and Culture Review
VOLUME 4 ·Number 4 ·December 2017
Special Theme: Confidence in Chinese Culture
6 On Confidence in Culture
11 Cultural Confidence Lies in Recognizing and Innovating National Culture
16 Cultural Self-Confidence and National Rejuvenation
19 Analysis of Cultural Self-Confidence
24 Cultural Confidence under the East-West Comparative Perspective
30 Confucian Rites and Music and Cultural Confidence
37 Confucianism in Building Chinese Cultural Confidence
40 Zhu Xi’s Neo-Confucianism and the Rejuvenation of Chinese
Native Cultural Spirit
47 The Influence of Wang Yangming’s Philosophy Overseas and
Chinese Cultural Self-Confidence
·Buddhism, Daoism, and Yijing Studies ·
53 Chinese Buddhism and Cultural Self-Confidence
59 Daoism as a Crucial Chinese Cultural Component
Zhan Shichuang and He Xin
65 The Role of Yijing Studies in Enhancing Cultural Self-Confidence
71 Yijing Studies and Cultural Self-Confidence
·Rich Cultural Resources·
78 A Long Hisory and Rich Connotations: The Infinite Glamor
of Chinese Characters
86 Chinese Classical Literature and Cultural Confidence
90 Rule of Li-Fa: Pursuing Good Laws and Benevolent Governance
in Ancient China
99 Ancient China’s Exaltation of Rites and Perfection of Laws
106 Regaining Cultural Confidence: A Scientific and Technological Perspective
112 Diversity in Unity: An Intrinsic Feature of Chinese Culture
·Innovative Development of Chinese Culture·
115 Exploring the Connotations of Confucian Businessmen in
the Innovative Development of Traditional Culture
119 The Internationalization of I-Ching Studies as the Core of Chinese
Cultural Self-Confidence and Dialogue between Civilizations
126 The Aesthetics of Living: Rooted in Chinese Soil and Going Global
132 Contemporary Development of Chinese Calligraphic Theories
134 The Guizhou Humanistic Spirit and Cultural Self-Confidence
Main articles Abstract
On Confidence in Culture
For a long time, the Chinese people seem to have lost their confidence in their culture.
Today, with the revival of Chinese culture, confidence in it has become an important contemporary issue. Here I would like to discuss how to understand such confidence, reduce blindness, and enhance our cultural consciousness.
Guo Qiyong is professor and PhD supervisor of the School of Chinese Classics at Wuhan University and Chairman of the Academic Committee of Guiyang Confucius Academy.
Cultural Confidence in Recognizing and Innovating National Culture
Cultural confidence refers to the recognition of historical traditions, current developments, and future trends of one’s national culture, as well as its value and role in the development of world culture. It also involves the willingness, desire, and ability to pass on that culture and to develop it innovatively. Cultural confidence is a kind of internal spiritual strength, the key to which is recognizing and innovating the national culture. In terms of its stages of development and specific forms, China’s outstanding national culture comprises fine traditional culture in classical forms, revolutionary culture with modern characteristics, and advanced socialist culture imbued with the zeitgeist.
Li Zonggui is a professor and PhD supervisor of philosophy at Sun Yat-sen University.
Cultural Self-Confidence and National Rejuvenation
Cultural confidence is the most fundamental, extensive, and profound form of confidence. The Chinese nation has an outstanding traditional culture and is making strides toward its rejuvenation. To uphold a national spirit full of vigor and exuberant creative vitality, China must strengthen its cultural foundation and core values. This emphasis on cultural self-confidence will support the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.
Ye Xiaowen is vice chairman of the Subcommittee for Learning and Cultural and Historical Data of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Analysis of Cultural Self-Confidence
Over the course of a century, Chinese culture has seen many philosophical notions and practices come and go. Some of these were even diametrically opposed, but they all contained a similar cultural sentiment and intention, namely, to build a new cultural identity, reshape China’s cultural self-confidence, put an end to the cultural crisis, and achieve cultural rejuvenation.
