and Culture Review
VOLUME 3 ·Number 1 ·March 2016
Special Theme: Confucianism and Chinese Ethnic Culture
4 A Preliminary Study of Confucianism and Its Impact on the Political Culture of the Mongol–Yuan Period
15 Dissemination of Confucianism in the Ethnic Bai Region of Dali
Assessing the Recent Guoxue Movement in China
28 Is the Resurgence of Guoxue a Real Movement?
31 Understanding the Rise of Guoxue and Its Driving Forces
33 Studying Traditional Chinese Culture with a Global Vision
36 The Guoxue Movement and Four Periods of Reflection in Modern China
39 Ma Tingxi’s Academic Career and Thinking
59 Ganquan Theory of Mind and Civilizing the Contemporary Mindset
Forum on Confucianism
70 The Confucian Virtue of Wisdom and Human Development
90 The Core Teachings and Esoteric Principles of Confucianism: The Interconnections among the Zhouyi, the Great Learning, and the Doctrine of the Mean
108 Thomé H. Fang on Song–Ming Neo-Confucianism
119 The Infiltration of Confucianism into Traditional Chinese Painting
Overseas Confucian Studies
132 Confucian Education and the Sekisai Rituals in Japan: A Case Study of the Shizutani School
Masters of Chinese Studies
148 Xiong Shili: A Founder of Contemporary New Confucianism
Main articles Abstract
A Preliminary Study of Confucianism and
Its Impact on the Political Culture of the Mongol–Yuan Period
Abstract: Most Confucian scholars during the Mongol–Yuan period, though lived under pressures from the Mongolian conquerors, manifested a spirit of subjectivity, a true concern and care about the world, and a practical character. Meanwhile, the Mongolian rulers accepted Confucianism both out of necessity for governance and commonalities between Confucianism and Mongolian culture, which were crucial factors for the convergence and integration of Han and Mongolian cultures.
Keywords: Confucianism, Mongol–Yuan period, political culture, subjectivity, ethical similarity
Guo Xiaoli is professor of Philosophy at Inner Mongolia University.
Dissemination of Confucianism in the Ethnic Bai Region of Dali
Abstract: The spread of Confucianism began long ago in the Dali region. Although the identification of the Western Han dynasty as the earliest point at which Confucianism expanded into this region remains a subject of controversy, the author maintains that the period of the Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms (simultaneous to the Tang and Song dynasties of central China) witnessed the full presence of Confucianism in many sectors of local society, such as politics, education, and ethnic religious contexts. During the Yuan dynasty, the imperial civil service examination system, which adopted Confucianism as a central theme, was introduced to Dali. By the Ming and Qing dynasties, Confucianism had been accepted by the common people, particularly intellectuals, who became deeply influenced by Confucian philosophy and emerged as the social and cultural elites of the Bai ethnic people.
Keywords: Confucianism, dissemination, Bai ethnic people, Dali, keju
Lin Qing is a professor in the Science and Technology Division at Yunnan Minzu University.
Assessing the Recent Guoxue Movement in China
Editor’s note: As China has undergone a period of rapid economic growth and social development, the study of Guoxue, literally national learning, has become increasingly familiar and popular with many Chinese people . However, several major questions still remain, including: What exactly is Guoxue? What does the Guoxue movement stand for? What is the significance of the movement to the development of China in political, economic, and cultural terms? Guiyang Confucius Academy held a discussion forum in the fall of 2015 on the recent Guoxue movement with Professors Guo Qiyong, Jing Haifeng, Sun Xiangchen, and Dong Ping (the host). At the request of the readers, we are now pleased to publish their discussion.
Is the Resurgence of Guoxue a Real Movement?
Prof. Guo Qiyong is Dean of the School of Chinese Classics at Wuhan University.
Understanding the Rise of Guoxue and Its Driving Forces
Prof. Jing Haifeng is Director of the Chinese Classics Institute of Shenzhen University.
Studying Traditional Chinese Culture with a Global Vision
Prof. Sun Xiangchen is Director of the Philosophy Department of Fudan University.
The Guoxue Movement and Four Periods of Reflection in Modern China
Dong Ping is Qiushi distinguished visiting professor and Director of the Chinese Thought and Culture Institute at Zhejiang University.
