Confucianism is one of the great ethical and philosophical systems in the world, based on the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC). This Confucian Ethics collection includes works of Confucius, Confucian classics like the disciple Mencius, and mainly contemporary articles on Confucian applied ethics such as education ethics, political ethics, business ethics. - 儒家思想以中国哲学家孔子(公元前551-479 年)的言传身教为基础,是世界上最伟大的伦理和哲学体系之一。该收藏文集包括了孔子的著作,孔子门徒孟子的著作等儒家经典学说,以及当代儒家应用伦理,如家庭伦理、政治伦理和商业伦理等方面的文章。本收藏还在建设初期,更多文档在不断添加中

Recent Submissions

  • LEARNING TO BE HUMAN: THE IMPLICATIONS OF CONFUCIAN PERCEPTIONS ON ENDS AND MEANS FOR THE PRACTICE OF MODERN ADULT EDUCATION

    Sun, Qi (2005-10-13)
    Modern adult education philosophies during the 20th century have many perceptions on ends and means. Efforts to create means to reach personal, business, and social needs, resolving various kinds of problems have become the ends of most formal schooling, including adult education. Consequently, we are losing our mind in understanding what the ultimate end is. Moreover, the traditional wisdom emphasized on quality of true human beings is often overlooked. Confucian perceptions on end and means, from a perennial perspective, invite us to reconsider the ends and means issue of modern adult education. They help us consciously understand how a global society is now ruled by predatory corporations and dominated by a "technocratic" or "instrumental" rationality (Welton, 1995). They assist us to reunify and reconstruct the broken selves and worlds. As such, regression to Confucius' learning to be human is a way to progress toward an effective result for a global civilization and the adult education movement of the third millenium.
  • Bergsono 'intuicija' kinijoje ir jos konfucinė plėtotė (1915-1923) : keletas pastabų apie zhijue moderniojoje Kinijos filosofijoje

    Ciaudo, Joseph (2016)
    This paper investigates the translation of Henri Bergson's philosophical writings in relation to the development of the concept of "intuition" (zhijue) in contemporary Chinese philosophy. As Bergson's intuition was very soon associated with "the knowledge of/as virtue" (dexing zhi zhi), it turned into one of the basic Chinese modern concepts to think about ethical and moral issues. However, Chinese philosophers used Bergson's intuition as a device of moral philosophy sooner than the philosopher himself even started to write his moral philosophy. This paper decrypts the moralization of intuition in Chinese context, and questions the issue related to the formation of the concept of zhijue. The key documents put under light in this paper are Chinese translations of 'An introduction to metaphysics" (1903) and several articles related to Bergson published around 1921.
  • Confucianized rationality: some reflections on East Asia, wisdom, and science

    Dessein, Bart (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015)
    This publication discusses the origin of European tradition of rational inquiry, and contrasts it with the Chinese tradition. It argues that both the European and Greek cultural contexts were favorable for the development of 'philosophy', but that historical developments in China starting in the 3rd century BCE have made the Chinese tradition increasingly different from the European. The article also discusses the 19th and 20th century Chinese attempts to link up with the European tradition.
  • Confucian Zhongyong, religious commitment, church identification, and church commitment : a moderated mediation model

    Li, Jianfeng; Liu, Hongping; Van der Heijden, Beatrice; Guo, Zhiwen (2021)
    Although Confucian zhongyong (the doctrine of the mean) has an important influence on Chinese Christians' religious affections, due to the sensitivity of matters related to religion in China, there is a serious lack of empirical knowledge on this topic. To fill this gap, we have developed and tested a moderated mediation model based on Allport and Ross's religious motivation theory and Meyer et al.'s organizational commitment theory, linking Confucian zhongyong to Christians' religious affections (i.e., religious commitment and church commitment). Overall, using data from 387 Protestants in China, we found support for our moderated mediation model. In particular, our findings indicate that church identification partially mediates the relationship between religious commitment and church commitment. Furthermore, Confucian zhongyong appears to moderate the relationship between religious commitment and church commitment as well as between church identification and church commitment. The article concludes with a discussion of the findings, recommendations for future work, and practical implications.
  • Kongzhai Shrine of the Robe and Cap of Confucius in Shanghai

    Hamm, Matthew; Julia K Murray (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    A place called Kongzhai (Kong Residence), located in a once-rural area that is now within the borders of metropolitan Shanghai, formerly had a shrine for venerating Confucius (Kongzi / Master Kong) that was premised on the belief that a much later descendant had buried the ancient master's robe, cap, and jade ornaments there. Far from the region in North China where Confucius had lived or traveled and over 1000 years after his death, the alleged burial of these relics inspired local late Ming literati to construct a temple complex, centered on an above-ground "Tomb of the Robe and Cap" and a sacrificial hall with sculptural icons. At its height in the early Qing period, Kongzhai's structures, assorted visual images, and ritual artifacts supported its claim to be "Little Queli," a surrogate for the primordial temple, cemetery, and mansion of Confucius's Kong descendants in Qufu, Shandong. Scholars gathered there to experience his beneficent aura, and sacrifices to Confucius were performed with the same liturgy as in the official Confucian temples attached to government schools. Ambitious officials and local literati used their patronage and interactions with Kongzhai to enhance their own prestige and that of the humble locality. Eventually a line of Kong descendants was designated to take charge of sacrifices, as at other places where descendants had settled. Kongzhai's fortunes declined in the 19th century, and the fall of the Qing dynasty delegitimized Confucian ritualism. In the 20th century, Kongzhai became a target of Maoist campaigns against feudalism, superstition, and undesirable social classes, and it was conclusively destroyed in the Cultural Revolution. One building was later reconstructed in a park several miles away. All that remains on the former site itself are two very old ginkgo trees.
  • Tang Junyi 唐君毅