Professor Xu Qi is Party Chief of the Center for Cultural Communication of Guiyang Confucius Academy and President of the Confucius Academy Council.
Cultural Confidence under the
East-West Comparative Perspective
For five thousand years Chinese civilization has existed continuously, demonstrating its resilient vitality. Yet its path has often been tortuous, with huge ups and downs. Especially during the modern era, traditional Chinese culture was almost wiped out in its dramatic encounters with the West. In the early part of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Western missionaries to China were impressed by the sophistication of Chinese civilization, and when they introduced it into Europe it caused a brief flourishing of Chinese culture there. Confucian thought and China’s imperial examination system (科举) were even taken as references, exerting profound influences on the European Enlightenment movement. But this beautiful rainbow was blown away quickly by industrialization and colonization. Starting from the nineteenth century, the West with its strong military powers forced China to open its ports, and imposed a century-long history of humiliation on China. The experience brought about the impression that the West and China were respectively synonyms for advanced and backward, and that economic development was equivalent to cultural advancement. This conception saturated deeply into the Chinese national consciousness.
Ni Peimin is professor of philosophy at Grand Valley State University, USA and visiting professor of the School of Philosophy at Beijing Normal University.
Confucian Rites and Music and Cultural Confidence
In present-day China, traditional culture is undergoing creative transformation and innovation. The implementation of cultural revival is premised on cultural confidence, which is built on a full understanding and further mining of traditional cultural resources.
Confucianism has dominated the history of traditional Chinese culture, rich in connotations and inclusive of every aspect of culture. Among them is the stress on familial and social order. Though the ancient Confucian system of rites and music had once performed an important political and ethical function, “in the time of Confucius,” according to the classical chronicler Sima Qian司马迁(145–90 BCE), “the Zhou dynasty declined and the system of rites and music came to a halt.” Fortunately, though, owing to the efforts of the pre-Qin Confucians, poetry, history, rites, and music were advocated once more and turned out to be a significant legacy which played a key role in the formulation of traditional Chinese codes of behavior and the rules of propriety.
Wu Zhen is professor and PhD supervisor of philosophy at Fudan University.
Confucianism in Building Chinese Cultural Confidence
Cultural confidence stems from the long, uninterrupted history of a civilization. Chinese civilization has a history of over five thousand years, during which it was reshaped constantly by outside impacts to produce one of the most resilient cultures in human history. Chinese culture has left numerous cultural achievements. It breeds self-reliance and self-confidence in its national character and makes unique cultural and moral contributions to world culture.
Chinese people have labored long and hard in gaining cultural confidence: they explored, searched, and endured, surmounting numerous difficulties and challenges. For thousands of years, certain basic beliefs and values about life and the world have solidified in the hearts and minds of the Chinese, with strong cohesive forces and enormous vitality. These beliefs and values help to foster the national spirit and to win people’s support and recognition; they embody the basic value-system that has the strongest appeal to the whole nation. In Chinese history, Confucianism has laid the foundation for our cultural confidence, enriched its meaning and provided a yardstick for its judgment. Moreover, due to the efforts of generations of Confucian scholars, Confucianism has further strengthened the consolidation and development of cultural confidence among Chinese people.
Jing Haifeng is a professor and doctoral supervisor of the Chinese Classics Institute at Shenzhen University and resident scholar at Guiyang Confucius Academy.
Zhu Xi’s Neo-Confucianism and the
Rejuvenation of Chinese Native Cultural Spirit
The Song dynasty (960–1279) is an important period in Chinese history. Chen Yinke陈寅恪(1890–1969) says, “The culture of Chinese nation, through development of several millennia, culminated during the Song period.”1 Experts in Song history, home and abroad acknowledge the great achievements of the Song dynasty in economics, science, technology, culture, fine arts, and scholarship, as well as their tremendous impact on later eras. The Song dynasty marked a new beginning in modern Chinese history and offered eloquent answers to a series of important issues that later emerged. The key source of their achievements lies in Neo-Confucianism, which has since reestablished the core of China’s native cultural spirit.
