and Culture Review
VOLUME2· Number1 ·January 2015
106 Confucianism: World Peace and Development
112 To Foster Spiritual Cohesion for the Great National Rejuvenation
113 Promoting Cultural and Ideological Progress with the Spirit of Reform and Innovation
Zhao Kezhi and Chen Min’er
114 Adding Luster to Colorful Guizhou
116 Upholding the Principle of “Creative Transformation and Innovative Development” to Keep Alive Traditional Chinese Culture
122 Issues in Chinese Philosophy and Zhexue
(Speech Notes for the Symposium with Comrade Xi Jinping on June 6, 2005)
138 Re-Embracing Chinese Cultural Tradition
146 Mencius’s Theory of Mind–Nature as the Driving Force of Contemporary Confucian Global Ethics
160 Reconsidering the Confucian Way of Centrality
171 A Comparison between Confucian and Aristotelian Virtue Ethics
178 The Civilization of Ritual and Music: Chinese Cultural Self-Con dence
Studies on Confucius
185 The Position of Confucius in the History of Chinese Culture: With a Comment on the Tendency of Desacralization (II)
204 A New Approach to Yangmingism Research in Contemporary Japan: Comments on Two Books about Houkoku Yamada
Horizon of Sinology
215 Living Chinese Philosophy
Roger T. Ames (USA)
224 Confucian Thought on Governing the Country
Tang Enjia (Hong Kong, China)
Masters of Chinese Studies
232 Tang Yijie: A Contemporary Confucian
236 Enlightenment through Cultural Syncretism
Shu Dagang, Yao Xinzhong, Ouyang Zhenren,Wu Zhen, Wu Genyou, Dong Ping, et al.
241 Innovative Ways to Inherit and Promote Traditional Chinese Culture
Yu Dunkang, Shi Feng, Li Xin, Li Chunsheng, Chen Zuwu, Cheng Yizhong, Ai Limin, et al.
Main articles Abstract
Upholding the Principle of ‘Creative Transformation and Innovative Development’ to Keep Alive Traditional Chinese Culture:
A Study of Xi Jinping’s Opening Remarks at the International Conference in Commemoration of the 2,565th Birth Anniversary of Confucius
On September 24, 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the International Conference in Commemoration of the 2,565th Birth Anniversary of Confucius and the fifth Congress of the International Confucian Association. In his opening remarks, Xi called on efforts “to creatively transform and innovatively develop traditional culture in order to integrate it with contemporary culture and have it serve our current mission of enlightening people through culture.” Xi had previously reiterated “creative transformation and innovative development” as a major principle for cultural development on more than one occasion. At a time when we are working energetically to keep alive traditional Chinese culture and promote core socialist values, Xi’s principle for cultural advancement bears the same historical and contemporary significance as Mao Zedong’s thought of “bringing forth the new from the old” in the 1940s and “letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend” in the 1950s. In this way, they mark a heightening of the Party’s understanding of the rules of cultural development as well as of the duty, mission and methods under new historical conditions, and provide compelling guidance for advancing Chinese culture toward a glorious future.
Li Jun is Deputy Secretary of the Hainan Provincial Party Committee, then–Deputy Secretary of the Guizhou Provincial Party Committee.
Issues in Chinese Philosophy and Zhexue (Speech Notes for the Symposium with Comrade Xi Jinping on June 6, 2005)
Abstract: The author had an academic discussion with Comrade Xi Jinping on current issues regarding Chinese philosophy and Zhexue (Zhejiang schools of Confucianism). On this occasion the author presented his personal views on a few hot topics in the related fields, such as the history and methodology of Chinese philosophy, the rise of New Confucianism, New Daoism and New Buddhism, Confucianism and Confucian Religion, the attribute and position of Confucianism, and the universalisation of its core values. Views on the origin and development of Zhexue, a theoretical summarization of contemporary Zhejiang spirit, and cultural development of Zhejiang are also discussed in this article.
Keywords: Chinese philosophy, Confucianism, ethical humanism, Zhejiang, Xi Jinping
Wu Guang is a researcher in the Department of Philosophy of Zhejiang Academy of Social Sciences. He is also a distinguished visiting professor and PhD supervisor of Renmin University of China.