    Hamm, Matthew; King Pong Chiu (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    Tang Junyi (唐君毅,1909 – 1978) was one of the most influential thinkers in modern Chinese society, especially in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Widely considered a member of 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism', Tang employed Buddhist ideas, Huayan thought in particular, to develop his philosophical system, which tried to harmonize different valuable thoughts so that they could co-exist without conflict. Within this harmonization, one could, on the one hand, choose his or her faith, while on the other hand, would not reject others'. Tang clearly stated that he believed in Confucianism, an intellectual tradition which pays attention to the existence of consciousness or benevolence, as he considered the thought most relevant to his own moral experience. There were some examples that Tang stressed throughout his writings: while once seeing the land split due to drought in his childhood, he worried that the earth would soon end; while watching a movie about Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙,1866 – 1925), the founder of the Republic of China, he wondered, compared with the whole universe, how little a human being was but how great a human being could achieve; while separating from his parents, he genuinely felt sadness. As Tang said, all of his philosophical thought derived from such moral experience and, therefore, his thought could be understood as his explanation of the existence of consciousness, how it worked and what would be achieved if it was fully utilized. Tang's complete works were initially published in Taiwan in 1991, and a revised edition was released in mainland China in 2016. Despite Tang's obscure writing style, many of his works are considered modern classics in the field of Chinese philosophy. The Experience of Life 人生之體驗, for example, suggests different moral experiences a human may face in his or her life, in which Tang reflected on the moral ability a human could have and the function of such ability. The Formation of Moral Self 道德自我之建立, tries to explain the existence of the moral ability from a philosophical perspective, claiming that moral ability is not only an experience felt by individual persons but a universal faculty that is owned by all people. The Reconstruction of Humanistic Spirit 人文精神之重建 mentions Tang's ultimate ideal, which is to make the world full of humanistic values by means of fully utilizing the moral abilities of all persons. The Existence of Life and Horizons of Mind 生命存在與心靈境界, his last and probably most important work, explains that the real humanistic value is exactly not to reject any valuable thoughts and how moral ability helps harmonize different values so that a humanistic world could be achieved. As Tang always emphasized the importance of self-transformation and his works tend to encourage and inspire others to transform, some scholars considered that the nature of Tang's thought is like a kind of religion, though his faith is not in an external god, but in the internal goodness of humanity.
  • Le signe cultuel : existence de l’intangible, l’exemple xunzien

    Fredette-Lussier, Arnaud (Institut d’études religieuses de l’Université de MontréalÉrudit, 2023)
    Grâce à un bref survol de la notion xunzienne de lǐ 禮, « rite » ou « ritualité », nous entrouvrirons des pistes de recherche qui tendent à suggérer qu’une approche qui tâcherait d’appréhender la croyance sans passer par l’observation des manifestions concrètes de cette dernière, tenterait d’apercevoir les principes d’une chose sans s’attacher à ses surgissements manifestes, qui l’animent et la créent à la fois. Nous suggérons qu’envisager une croyance sans pour autant concevoir au même instant la manifestation rituelle de cette croyance, reviendrait à nier le fait que la mise en pratique de l’une serait la source de l’existence de l’autre.
  • Zigao 子羔

    Hamm, Matthew; Matthew Hamm (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    The Zigao 子羔 is a short text written on fourteen bamboo strips that was part of a collection of such texts purchased by the Shanghai Museum in three batches in Hong Kong in 1994. The texts were looted from a tomb by grave robbers and their exact provenance is thus unknown. Similarities with the collection of texts excavated near the village of Guodian 郭店 in Hubei province in 1993, suggest that the Shanghai texts may have come from Guojiagang 郭家崗 Tomb One near the village of Guodian, though there is no way to confirm this. The Shanghai texts likely date from around the same period as the Guodian texts (between 300 and 278 BCE) and the text of the Zigao itself was likely written in the 4th century BCE. The text itself features clear calligraphy but is partially damaged, with one fragment of the text currently housed in the collection of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The Zigao is written as a dialogue between Confucius (Kongzi 孔子) and his disciple, Zigao 子羔, and in its own time would likely have been considered a ru 儒 text. The term ru refers to a group of teachers and students who defined themselves by their adherence to the figure of Confucius, whom they took as their master. However, this group did not have a consistent philosophy and instead occupied a spectrum of intellectual positions based on shared ideas such as ren 仁 ("humanness") and yi 義 ("righteousness") as well as shared traditions such as the shi 詩 ("songs"), shu 書 ("documents"), and li 禮 ("rites"). In particular, the Zigao seems to have been part of an early debate over whether rulers should pass on the throne to their descendants or abdicate in favour of a worthy individual. The Zigao does not make an explicit statement regarding this issue, but focuses on comparing the sage-king Shun 舜 (who, according to legend, received the throne when the sage-king Yao 堯 abdicated) to the three figures of Yu 禹, Xie 契, and Hou Ji 后稷. These three figures were the progenitors of the Xia 夏, Shang 商, and Zhou 周 dynasties, respectively. According to the Zigao, they were also all "sons of Heaven" (tianzi 天子) because they were engendered through divine conception and born through miraculous births. While the text suggests that it was this divine origin that established the three dynasties as legitimate, it also states that, in ancient times, good rulers abdicated in favour of other worthy individuals and that none of the three dynastic progenitors were comparable to the fully human Shun (who had no divine provenance). The text, thus, advocates abdication and lays the foundation for future claims that Confucius was the "uncrowned king" (suwang 素王) by implying that he was the fully human sage most deserving of the position of king.
  • Luofu Shan