Zhu Jieren is tenured professor of the Classics Institute at East China Normal University, Head of the China Historical Documents Society, and Head of the Shanghai Confucian Society.
The Influence of Wang Yangming’s
Philosophy Overseas and Chinese
If we try to think of schools of Chinese thought that have exerted influence overseas, especially in regions adjacent to China, and developed into independent doctrines and
philosophies abroad, there were scarcely any to mention but those of Zhu Xi’s and Wang Yangming’s doctrines in the more recent period of imperial China, apart from earlier Confucianism represented by Confucius and Mencius. Wang Yangming王阳明(1472–1528) has been generally recognized as a philosopher immortal for his threefold accomplishments in moral cultivation, military exploits, and Confucian doctrine. But I would propose we also recognize a fourth dimension to his accomplishments, namely the establishment of his towering scholastic authority (立势). By this I mean his wide popularity and long-lasting influence upon Chinese and other intellectuals for over five centuries. In this regard, Yangming Studies may serve as an exemplary instance of a successful reception for Chinese thought in other parts of the world. Therefore there is good reason to showcase the rise of Yangming Studies to justify self-confidence in Chinese culture. Yangming Studies could be demonstrated as common resources of ideas and values for constructing a community of shared destiny which would conform to Chinese tradition but also be acceptable to other cultures.
Qian Ming is research fellow of the Zhejiang Academy of Social Sciences and member of the academic committee of Guiyang Confucius Academy.
Chinese Buddhism and Cultural Self-Confidence
The aspects of thought and scholarship in traditional Chinese culture are primarily embodied in the three lineages of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. After its transmission from India to China during the two Han dynasties, Buddhism first modeled itself upon Wei–Jin Neo-Daoism (魏晋玄学), but subsequently merged with Confucian theories of human nature and mind–nature to flourish as a major school. This then served as one leg of the tripod together with Confucianism and Daoism. It produced a broad and profound influence upon the development of ancient Chinese social and intellectual culture. While Buddhism is now no longer resplendent in India, the land of its origin, the “product brought across the seas” of Chinese Buddhism has today become a major camp of world Buddhism. How are we to view this kind of cultural phenomenon?
Lai Yonghai is professor and PhD supervisor of philosophy at Nanjing University.
Daoism as a Crucial Chinese Cultural Component
In the 1980s, Bo Yang柏杨(1920–2008), a Taiwanese writer, published The Ugly Chinaman. He held that there is much that is rotten in Chinese culture and compared it to a jar of pickles. Regardless of how just Bo’s simile is, this best-selling book indicates that cultural inferiority attracts great social concern. Even in today’s society, a large number of Chinese deny their own culture blindly, while think highly of or even totally and uncritically accepting Western, Japanese, and Korean culture. They believe that, under any circumstance, the problems encountered in social development can be attributed to inherent weakness of our nation, the root cause of which is traditional Chinese culture. What is more, seeing that cultural inferiority devolves into racial inferiority, some even believe that the Chinese nation is an inferior race.
Zhan Shichuang is professor and doctoral supervisor of the Institute of Daoism and Religious Culture and Director of the Laozi Research Institute at Sichuan University. He Xin is PhD candidate of the Institute of Daoism and Religious Culture at Sichuan University.
The Role of Yijing Studies in
Enhancing Cultural Self-Confidence
The Zhouyi serves as the fountainhead for traditional Chinese culture. This judgment is supported by at least two solid pieces of evidence, one from contemporary archeology and the other from ancient literature. As proven by contemporary archeology, the dragon and tiger figures formed with clam shells unearthed in Tomb No. 45 at the Neolithic Xishuipo Site in Puyang, Henan Province are related to ancient astrology. This finding attests to the 6,500 year-long history of traditional Chinese culture concerned with the Changes.
