Confucius and Confucianism in China Today
Asia Research Centre invites you to a guest lecture by
Professor Tong Shijun
Vice president Shanghai Academy of Social Science
"Confucius and Confucianism in China Today"
After presenting Confucius as a thinker of the so-called "Axial Period" and Confucianism as the main-stream school of thought in the ancient and medieval China for two thousands of years, this lecture tries to understand Confucius and his thinking, Confucianism, within the modern, especially the contemporary contexts of China. Though sharply criticized first in the New Culture Movement in late 1910s and then in early 1970s during the "Cultural Revolution", Confucianism has been given a position that is generally positive, sometimes sublime even sacred, in Chinese society since 1978, when China started its reform and opening-up. Since the beginning of the 21st century, more specifically speaking, Confucianism has become or tends to become an important major course of the curriculum of general education of Chinese college students; an important type of commodity in the cultural market in China; an important cultural base of the official version of Marxism that has been adapted to conditions in China, and a major source of the spiritual life of the general public of China.
TONG Shijun, born in 1958 in Shanghai, is Vice President of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) and Research Fellow of Philosophy of SASS since 2004. He is also a professor at East China Normal University since 1994 and an honorary research fellow of Monash University of Australia since 2005, and a member of the Committee of Social Sciences under the National Ministry of Education since 2004. Among his numerous publications are Western Philosophy at the Times of Marx and Engels (in Chinese, co- authored, 1994, Shanghai) and Dialectics of Modernization: Habermas and the Chinese Discourse of Modernization (in English, 2000, Sidney), as well as more than 100 papers in Chinese and English. He is also the Chinese translator of several important books in English and German, including Juergen Habermas's Faktizitaet und Geltung (2003, Beijing).