    Hamm, Matthew; Yu Wang (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    Known as the "Grand Mountain of the Yue Region (粤岳)" according to the Han dynasty historian Sima Qian 司馬遷, Mount Luofu 羅浮山 held great significance as a cultural hub in southern China. It was also revered as one of the foremost mountains in Chinese history and culture due to the rich history of a significant number of practitioners of Daoism and Buddhism, as well as Confucian scholars who lived, studied, taught, and practiced their doctrines there. During its heyday, Mount Luofu was recorded as a thriving center of "Nine Taoist Temples, Eighteen Buddhist Temples, and Twenty-two Hermitages (九觀十八寺二十二庵)". The name of Mount Luofu has many legendary origins, with the most renowned myth recounting a tale from the immortal Penglai Mountain 蓬萊 where a peak named "Fu Mountain (浮山)" resided. It was said that during the era of Emperor Yao, a period marred by widespread land inundation, the "Fu Mountain" from the sea drifted to the Lingnan region, where it collided with the pre-existing "Luo Mountain (罗山)" and merged to become Mount Luofu. Geographically, Mount Luofu is situated in the northwest of Boluo County 博羅縣, Huizhou City 惠州市, Guangdong Province 廣東省, China. With a total area exceeding 260 square kilometers, its principal peak, Feiyun Peak 飛雲頂, stands at an elevation of 1,296 meters. Mount Luofu is renowned for its unique rock formations, majestic waterfalls, mystical caves, abundant rainfall, and lush vegetation, making it an ideal site for spiritual retreats, alchemical practices, and health cultivation among Daoist and Buddhist practitioners, scholars, literati, and common people throughout history. According to historical records, as early as the Qin and Han dynasties, figures such as Zhu Lingzhi 朱靈芝, Ren Dun任敦, and Liang Lu 梁盧, among others, were captivated by the scenic beauty of Mount Luofu and delved into its mountains to pursue Daoist practices. During the Xianhe period 咸和 of the Eastern Jin dynasty, Ge Hong 葛洪, one of the most important and famous Daoist practitioners and theorists, settled on Mount Luofu to engage in alchemical pursuits and established four Daoist temples: Baihe Temple 白鶴觀, Chongxu Temple 衝虛觀, Huanglong Temple 黃龍觀, and Sulao Temple 酥醪觀, recruiting disciples and conducting Daoist teachings. His wife, Baogu 鮑姑, and numerous disciples, including Teng Sheng 騰升, An Haijun 安海君, and Huang Yeren 黃野人 (who allegedly was one of the prototype of the famous healing deity Wong Tai Sin 黃大仙), significantly contributed to the development and dissemination of Daoism there. Entering the Sui dynasty, the renowned Daoist Su Yuanlang 蘇元朗 arrived at the Qingxia Valley 青霞谷 of Mount Luofu to cultivate Daoist practices. He elucidated the concept of "dual cultivation of nature and life (性命雙修)" using the terminology of external alchemy 外丹 to explain internal alchemy 內丹, revitalizing the theory of internal alchemy and pioneering the trend of internal alchemy studies in the Tang and Song dynasties, exerting a profound influence on later Daoist developments. During the Tang dynasty, notable Daoist figures on Mount Luofu included Xuanyuan Ji 軒轅集, Shen Taizhi 申太芝, and Deng Yuanqi 鄧元起. In the Song dynasty, Mount Luofu continued to produce eminent Daoist scholars, such as Deng Shou'an 鄧守安, who had a close relationship with Su Dongpo 蘇東坡, as well as prominent "Southern School (南宗)" masters such as Shi Tai石泰, Chen Nan 陳楠, Bai Yuchan 白玉蟾, and Peng Si 彭耜. Among them, Bai Yuchan studied the methods of the "Nine Tripod Golden Elixir (九鼎金丹) " with Chen Nan on Mount Luofu, later becoming one of the "Five Ancestors (五祖 )" of the Southern School of Daoism. The development of Daoism on Mount Luofu underwent significant transformations during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Previously associated with the "Lingbao Sect (靈寶派)", in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, the eleventh-generation successor of the "Quanzhen Longmen Sect (全真龍門派)" was appointed as the head of the five temples on Mount Luofu. During the Kangxi period 康熙, the Longmen Sect successor Du Yangdong 杜陽棟 assumed the position of head of the Chongxu Temple, establishing official regulations and transforming Mount Luofu into a sacred site of Daoism for the Longmen Sect. In the Daoist cosmology of "Grotto-Heavens and Blissful Lands (dongtian fudi 洞天福地) ", Mount Luofu is ranked seventh among the "Ten Major Grotto Heavens" and is referred to as the "Grotto-heaven of Vermillion Brightness Shining Truth (Zhuming yaozhen tian 朱明耀真天)". Mount Luofu is not only a celestial abode for Daoist cultivation but also a sacred site for Buddhism. As early as 359 AD, the Dunhuang monk Shandao 單道 arrived at Mount Luofu to engage in spiritual practice, marking the beginning of Mount Luofu's Buddhist history. According to the Official History of Guangdong (2007), by the end of the Jin Dynasty, approximately thirty Buddhist temples were built within the Guangdong region, with Panyu County 番禺 having the most, followed by Mount Luofu. Tang Dynasty was a flourishing period for the spread of Buddhism on Mount Luofu, during which eminent monks resided there, including Huaidi 懷迪 from Nanlou Monastery 南樓寺 who collaborated with Indian monks to translate the Lengyan Sutra 楞嚴經; the monk Yuanhui 元惠, who resided at Waterfall Rock 瀑布岩 and traveled between Mount Luofu and Mount Tiantai 天台山. In 738, Emperor Xuanzong 宣宗 built the Huashou Temple 華首寺 on the southwest foothills of Mount Luofu, where 500 monks congregated at its peaks. In the Song Dynasty, notable monks of Buddhism on Mount Luofu included Yunda 雲達, Qide 齊德, Shending 神定, and Zuyan 祖演. During the Ming Dynasty, numerous eminent monks emerged on Mount Luofu as well, including Zhikong 直空, Huiguo 晦果, Ruzheng 如正, and Shixu 十虛. Entering the Qing Dynasty, the monk Kongyin 空隱 and his disciples Hanshi 函是 and Hanke 函可 established the "Boshan Dharma Gate(博山法門)". These esteemed Buddhist figures expounded Buddhist teachings on Mount Luofu, playing a significant role in spreading Buddhist culture in South China. In addition to the developments of local history and Daoist and Buddhist teachings, Mount Luofu is also one of the birthplaces of private education. Since the Jin Dynasty, many literati and scholars have established academies and study lounges on Mount Luofu, making it a popular place for study, gathering, and teaching, thus becoming an important local educational center. For example, during the Song and Yuan Dynasties, there were official institutions like the Yuzhang Academy 豫章書院, the Jingguan Academy 靜觀書院 in Huanglong Cave 黃龍洞, and privately established academies like the Zhangliu Academy 張留書院. In the Ming Dynasty, Mount Luofu witnessed the emergence of many private study halls and libraries, such as the Bitang Study Hall 弼唐精舍 and the Xianzi Reading Platform 冼子讀書台, along with the Four Sages Shrine 四賢祠 dedicated to venerable Confucian masters. Among the numerous eminent scholars who taught and received disciples on Mount Luofu, the most renowned was Zhan Ruoshui 湛若水, who held various high-ranking positions in the Ming government. Su Dongpo 蘇東坡 also resided on Mount Luofu for an extended period, during which he penned famous works like "Miscellaneous Notes on Mount Luofu (Zashu Luofushi 雜書羅浮事)" and "Inscription at the Zuoquan Pavilion (Shu Zhuoxiquan 書卓錫泉)." Additionally, notable literary figures such as Li Bai 李白, Du Fu 杜甫, Han Yu 韓愈, Yang Wanli 楊萬里, Liu Yuxi 劉禹錫, Zhu Xi 朱熹, Qu Dajun 屈大均, and Tang Xianzu 湯顯祖 have all composed poems and writings praising and memorizing Mount Luofu. Across its storied history, both locally and statewide, Mount Luofu has served as a hallowed ground of spiritual and intellectual practice, weaving together the tapestry of religious devotion and scholarly pursuit, creating a rich mosaic of cultural and intellectual expression and leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of China.
  • Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, Henan Province of P. R. China

