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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Rooms 8 & 9, Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Event date: 
Wednesday, 6 November, 2019 - 17:00 to 18:30

China Research Seminar Series talk given by Peng Guoxiang, Zhejiang University

Although Chinese culture should not be reduced to Confucianism, Confucianism has unquestionably been the most important tradition that defined its outlook. It has therefore been regarded as the soul of Chinese culture or Chinese cultural DNA. Confucianism first of all became a target of criticism for those anti-traditional intellectuals, usually believers in Marxism and Communism, who dominated the early 20th -century intellectual landscape. With the establishment of the PRC, Marxism and Communism became a national ideology, and no longer simply an intellectual trend. The critique of Confucianism culminated in the 1960s and 1970s. Anything Confucian had to be intellectually and physically destroyed. According to an expression prevailing at the time, Confucianism was to be "swept into the dustbin of history." After the 1980s, however, Confucianism has been gradually resurging. This so-called "revival of Confucianism" has received much scholarly attention. How do we understand the vicissitudes of Confucianism in contemporary China? Can we conclude that Confucianism truly rejuvenated? What challenge does it face? In this talk I will present some personal observations and remarks.

PENG Guoxiang彭國翔 is the Qiu Shi Distinguished Professor of Chinese philosophy, intellectual history and religions at Zhejiang University. Previously he was a professor at Beijing University and Tsinghua University. He has held visiting professorships and resreach fellowships at various universities and institutions around the world including the Arthur Lynn Andrews Chair Visiting Professorship at the University of Hawaii, visiting positions at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Harvard-Yenching Institute, and the National University of Singapore. He was a Humboldt Fellow at the Ruhr-University in Bochum and the University of Frankfurt-am-Main, fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity and is currently a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is the 2016 Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the North (Library of Congress, USA) and 2009 Awardee of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award (Humboldt Foundation). He has served as president of the International Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy (ISCWP, USA), and as board member of the International Confucian Association, China Confucius Foundation, and the Society of the History of Chinese Philosophy, etc.

An editorial board member of several journals in Chinese philosophy, his publications include The Unfolding of the Innate Good Knowing: Wang Ji and the Yangming Learning in Mid-Late Ming (2003, 2005, 2015), Confucian Tradition: Between Religion and Humanism (2007, 2019), Confucian Tradition and Chinese Philosophy: Retrospect and Prospect in a New Century (2009), Confucian Tradition from Classical Period to Its Contemporary Transformation: Speculation and Interpretation (2012), Revision and New Discovery: Historical Study of Pre-Modern Confucianism from Northern Song till Early Qing Dynasty (2013, 2015), Reconstruction of This Culture of Ours: Confucianism and Contemporary World (2013, 2018), This-worldly Concern of the Wise: The Political and Social Thought of Mou Zongsan (1909-1995) (2016) and numerous articles.