Ma Tingxi’s Academic Career and Thinking
Abstract: Ma Tingxi is regarded as one of the three renowned Neo-Confucian disciples of Wang Yangming in Guizhou. A lifelong devotee to Wang’s philosophy of xin-xing (the mind and human nature), Ma Tingxi was well known for his “sitting meditation” method. His academic career consisted of three important periods. In his early years, he studied under Jiang Xin and lectured at Taogang Academy. The second period of his career was marked by his sworn friendship with Sun Ying’ao. The third period was his productive time at Yuji of Guiyang, where he spent over thirty years in the Qiyun Pavilion concentrating on his “sitting meditation” and gained his most profound insights about the natural spontaneity of the mind. In the decades of Yuji, he taught his disciples to develop an understanding of the principles of Heaven by sitting in tranquility and clearing their minds; he acquired a natural spontaneity in his ceaseless efforts toward studying and teaching; and he wrote his renowned works, Yuji
ji and Jingyu lu, which won himself fame as one of the most worthy scholars following Wang Yangming’s philosophy of the mind in southwest China.
Keywords: Wang Yangming, Ma Tingxi, Jiang Xin, Sun Ying’ao, Longchang, Guizhou Confucianism
Wang Xiaoxin is a professor at Guiyang University, Chairman of the Guizhou Society for Confucian Studies of Wang Yangming, and Executive Director of the Guizhou Yangming Cultural Institute.
Ganquan Theory of Mind and Civilizing the Contemporary Mindset
Abstract: Zhan Ruoshui developed a complete theoretical system on the cultivation of the mind and human nature. In his works, such as Illustration of the Mind and Human Nature and Harmonious Conversations, Zhan expounded on the meaning of the mind, comprehensively considering its essence, its relations, its goodness and evil, and its purification. Based on Zhan’s theory of mind, the Ganquan Doctrine is mainly concerned with bringing about a civilized mindset. In our current social ecology, where the minds of the people have become distorted, polluted, and injured, the Ganquan Doctrine has practical significance for civilizing the contemporary mindset.
Keywords: Ganquan Doctrine, Lingnan Neo-Confucian, theory of mind, civilized mindset, Zhan Ruoshui
Ji Douyong is a research fellow at Foshan University and managing editor of the Journal of Foshan University. He also serves as Standing Vice President and Secretary-General at Guangdong Society of Lingnan Neo-Confucian Theory of Mind.
The Confucian Virtue of Wisdom and Human Development
Abstract: Based on its intellectual characteristic of pan-moralism, Confucianism always places more emphasis on the virtue of wisdom, while affirming the value of intellectual abilities, non-moral knowledge, and factual understanding. _ e manifestations of this are threefold. First, Confucians often regard wisdom as a special form of virtue, holding it in equal esteem with many other virtues. Second, they ethicize wisdom, endowing it with more moral and ethical implications and subjecting wisdom to the good. Third, they put more stress on experiencing and understanding moral qualities such as moral knowledge (knowledge of benevolence) and value recognition (knowledge of the good) in contrast to factual understanding (knowledge of truth). To cultivate the virtue of wisdom, Confucians emphasize the accomplishments of knowing humanity, Nature (Heaven), the Way, oneself, the destiny, the rites, and others’ speech. They emphasize diverse approaches to learning and acquiring knowledge and advocating the combination of learning with thinking.
Keywords: Confucianism, virtue of wisdom, human development
Tu Keguo is a research fellow and Director of the Institute of Cultural Studies at Shandong Academy of Social Sciences.
The Core Teachings and Esoteric Principles of
Confucianism: The Interconnections among the Zhouyi,
the Great Learning, and the Doctrine of the Mean
Abstract: The Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean are core teachings of Confucianism and the Zhouyi puts forth its esoteric principles. _ e three can be used to explain and shed light on one another. After Mencius, the core teachings of Confucianism ceased to be passed down, not being understood by either the Han or Song Confucians, who thus could not expound them for the later generations. The “intention of the sages” encapsulated within the Zhouyi is to teach people to return through virtue to the Way, or from what is “post-heaven” to what is “pre-heaven.” The Great Learning first expounded the Way of “inner sageliness and outer kingliness,” with “dwelling in the supreme good” as the substance of the Way and “making bright virtue brilliant” its function. Investigating things, extending one’s knowledge, making one’s intentions genuine, and balancing one’s heart-mind are its inner discipline, and refining one’s person, aligning one’s household, ordering the state, and setting the world at peace are its outer practices. The Doctrine of the Mean’s teaching about nature and feeling and that in the Zhouyi can be used to corroborate one another. The Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean both help people to understand the Zhouyi’s idea that “that which allows the Way to continue to operate is goodness, and that which allows it to come to completion is nature.” The Zhouyi also contains the idea of “centered harmony” found in the Doctrine of the Mean. “Genuineness” in the Doctrine of the Mean possesses both substance and function and includes both the inner and the outer. In order to bring about the modern transformation of Confucian thought, it is necessary both to comprehend the core teachings and esoteric principles of Confucianism and to put them into practice.