    Hamm, Matthew; Dong Wang (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    This entry seeks to provide notes, text and image archives, discuss scholarly debates, and link relevant resources surrounding the Longmen Grottoes, a major Chinese Buddhist historical and UNESCO World Heritage site in Luoyang, Henan Province, from antiquity to the present. Meaning "dragon gate," the name Longmen refers to the scenic mountain ravine between the East (303.5 meters altitude) and West Hills (Longmenshan, 263.9 meters altitude) through which the Yi River flows, a place also known as Yique, about thirteen13 kilometers (around 8 miles, or 25 li) south of Luoyang in Henan Province, the central province of the North China Plain, the heartland and imperial capital of thirteen Chinese dynasties, mostly south of the Yellow River. Approximately and arguably dating from 493 CE during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534) as a Buddhist votive site, the Longmen Grottoes as we see today comprise an assemblage of more than 2,000 stone niches and caves, over 100,000 fine-grained limestone sculptures and reliefs, and around 2,800 memorial steles (stone tablets) containing more than 300,000 words of inscribed text. The caves are carved into a 1-kilometer stretch of limestone cliffs on either side of the Yi River. While many of Longmen's sculptures are low relief carvings on the walls and ceilings of the caves, some are spectacularly hewn out of the limestone in situ. The inscriptions are also mostly chiseled into walls and ceilings, alongside the images to which they refer. The production of stone images at Longmen continued in the Eastern Wei (534–550), Western Wei (535–556), Northern Qi (550–577), Northern Zhou (557–581), and Sui (581–618) dynasties, tailing off after the Tang dynasty (618–907) as Luoyang was repeatedly subject to war and communal violence and gradually waned in status, although new carving projects were likely undertaken until the early seventeenth century during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Slighted and denounced as a squandering of resources on gaudy frippery for centuries by many Chinese elites in history, the large group of stone icons, decorated cave chapels, votive niches, walls, ceilings, inscribed steles, pillars, and floors at Longmen received irregular maintenance and repair, probably the most significant due to the Qianlong emperor's visit in 1750. Rediscovered by American, British, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Swedish scholars, collectors and connoisseurs around the turn of the twentieth century, Longmen in modern times came to embody the values of universalism, modernity, and the modern impulse for both China and the world. The treasures at Longmen—preeminently stone sculptures dating from the fifth to the tenth centuries CE—were the object of a global quest that can be compared with the exploits of Indiana Jones. In 2001, UNESCO decided to add the Longmen Grottoes to the World Heritage List of properties deemed to have outstanding universal value.
  • The Way of Former Heaven (Xiantiandao 先天道)