Sun Jing is research fellow in the Institute of Philosophy at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Chairman of the International Association of Yijing Studies.
Yijing Studies and Cultural Self-Confidence
The Chinese nation is forging steadily ahead toward her great rejuvenation and making efforts to push ahead the construction of a harmonious world and a common shared future for humankind. During this process, a deeper concern asks about Chinese cultural self-consciousness and self-confidence. Traditional studies on the philosophy of the Yijing (易学) and its creative transformation and innovative development in modern times are worth to discuss and investigate.
Wang Xinchun is professor and PhD supervisor of Chinese philosophy in the School of Philosophy and Social Development at Shandong University.
A Long History and Rich Connotations:
The Infinite Glamor of Chinese Characters
With their long history and rich connotations, Chinese characters continue to evolve with the times, sparkling with infinite glamor. The vitality, creativity, expressiveness, cohesiveness, and influence of Chinese characters help forge the cultural confidence of the Chinese people.
The world has witnessed four major independently developed writing systems, namely, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Mayan hieroglyphs, Sumerian cuneiform script, and Chinese characters (logograms). Of these, only Chinese characters have survived into the present.
Li Yunfu, Changjiang Scholar, is professor and PhD supervisor of the School of Chinese Language and Literature at Beijing Normal University and Director of Research Center for the Civilization of Chinese Characters at Zhengzhou University.
Chinese Classical Literature and Cultural Confidence
Chinese classical literature constitutes an important part of traditional Chinese culture and is a legacy in the treasure house of the Chinese nation. It has nurtured the soul of our ancestors, and its vitality has sustained to the present. A full awareness of the glorious achievements and aesthetic contents in Chinese classical literature can facilitate the enhancement of our national cultural confidence as well as afford a solid foundation on which Chinese contemporary culture in the new era is built.
Liao Kebin, Changjiang Scholar, is professor of Chinese Language and Literature at Peking University.
Rule of Li-Fa: Pursuing Good Laws and
Benevolent Governance in Ancient China
The modernization of China was accompanied by a process of colonialization. One of the consequences of colonialization was the loss of national subjectivity and the collapse of cultural confidence. This was particularly evident in Chinese laws, legal system, and jurisprudential study. The main reason why there was no admiration for traditional Chinese legal culture lay in the misreading, misunderstanding, and mistaken judgment of traditional Chinese laws. There are too many relevant cases to recount them all. In discussions of the way of governance, the most notable misconception was the allegation of an irreconcilable antagonism between the rule of law and rule of man in the Chinese tradition.
Yu Ronggen is a professor and PhD supervisor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law.
Ancient China’s Exaltation of Rites and Perfection of Laws
The idea of longli zhifa 隆礼至法, or the exaltation of rites and perfection of laws, was proposed first by Xunzi in his elaboration of jundao 君道(the Way of a sovereign). Present day scholars usually interpret such a Xunzian legal concept as the equal importance a sovereign attaches to the role rites and laws can play in the management of state affairs. For this reason, Xunzi is praised as the pioneer thinker advocating the unity of rites and laws. Reexamining the thinker’s full discourses regarding longli zhifa and the true situation of the rites–laws relationship since the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), we may grasp more accurately and more extensively the connotation of the Xunzian longli zhifa.
Ma Xiaohong is professor and PhD supervisor of the Law School at Renmin University of China.
Regaining Cultural Confidence:
A Scientific and Technological Perspective
Traditional Chinese culture is rich and profound. It abounds in unique artistic, literary, and philosophical accomplishments and boasts a long history of scientific and technological innovation. In fact, China once led the world in scientific and technological progress, maintaining, between the third and the thirteenth centuries, a level of scientific knowledge that the West could not approach.1 However, after the late Ming dynasty, China began to fall behind the West, declining considerably during the late Qing dynasty. This has led some researchers to doubt and question the relevance of Chinese culture to modern science and technology. Fortunately, there are also many scholars who refute this view. Through an in-depth investigation into China’s history and a thorough analysis of the characteristics of Chinese culture and its relevance to modern science and technology, they have succeeded in defining China’s scientific and technological traditions and enhancing Chinese cultural confidence.