Re-Embracing Chinese Cultural Tradition
Abstract: Re-embracing Chinese cultural tradition requires reflection on the May Fourth New Culture Movement. The movement was both political and cultural, but its cultural dimension was dominated by its political radicalism, which led to the main ideas of Chinese cultural tradition being long obscured in the modern narrative. Re-embracing Chinese cultural tradition in the modern world requires the achievement of two tasks: to acquire a modern “rational form” for the tradition to demonstrate its universal value; and to show clearly the normative effect of the cultural tradition on modern society. Only by redefining the tradition through achieving these two tasks can we succeed in re-embracing the Chinese cultural tradition.
Keywords: New Culture Movement, political radicalism, loss of values, rational form, normative effect
Sun Xiangchen is professor and Head of the School of Philosophy at Fudan University
Mencius’s Theory of Mind–Nature as the Driving Force of Contemporary Confucian Global Ethics
Abstract: One of the core issues of contemporary Confucian ethics is how to transform traditional Confucian ethics into a global resource. This paper argues that, due to its dual nature of a long history and regional restriction, the globalization of Confucian ethics needs efforts to break through the barriers of time and space. Mencius’s theory of mind–nature can be the driving force behind the transformation of Confucian ethics into a modern universal ethics. To accomplish this, we must make a double reconstruction using both modern philosophy and the religiosity of Mencius’s theory. Philosophically, we must reconstruct the mind–nature theory based on dynamic and original relationships, with the purpose of bringing contemporary Confucianism into a dialogue with Western philosophy. Regarding religiosity, the religious depth and breadth of Mencius’s theory requires a contrast with dimensions of Western religions, so as to make it the religious and spiritual root in the reconstruction of contemporary Chinese society.
Keywords: Confucian ethics, Mencius, mind–nature, global ethics
Wen Haiming is professor and Associate Dean of the School of Philosophy at Renmin University of China, Member of Advisory Editorial Board of Asian Philosophy, and Associate Editor-in-Chief for Frontiers of Philosophy in China. He received his PhD degree from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2006, with research interests in Confucian philosophy and comparative philosophy.
Reconsidering the Confucian Way of Centrality
Abstract: Confucius addressed human nature, the Way of man, and even the Way of Heaven and Earth, with a holistic, systematic, and dynamic approach to the world. He found, in the deeds of his highly esteemed “ancient sages and kings,” the importance of “holding fast devotedly to the center” and of “the Way of Centrality.” It was through inheriting the ancient wisdom of zhongyong (using Centrality, or, as it is commonly known through James Legge’s somewhat misleading translation, “the doctrine of the Mean”) and giving it his creative interpretation that Confucius reached the supreme realm of understanding the world. We will be unable to understand Confucius if we do not understand the theory of zhongyong.
Key Words: zhongyong, the Way of centrality, timely centering, harmony
Yang Chaoming is professor, PhD supervisor, and Director of China Confucius Research Institute.
The Civilization of Ritual and Music: Chinese Cultural Self-Confidence
Abstract: Traditional Chinese rituals and music embody the Chinese nation’s selfconfidence. Li (ritual) means to differentiate, while yue (music) means to harmonize. Together, ritual and music serve four social functions. First, they are meant to maintain public order by managing the country and establishing social hierarchies. Second, both are meant to help individuals to restrain themselves, behave appropriately, and enlighten the uneducated. Third, both ritual and music are aimed to harmonize one’s mind with nature and to nurture one’s personality. Li and yue can adjust an individual’s mood, refine his or her sentiments, and improve the mind. Fourth, ritual and music promote kindness, thereby communicating a sense of heaven and spirituality. Li and yue are connected directly to people’s lives and enable people to perceive heaven and earth, to communicate with spirits, to pacify all people, and to develop good character.
Keywords: ritual, music, cultural self-confidence, Confucian self-restraint, public order
Zhang Liwen was born in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province in 1935. In 1984 he received special approval from the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council to become a Professor. He is currently a first-grade professor, Dean of the Confucius Institute, Dean of the Traditional Chinese Studies Institute, and PhD supervisor in the School of Philosophy at Renmin University of China.
The Position of Confucius in the History of Chinese Culture: With a Comment on the Tendency of Desacralization (II)
Abstract: This is the second part of a two-part discussion of the role of Confucius and his thought in the history of Chinese culture. The first part appeared in the inaugural issue of Confucian Academy, which covered Confucius’s consciousness of culture conveyance and his achievements in the transmission of the culture as a system, the assembling of the Six Disciplines, and the initiation of study of Confucian classics. In this second part, the author continues to argue that, as the first one to inherit, study, and compile the Six Classics, Confucius opened up the nine major schools of Chinese philosophy and spurred a long succession of philosophers and scholars. From Confucius on, the shi (scholar-officials) began to investigate history and became an independent social class by disseminating knowledge as their means of living. Moreover, shi initiated a system of independently inheriting and developing Chinese academic culture. Without Confucius, philosophers would not have contended with one another in the so-called hundred schools of thought during the Warring States period. Confucius spent his entire life practicing as he preached, thereby setting the example of what the ultimate standard of human relations (a sage) should be. It can be said that the true Confucius would be lost if he was desacralized.