Keywords: Confucianism, core teachings, esoteric principles
Zhang Wenzhi is associate professor of Center for Zhouyi and Ancient Chinese Philosophy at Shandong University.
Thomé H. Fang on Song–Ming Neo-Confucianism
Abstract: Thomé H. Fang divided Song–Ming Neo-Confucianism into “realistic,” “idealistic,” and “naturalistic” schools and clarified the reason for the differences across the three schools. Song–Ming Neo-Confucianism not only inherits the classical Confucianism reformulated by Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi but also adds a Buddhist and Daoist flavor to Confucianism. Fang seriously criticized Neo-Confucians for their obstinacy on moral reason and daotong (the orthodox Confucian way), particularly their parochial and narrow-minded privileging of daotong. However, he also positioned Neo-Confucianism as one of the four intellectual pillars of Chinese philosophy and highly praised its great contributions to Chinese metaphysics. Fang appreciated Neo-Confucians’ tolerance toward Daoist and
Buddhist thought and explored Neo-Confucian philosophy separately and independently from early Confucianism.
Keywords: Four Pillars of Chinese philosophy, Thom é H. Fang, Neo-Confucianism
Yu Bingyi is research fellow at the Philosophy Institute of Anhui Academy of Social Sciences.
The Infiltration of Confucianism into Traditional Chinese Painting
Abstract: It is traditionally believed that Confucianism did not develop any substantial ideas or theories on Chinese painting. However, by analyzing the basic beliefs and doctrines of Confucianism, we discover that it has infiltrated into Chinese painting in many fundamental ways. This paper aims to explore the contributions of Confucianism from five perspectives: (1) painting is based on a solid moral foundation; (2) virtue is analogized by natural scenes; (3) forms are shaped by thought; (4) the mind and eyes create coherence; and (5) yin and yang are harmonized. An emphasis is placed on the relationship between man and nature, characters and artistic creation, and the infiltration of traditional culture and philosophy into Chinese painting.
Keywords: Confucianism, Chinese painting, integrating man with nature, virtue analogized by natural scenes, harmonizing yin and yang
Dr. Lin Wei is a professor in the School of Translation Studies at Jinan University.
Confucian Education and the Sekisai Rituals in
Japan: A Case Study of the Shizutani School
Abstract: Using the Shizutani School built in the Edo period as an exemplary case, this paper explores the historical evolution and contemporary function of Confucian education and the sekisai rituals in Japan from the perspective of cultural anthropology. Moreover, Japan is shown to have sustained the continuity and creativity of Confucian culture introduced from ancient China, which may in turn inspire China to modernize its classical Confucianism. All these observations will contribute to the study of Confucian temples including their history and contemporary function, as well as to the study of the cultural inheritance and innovative development of the Confucian tradition in China.
Keywords: Shizutani School, Confucian classical education, Confucian temples, sekiten, sekisai rituals
Qin Zhaoxiong is professor of Chinese Studies in Kobe City University of Foreign Studies.
Xiong Shili: A Founder of Contemporary New Confucianism
Abstract: Xiong Shili was the most accomplished and authoritative Confucian thinker in the 20th century. He laid the metaphysical foundation for Contemporary New Confucianism, revived the study of Confucian classics in contemporary China and undertook the daunting task, on his own, of exploring the application of Confucian ideals to the reality of China. He was devoted to the work of re-creating cultural China throughout his life. Xiong carried forward the basic spirit and values of Chinese culture and Chinese philosophy; moreover, he formulated a grand philosophical system through an integration of Chinese, Indian, and Western thought. This system is centered on the original heart of benevolence, and includes ontology, cosmology, life philosophy, axiology, epistemology, and methodology. Xiong’s philosophy has four key tenets: oneness of substance and function, transformation through opening and closing, production and reproduction of life, and enlightenment in practice and learning through meditation. Due to these theoretical innovations, he is rightly regarded as a founder of Contemporary New Confucianism.
Keywords: Xiong Shili, Contemporary New Confucianism, oneness of substance and function, New Classical Studies, Daotong
Dr. Wu Longcan is associate professor of Sichuan Thinkers Research Center at Yibin University.