Le Aiguo is a professor and PhD supervisor of the Department of Philosophy at Xiamen University.
Diversity in Unity: An Intrinsic Feature of Chinese Culture
As one of the most significant characteristics of China, Chinese culture is also an important source of the nation’s cohesion, vitality, and creation. To inherit and develop fine traditional Chinese culture, we need to have a good comprehension of its intrinsic features. Chinese culture consists of rich and diverse multi-ethnic cultures, and a notable part of it is the shared spiritual wealth of the nation.
Suo Xiaoxia is researcher and deputy head of the Guizhou Academy of Social Science.
Exploring the Connotations of
Confucian Businessmen in the Innovative
Development of Traditional Culture
The initiative of innovative transformation and development of traditional Chinese culture proposed by the CPC Central Committee led by General Secretary Xi Jinping sheds some light on relevant academic studies. In light of this initiative, this paper discusses the connotations of traditional Rushang (儒商), or Confucian businessmen, to guide their self-development in modern China and thus help the initiative to be productive in practice as well.
Wu Genyou, Changjiang Scholar, is professor and PhD supervisor of the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University.
The Internationalization of I-Ching Studies as
the Core of Chinese Cultural Self-Confidence
and Dialogue between Civilizations
Chinese cultural self-confidence is closely linked with the internationalization of Chinese culture. Since ancient times, the I-Ching (or Book of Changes) has been the origin and core of Chinese culture, and the internationalization of I-Ching Studies is the core of Chinese cultural self-confidence and dialogues between different civilizations. However, “in recent years, our fellow countrymen, provoked by the setback and trauma after the global opening, have started to despise our own culture, as if it could not stand on its own in the modern world.” This remark by Zhang Junmai张君劢(1887–1969) is still valid after nearly a century. In today’s historical period of internationalizing Chinese culture and increasing self-confidence, whether I-Ching Studies can truly fulfill its mission of internationalization becomes a touchstone of Chinese cultural self-confidence as well as a criterion of the true internationalization of Chinese culture.
Wen Haiming is professor and PhD supervisor in the School of Philosophy at Renmin University of China and Secretary-General and Academic Director of the International Association of Yijing Studies.
The Aesthetics of Living:
Rooted in Chinese Soil and Going Global
The aesthetics of living (生活美学) has already become a hot key term in Chinese society and culture. This is internally related to the self-confidence of contemporary Chinese culture. The aesthetics of living, originally rooted in Chinese soil, is authentic Chinese wisdom, and it is now being fully revitalized.
Liu Yuedi is research fellow from the Institute of Philosophy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Contemporary Development of Chinese Calligraphic Theories
Chinese calligraphy has undergone thousands of years of development. It includes variant touch of the writing brush, a myriad of shapes, and has emerged as a rich, expressive force that permeates through the blood of Chinese culture. Chinese calligraphy, through the visual-manipulated writing of Chinese characters, integrates the manipulation and application of the language with delineation-viewing, delineation-experiencing, and other complicated mental processes. In the practice of Chinese calligraphy, the process of hand manipulating → writing → viewing → and intrapsychic responding can be described as a closed, yet correlative ring, reflecting a combination of one’s writing skills and his or her spiritual life.
Qiu Zhenzhong is professor, PhD supervisor, and Head of the Comparative Research Centre of Calligraphy and Painting at China Central Academy of Fine Arts.
The Guizhou Humanistic Spirit and
To create a prosperous and environmentally sound future for colorful Guizhou, the people of Guizhou Province must establish and increase their own cultural self-con_ dence. Sufficient reason and ambition exists to believe in the Guizhou humanistic spirit of “harmony between humanity and heaven” (天人合一) and “unity of knowledge and action” (知行合一).
Xiao Libin, PhD, is a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Guiyang Confucius Academy.