Keywords: Confucius, cultural system, civilization of ritual and music, Confucian classics, poetics of Confucius
Yan Binggang is professor and vice director of Confucianism Advanced Research Institute at Shandong University.
A New Approach to Yangmingism Research in Contemporary Japan: Comments on Two Books about Houkoku Yamada
Abstract: Houkoku Yamada was a reputable scholar in Yangmingism and an influential financial reformer in Japan’s Bakumatsu period, or the late Tokugawa Shogunate. His reformist measures remain a reference in the theory and practice of modern Japanese development. Over the past years, learning from Houkoku Yamada has become a fad in Tokyo as well as in local prefectures. This article, by commenting on two books about Houkoku Yamada, examines the “economic-person” approach to Yangmingism research in Japanese intellectual history, hoping that such exploration will contribute to the entrepreneurial culture of present-day China.
Keywords: Houkoku Yamada, Tooru Nojima, Koukei Higuchi, Yangmingism, economicperson, Japanese intellectual history
Qian Ming was born in 1956 in Hangzhou, achieved his doctoral degree in literature at Kyushu University. Currently he is a researcher at the Zhejiang Academy of the Social Sciences and in the Research Center for History and Culture of Zhejiang Province.
Living Chinese Philosophy
Abstract: The title of this essay, “Living Chinese Philosophy” is a double entendre that captures the transformative nature of Chinese philosophy for those who study it, and the fact that it is a philosophical tradition taking the ordinary affairs of the day as both source of philosophical reflection and warrant for the conclusions reached. The goal of the canonical texts is not only to provide a vocabulary for thinking cogently about philosophical issues, but more importantly to encourage a personal cultivation directed at making one’s life significant and transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Keywords: Confucianism, comparative philosophy, role ethics, Henry Rosemont Jr., David L. Hall, D.C. Lau, non-Western philosophy, process philosophy.
Roger T. Ames is professor at the University of Hawai’i, USA.
Confucian Thought on Governing the Country
July 2014 (2564 by Confucian calendar)
Abstract: Most Confucian ideas have their distinctive ethnic characteristics and eternal value of relevance. Confucian thought about government is extensive and profound. Many important ideas still have great values in contemporary China.
Keywords: Confucian classics, Confucius, governing the country
Dr. Tang Enjia is the President of the Confucian Academy in Hong Kong.
Tang Yijie: A Contemporary Confucian
When Professor Tang Yijie passed away, people in academic circles mourned deeply for the loss of a rare and great contemporary scholar who was kind, responsible, and respectful. As a famous thinker and philosophical historian, Mr. Tang’s academic achievements undoubtedly set a high bar for his fellow scholars. His research has established many milestones for China’s academic progress. This research includes: discussions about truth, kindness, and beauty; the framework of Chinese philosophy in the 1980s; the modern transformation of Chinese philosophy and dialogues between civilizations in the 1990s; proposals to establish Chinese hermeneutics; the exploration of Confucian ethics and entrepreneurship; prospects for a new axial age in the new century; the amalgamation of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism; and dialogues between Confucianism and Marxism.
Jing Haifeng is professor of the Department of Philosophy, Dean of the College of Arts, and Director of the Institute of Chinese Learning at Shenzhen University.
Enlightenment through Cultural Syncretism
Editor’s note: Promoting Chinese culture calls for adapting traditional culture into contemporary cultural genres through creative transformation and innovative development. On August 7, 2014, a seminar on the creative transformation and innovative development of traditional Chinese culture was held at Guiyang Confucius Academy, cosponsored by the Guizhou Provincial Steering Committee for the Building of Spiritual Civilization and the Academic Committee of the Confucius Academy. Panel members from leading universities across China presented their ideas on topics including dialogues between Chinese and Western cultures and between Confucianism and Marxism, as well as the status and future of Mass Confucianism. The seminar was chaired by Professor Guo Qiyong, chairperson of the Academic Committee of the Confucius Academy and dean of the School of Chinese Classics at Wuhan University. Some highlights from the talks follow, in the sequence they were given.