    Hamm, Matthew; Nikolas Broy (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    Xiantiandao 先天道, the "Way of Former Heaven," is the common designation of a network of Chinese popular sects that share similar symbols, beliefs, and practices and from which many later Chinese redemptive societies, such as Yiguandao 一貫道 ("The Way of Pervading Unity") and Tongshanshe 同善社 ("The Fellowship of Goodness") emerged. In addition, Xiantiandao is a significant influence on the Vietnamese new religious movement Cao Dai (Đạo Cao Đài) that emerged from Sino-Vietnamese sectarian groups in 1920s French-colonial Saigon. While claiming descent from a genealogy of enlightened masters that goes back to the dawn of Chinese civilization, Xiantiandao emerged as a distinct religious group in eighteenth-century Jiangxi Province in southeastern China. In this early period, practitioners and outsiders seem to have referred to the sect and its teachings by various names, including Xiantiandao and Qinglianjiao 青蓮教 ("Green Lotus Sect"), a term that appears in nineteenth-century government surveillance material. Having appealed to traveling merchants and labor migrants in the nineteenth century, Xiantiandao quickly spread throughout southern and southwestern China and, from the 1860s onward, also to Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand and what is now Singapore and Malaysia. Like many other nonofficial sects, Xiantiandao was subject to state persecution and vilification as an "evil sect" (xiejiao 邪教)—a deprecatory label employed by government officials and cultural elites to criminalize nonofficial religious groups that is still used today in public and political discourses in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Accordingly, Xiantiandao was banned and persecuted by consecutive Chinese regimes, including the PRC. Thus, although almost entirely eradicated on the Chinese mainland since the early 1950s when it was considered a "counterrevolutionary sect" (fandong huidaomen 反動會道門), the sect still retained a considerable presence among overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. In fact, state persecution has fueled Xiantiandao's translocal spread in many ways. For instance, many practitioners were forced underground following a large-scale crackdown in southwestern China in the 1840s. With many leaders apprehended and executed and forced to act clandestinely, Xiantiandao branched into various subsects and local networks, many of which later evolved into independent sectarian groups. The well-known redemptive societies Tongshanshe and Yiguandao, but also others such as Guigendao 歸根道 ("The Way of Returning to the Origin") split off from Xiantiandao during this period of instability in the second half of the nineteenth century. Similar to many other Chinese sects, Xiantiandao's teachings are often described as "syncretic." This characterization highlights its peculiar synthesis of established symbols and beliefs—most notably the so-called "Three Teachings" (sanjiao 三教) of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism—and millenarian beliefs centering on the supramundane creator deity Wusheng Laomu 無生老母 ("Eternal Venerable Mother") and her salvationist mission to rescue humankind from the impending apocalypse. Stressing individual moral self-cultivation as a means to restore one's inherent original nature (a Buddhist concept), Xiantiandao practitioners seek to repatriate to Laomu's "original homeland" (guxiang 故鄉) from which the early humans were exiled many eons ago. The sect's teachings are immersed in a narrative of decline and moral corruption, according to which humankind is doomed to be annihilated in the final cosmic apocalypse, and only by following Laomu's teachings will humans be able to restore their inherent true selves and return to her eternal paradise. Like in many earlier popular sects during the Qing period and many later ones, including Yiguandao and Tongshanshe, this narrative is embedded in a cycle of three consecutive cosmic periods. Even though the final period, which is called baiyang 白陽 ("White Sun"), represents the beginning of the world's end, it also marks the period during which the universal truth is being made available to all of humankind, whereas in earlier cosmic periods, only selected people had access to it. Accordingly, the baiyang period represents a time of high urgency to spread the teachings and help more people avoid the apocalypse. Besides highlighting how Confucian-oriented social values are instrumental in actualizing one's true self, vegetarianism is crucial in Xiantiandao teachings. Drawing on Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian notions of meat abstention and fasting, it serves many purposes, from ritual purification to ethical concerns and cleaning up karmic bonds of one's past existences. In addition, many Xiantiandao rituals, individual and communal, are conceptualized in Daoist-inspired terms, most notably neidan 內丹 ("internal alchemy"). Adopting the trope of laboratory alchemy to conceptualize meditative practices, neidan practitioners typically seek to invert the natural course of life by refining subtle substances within the human body to nurture an immortal embryo that will withstand the decay and death of the physical body. Finally, as far as we know, Xiantiandao is the earliest Chinese sectarian group to have adopted spirit-writing (fuluan 扶鸞, "yielding the phoenix," or fuji 扶乩, "yielding the planchette") as a means of communicating with deities, Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and deceased leaders. While it was already a widespread practice in many different religious contexts, it was only in the 1820s to 1840s that spirit-writing gained currency in Xiantiandao. It became an essential means of religious text production and a source of legitimacy, especially regarding leadership and organization. In contrast to Buddhist and Daoist clerics, Xiantiandao sectarians consider themselves lay practitioners, meaning that most live ordinary lives and maintain families. The sect is organized according to a hierarchy of eight ranks, but the exact number may vary depending on which subsect, region, and period one looks at. This system channels access to the sect's teachings and practices, whereby higher-level ("esoteric") teachings are only available to accomplished practitioners. The rank-holders at the top of the hierarchy are also responsible for the overall organization and translocal proselytization. In many subsects, the highest four ranks are only available to men. Yet, researchers found that many practitioners and even entire communities are female, especially in Southeast Asia. Thus, during most of the twentieth century, Xiantiandao "vegetarian halls" (zhaitang 齋堂) in Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia served as safe havens for unmarried women who sought to evade male-dominated lives and for widows. In traditional Chinese societies, Confucian values of obedience and female subordination strongly compelled girls and women to marry and give birth to children. Accordingly, seeking refuge in a Xiantiandao temple and living a chaste religious life was a rare opportunity to evade male domination. Because of the PRC's strict religious policy and anti-sectarian agenda, Xiantiandao has almost disappeared from the Chinese mainland. Even though some communities survived in Taiwan and Southeast Asia and continued to thrive well into the twentieth century, ideological pressure from mainstream Buddhist groups led to a large-scale "Buddhisization" of Xiantiandao communities. Accordingly, many sites were converted into Buddhist monasteries and temples, and many sectarian practitioners formally became Buddhist monastics.
  • Mengzi

