what the West envisages. It is a “must-read” for anyone seeking to understand China in the 21st century.
David Solomon, W.P. and H.B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre DameReview:
From the reviews:
“The book provides interesting (and to some degree emic) insights into a newly emerged Chinese school of thought which strives to restore Confucianism’s political applicability in the twenty-first century. In short, readers will find here a valuable introduction to a provocative and increasingly important branch of contemporary Confucianism.” (Lukas Pokorny, Religious Studies Review, Vol. 38 (4), December, 2012)
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