Zhu Hanmin (Professor and Dean of Yuelu Academy, Hunan University)
Jing Haifeng (Professor and Dean of the College of Arts, Shenzhen University)
Shu Dagang (Professor and Associate Dean of the School of History and Culture, Sichuan University)
Yao Xinzhong (Professor and Dean of the School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China)
Ouyang Zhenren (Professor of the School of Chinese Classics, Wuhan University)
Ding Weixiang (Professor of the Department of Philosophy, Shaanxi Normal University)
Wu Zhen (Professor of the School of Philosophy, Fudan University)
Wu Genyou (Professor and Dean of the School of Philosophy, Wuhan University)
Dong Ping (Professor and Director of the Institute of Chinese Thought and Culture, Zhejiang University)
Liao Kebin (Professor of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Peking University) [
Yan Binggang (Professor and Vice President of the Advanced Institute of Confucian Studies, Shandong University)
Chen Shaoming (Professor of the Department of Philosophy, Sun Yat-sen University)
Innovative Ways to Inherit and Promote Traditional Chinese Culture
Editor’s note: On September 5, 2014, the symposium on the theme “Reaching the Academic Pinnacle to Carry Forward Chinese Culture” was held in Beijing, sponsored by the Confucian Academy Press and the Editorial Office of Confucian Academy. The event attracted more than 30 experts and scholars from China’s State Administration of Press and Publication, Beijing-based universities, research institutes, and publishing houses. Focusing on the foundation of the Confucian Academy Press and the journal Confucian Academy, symposium attendees shared their thoughts and ideas on innovative ways to inherit and promote traditional Chinese culture. The following are citations from the insightful discussion that took place at the symposium, collected and compiled by the editor to share with readers.
Developing a Discourse System to Promote Chinese Culture to the World
Qian Liqun (Professor, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Peking University)
Be Alert to the Traps of Confucianism Fever and Chinese Studies Fever
Liu Beicheng (Professor, Department of History, Tsinghua University)
Has the Connotation of Guoxue been Finalized?
Xie Maosong (Senior Academic Consultant, Chinese University Press of Hong Kong)
Every Culture Has its Inherent Tension
Li Wentang (Professor and Deputy Director of the Faculty of Humanities, Party School of the Central Committee of the C.P.C.)
The Era Calls for Talent with both Chinese and Western Learning
Gao Wangling (Professor, Department of History, Renmin University of China)
Traditional Chinese Cultural Studies should be Academic, Political, Realistic, and Critical
Li Xuetao (Professor, Beijing Foreign Studies University)
Establishing a Discourse System for Traditional Chinese Culture
The Historical and Cultural Responsibilities of Bolstering Fine Traditions
Yu Dunkang (Research Fellow, Research Center of Religious Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
Inheriting the Spirit of Wang Yangming’s Philosophy to Revive Chinese Learning
Xiao Dongfa (Professor, Research Institute of Publishing and Media, Peking University)
Building an Educational Base of Traditional Culture for the Public
Ge Hongze (Deputy Chief Editor, Journal of Qiushi)
Integrating National Resources to Support Cultural Development with an Open Mind
Shi Feng (Chairperson, China Periodicals Association; former Deputy Director, State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television)
Efforts on the Development of Cultural Soft Power Demonstrate Guizhou’s Historical Responsibility
Reaching the Pinnacle from Which to Carry Forward Traditional Chinese Culture: A Long Way to Go
Li Xin (Former Editor-in-Chief, Joint Publishing Company; General Editor, Life Publishing Company)
Establishing a Brand to Achieve Greater Success
Li Chunsheng (Director of Xinhua Digest Press)
Be Clear about the Strategy to Develop the Press and the Journal
Chen Zuwu (Member, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Member, Central Research Institute of Culture and History)
Advancing Gradually in Due Time to Accomplish the Difficult Mission
Lu Jiande (Researcher and Director, Institute of Literature, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
Confucian Academy Should Be Inclusive
Cheng Yizhong (Former Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Zhonghua Book Company; Member, Central Research Institute of Culture and History)
Be Inclusive and Open to Other Schools of Thought besides Confucianism
Yi Zhengchun (Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Office of Media)
Distinguishing Features and Accurate Positioning to Guarantee Brand Development
Liu Jianguo (Deputy Executive Director and General Secretary, Publishers Association of China)
Promoting Traditional Culture Requires Multi-Pronged Efforts
Ai Limin (Director, Press Department, State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television)
To Be the Undaunted Pioneer of Boosting Traditional Culture