    Hamm, Matthew; Lok Chui Choo (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    Mengzi 孟子 is a collection of dialogues and essays attributed to the Chinese philosopher Mengzi, also known as Mencius or Meng-tzu. Mengzi lived during the Warring States period of Chinese history (around 372–289 BCE), which was a time of social and political upheaval. He is considered one of the most important Confucian philosophers, often referred to as the "Second Sage" after Confucius himself. The text Mengzi consists of seven books, each containing various chapters with conversations, anecdotes, and discourses attributed to Mengzi. The work is an essential part of the Confucian canon, along with the Analects of Confucius. It includes some key themes and ideas. Innate Goodness of Human Nature: Mengzi is best known for his belief in the innate goodness of human nature. He argued against the idea that people are born morally neutral or inclined towards evil. Instead, he asserted that everyone possesses natural tendencies toward goodness, and it is external influences that can lead people astray. Four Beginnings and Sprouts: Mengzi developed the idea of the Four "Beginnings" or "Sprouts" (duan 端) as inherent moral tendencies in humans. These are benevolence (ren 仁), righteousness (yi 義), ritual propriety (li 禮), and wisdom (zhi 智). According to Mengzi, these qualities are present in everyone and can be nurtured to reach their full potential. Role of Government: Mengzi discussed the importance of good governance and the moral duty of rulers to ensure the well-being of their subjects. He believed that a ruler who fails to govern justly could be overthrown, as the Mandate of Heaven was contingent on virtuous rule. Self-Cultivation: Mengzi emphasized the importance of self-cultivation and the continuous effort to develop one's moral character. He believed that individuals have the responsibility to cultivate their innate moral qualities through learning and reflection. Opposition to Yang Zhu and Mozi: Mengzi engaged in philosophical debates with thinkers like Yang Zhu and Mozi, who held contrasting views on human nature and morality. Mengzi defended Confucianism against these rival schools of thought.
  • Early Medieval Confucianism

    Hamm, Matthew; Keith Knapp (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    Early Medieval Confucians (Ru 儒) were individuals who were well-versed in the Five Classics (Wujing 五经) and their commentaries, as well as the Analects (Lunyu 论语) and the Classic of Filial Piety (Xiaojing 孝经). They viewed the founders of their tradition as the Duke of Zhou (Zhougong 周公) and Confucius (Kongzi 孔子), which is why contemporaries sometimes called Confucianism "The Teachings of the Duke of Zhou and Confucius" (Zhou Kong zhi dao 周孔之道). Members of this group referred to their tradition using several other names as well, such as the Teachings of the Confucians (Rujiao 儒教), the Teachings of Confucius (Kongjiao 孔教), the Teachings of the Sage (Shengjiao 圣教), and Teachings of the Way (Daojiao 道教). Many early medieval Confucians believed in the existence of spirits and all agreed on the importance of sacrifices. However, offerings had to be made to gods (nature deities and ancestors) sanctioned in the Five Classics and worship could not be excessive. The most important religious rite was the emperor's sacrifice to Tian 天 (Heaven) in the capital's southern suburb. Of course, there were some Confucians, such as Fan Zhen 范镇 (ca.450-510), who denied the existence of spirits. Others, such as Huangfu Mi 皇甫谧 (215-282), thought that the deities of Heaven and Earth were vigorously surveilling human activities and manifesting auspicious and inauspicious omens to reward good and punish bad moral conduct. Early Medieval Confucians put a particular stress on perfecting themselves by behaving according to the Three Ritual Codes (Sanli 三礼): Book of Rites (Li ji 礼记), the Rites of Zhou (Zhouli 周礼), and the Book of Etiquette and Ceremonies (Yili 仪礼). Self-cultivation was inter-connected with social behavior: a Confucian cultivated herself/himself by fulfilling social roles and performing good deeds. Early medieval courts especially valued Confucians for their ritual knowledge and command of the Five Classics. As a result, they often served emperors as advisors on ritual matters, Erudies (boshi 博士) at the Imperial College, and as tutors to the imperial princes. For early medieval Confucians, the main purpose of government was to secure the welfare of commoners and enhance their moral fiber through the process of moral transformation (jiaohua 教化). This meant setting an example for others through one's personal conduct and establishing schools that taught the Five Classics and proper deportment. One did not have to hold public office to have a positive effect on others through moral transformation. Early Medieval Confucians frequently served in office, yet some, to maintain their moral integrity, chose to become recluses, such as Huangfu Mi. Oftentimes, they would then establish a private school at their residence. The loose social organization that underpinned medieval Confucianism was precisely the master-student networks created through schools. Early Medieval Confucians were by no means exclusivist. Several of them also embraced either Daoism or Buddhism. Although the inner chapters of Ge Hong's 葛洪 (283-343) The Master who Embraces Simplicity (Baopuzi 抱朴子) are devoted to ways of seeking immortality, his outer chapters express a Confucian critique on social and political matters. Yan Zhitui 颜之推 (531-591) viewed Confucianism as the outer teachings, while Buddhism were the more important inner teachings. Nevertheless, other Confucians, such He Chengtian 何承天 (370-447) and Fan Zhen were vehement critics of Buddhism, while Sun Sheng 孙盛 (ca. 301-373) was well known for his criticism of Daoism.
  • Chunqiu fanlu

    Hamm, Matthew; Ivana Buljan (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    The text Chunqiu fanlu is a compendium of Chinese ethical and political thought traditionally ascribed to a pivotal scholar from the Former Han dynasty (206 BCE – 9 CE), Dong Zhongshu (c. 195 to 115 BCE.). Dong Zhongshu was a leading exegete of the Gongyang Zhuan (Gongyang Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals), an early Han commentary of the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu ). The Chinese tradition credits him with an important role in the formation of "Han Confucianism" as the state ideology during the reign of Emperor Wu (140 – 134 BCE). But, this view is radically challenged by contemporary scholarship. This lengthy, rich and comprehensive work consisting of 82 chapters (pian), of which 79 have survived, has been commented upon in China throughout history as one of the most authoritative texts of Chinese ruism (Confucianism.) However, in terms of its authorship, dating and even in its textual preservation, the CQFL is a rather problematic text. While there is no certain answer on the question on what parts of the CQFL can be authentically traced to Dong Zhongshu, some chapters certainly originate from different sources. Most of the recent scholars agree that the CQFL is a collection of heterogeneous material from early Han and even post-Han scholarly work assembled by an anonymous compiler. The text contains a great diversity of subject matter. Sarah Queen and John Major persuasively argued that the text is arranged according to the principles that guided its anonymous compiler. They singled out five units. The first unit, Exegetical Principles", consisting of the first seventeen chapters represents the earliest and most probably authentic part of the whole compilation. These chapters interpret the principles of the Spring and Autumn Annals based on the Gongyang commentary. The "Monarchical Principles" (chapters 18-22) focus on the techniques for maintaining the power and authority of the ruler. They establish a kind of naturalistic approach which seeks normativity in the realm of nature. The third group, "Regulatory Principles" (chapters 23 to 28) addresses the regulations the ruler should observe after receiving the Mandate of Heaven. The "Ethical Principles" (chapters 29 to 42) group discusses the fundamental virtues and ideas esteemed by ruist scholars, such as humaneness ren 仁, righteousness yi義, wisdom zhi 智, virtue de 德, the rectification of names zheng ming 正名, and filial piety xiao孝. The "Yin-Yang Principles" group focuses on the cosmology of yin-yang and the four seasons in relation to the ruler's emotions, actions, and policies. "Five-Phase Principles" chapters develop the art of rulership based on Five Phase wu xing cosmology. "Ritual Principles" group, constituted of twelve thematically linked chapters, describes various aspects of ritual obligations and sacrifice from the perspective of the Gongyang commentary on the Spring and Autumn. The "Heavenly Principles" (chapters 77 to 82) contain some rather corrupted chapters grouped around the idea of Heaven as the source of political and moral principles. They correlate the way of Heaven with the physical cultivation and governing the country. Please note that all translations are taken from the ebook version of Sarah Queen and John Major's "Luxuriant Gems of the Spring and Autumn), Columbia University Press: 2015. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Luxuriant-Spring-Autumn-Translations-Classics-ebook/dp/B017QL99WU
  • Contemporary Neo-Confucianism 當代新儒家

    Hamm, Matthew; King Pong Chiu (Zenodo, 2024-06-27)
    'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' is a philosophical system of thought or a philosophical school that develops its ideas based on a re-interpretation of traditional Confucianism, in order to make Confucianism more relevant to the needs of the modern world. Mainly developed by some thinkers who escaped from the mainland China to Hong Kong and Taiwan in 1949, 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' began to be influential in the academia in Hong Kong and Taiwan since the late 1950s, and finally affected Confucian studies in mainland China since the 1980s. The term 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' is, in fact, firstly suggested and promoted by the scholars in mainland China at that time. Theoretically, the group of 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' could include any scholars who share the same ideal of re-interpretating Confucianism in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China, but the term practically refers to those who develop their thoughts in Hong Kong and Taiwan, as the re-interpretation of traditional Confucianism varies hugely between the scholars in these two places and the mainland. In general, 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' in Hong Kong and Taiwan regards Confucianism as the mainstream intellectual tradition in the Chinese society, and any modernization of China and the Chinese society needs to consider the pros and cons of this tradition. It is based on Confucianism that the Chinese people developed their model of modernization while it is also the same intellectual tradition that it may hinder Chinese society from progressing. Under such considerations, several important issues are to be handled: the relationship between Confucianism and democracy as well as science; the relationship between Confucianism and Western philosophy; and the relationship between Confucianism and other traditional Chinese thought such as Buddhism and Taoism. In general, 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' considers that Confucianism could not only co-exist with other Chinese traditions, democracy, science and Western philosophy, but even improve the quality of them. On the one hand, 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' seems progressive as it does not put Confucianism into a contradictory position with such modern values as democracy and science. On the other hand, however, it is considered conservative as it seems to hold a position that, in a sense, Confucianism is more important than the values mentioned above. 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' in Hong Kong and Taiwan involves some important figures, such as Xiong Shili (熊十力, 1885 – 1968), Carsun Chang (張君勱, 1887 – 1969), Liang Shuming (梁漱溟, 1893 – 1988), Ch'ien Mu (錢穆, 1895 – 1990), Thomé H. Fang (方東美, 1899 – 1977), Xu Fuguan (徐復觀, 1904 – 1982), Tang Junyi (唐君毅, 1909 – 1978) and Mou Zongsan (牟宗三, 1909 – 1995). However, as the approaches employed to re-interpret Confucianism differ among them, their conclusions towards the relationships between Confucianism and the issues mentioned above are also various. To a large extent, the term 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' simplifies the complexities of the thoughts of these thinkers, and the rationale behind using the term is in doubt in some ways. To make the situation more complicated, some scholars in Confucianism from the present mainland China, Jiang Qing (蔣慶,1953 – present) for example, challenge the usage of the term, claiming that mainland China has her own perspective of re-interpreting traditional Confucianism and this perspective is different from those in Hong Kong and Taiwan. To the scholars from the mainland, Confucianism is the essence of Chinese culture and it is not correct to think of its relationship with those issues coming from the West, such as democracy and science. This kind of interpretation of Confucianism is considered highly conservative though it is rather popular in the academia of mainland China. Due to the diversity of interpretation, the term 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' has never had a rigid definition. Despite its popularity, 'Contemporary Neo-Confucianism' is mainly a target of discussion in academia rather than a religious or philosophical group with influence in society.
  • Viewpoints on humans in the philosophy of Confucianism and lessons for Vietnam today

    Mai Uoc, Tran; Dang, Thi Phuong Anh (2021)
    Human position in society was one of the critical topics that attracted philosophers' attention in ancient China. Confucianism had systematic views on the human's role and position in social stabilization. The article aims to analyze the essential characteristics of the viewpoint on humans in Confucianism's philosophy before the Qin dynasty, such as the unity between politics and morality, the humanity in the promotion of moral rule, human civilization. These views still have influences on upholding culture as the spiritual foundation of today's Vietnamese society. This study used a qualitative research methodology through deriving from the literature and examinations of secondary resources to find out these influences. Research results show that Vietnam today is taking the people's legitimate interests and aspirations as a premise for building national solidarity, developing education and training for the development of the knowledge economy, and a lesson about focusing on people's livelihood. Although there are limitations of the times, such as discrimination of caste and status, fate, and human nature are subject to a priori idealism, the philosophy of Confucianism still has specific Vietnamese values in the current society.
  • Omenology as choreography: remarks on the ritual nature of political action in response to eclipses in early imperial China

    Centre de recherche sur les civilisations de l'Asie Orientale (CRCAO) ; École pratique des hautes études (EPHE) ; Université Paris sciences et lettres (PSL)-Université Paris sciences et lettres (PSL)-Collège de France (CdF (institution))-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)-Université Paris Cité (UPCité); University of Bologna; Morgan, Daniel Patrick (HAL CCSD, 2024-05-20)
    International audience
  • As mulheres sob a ótica do Confucionismo no Vietnã a partir de uma perspectiva feminista

    Điệp, Lê Thị Ngọc; Ngọc, Trần Cao Bội; Quang, Trần Phú Huệ (Aufklärung: Journal of Philosophy, 2024-05-11)
    O confucionismo existe, na vida espiritual do povo vietnamita, desde muito tempo. A parte positiva do Confucionismo pode-se dizer que é o fato de ele contribuir para o fortalecimento das relações familiares, entre os parentes, bem como nas relações sociais de um modo geral; outra parte positiva consiste em motivar as pessoas a desenvolverem o gosto pela leitura e aprendizagem. Estima-se que a ética confucionista precisa ser provocada, a fim de contribuir para a construção da sociedade nos dias atuais. Na contramão dessa positividade, pode-se afirmar que o confucionismo, de maneira geral, não valoriza, na medida necessária, o papel das mulheres na sociedade; na realidade, ele as classifica como pessoas insignificantes. É digno de se observar, entretanto, que, no contexto social específico do Vietnã, as mulheres encontram um lugar próprio na sociedade. Nossa pesquisa visa mostrar exatamente essa diferente concepção do papel da mulher na socidade vietnamita.
  • Overdetermined Oedipus: Mommy, Daddy, and Me as Desiring-Machine

    Flieger, Jerry Aline; Lemos, Flávia Cristina Silveira; Piauí, William de Siqueira; Morais, Lauro Iane de (Aufklärung: Journal of Philosophy, 2024-05-11)
    Trata-se do capítulo “Overdetermined Oedipus: Mommy, Daddy, and Me as Desiring-Machine” in: BUCHANAN, Ian. (Org). A Deleuzian Century?. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999. (N.T.)

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