Confucian Morality in Modern Times

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International Relations Expert and Confucian Scholar, Dr Rosita Dellios shares her opinion on how Confucianism can be investigated in the realm of same-sex marriage .

“There is nothing in the Analects of Confucius that directly addresses the topic of same sex marriage; however it is definitely a subject worth investigating. Confucianism when adapted to modern society has the capacity to accept same sex marriage because it is a social construct and enhances social relationships in a harmonious way.

According to Confucian thought and traditional Chinese society, reciprocal social roles and obligations define the human, not their sex. A person’s reproductive body is not the primary basis of distinction. Marriage concerns two families joining and performing their roles in the continuity of Chinese lineage. A women’s primary function as wife is responsibility for ritual affairs – attending to the ceremonies for the ancestors. The wife was part of the patrolineage, but this did not necessary entail having children. If she was unable to have children, a concubine could be acquired for giving birth to a son in order to maintain the family line, and to help the wife in ceremonial responsibilities to the ancestors.

As to the husband-wife relationship of the five key relationships, it is better understood as a partnership for the family unit as the most important unit of society, one on which the government is dependent if it is to be a virtuous Confucian government which wants to enhance harmony of roles and responsibilities.”

In the News

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Confucius Institute conference

Honolulu Declares Confucius Institute Day

On June 21, nearly 300 North American and Oceanian Confucius Institutes gathered in Honolulu for a Joint Conference. Participants included 20 university presidents; approximately 240 Chinese and host-country directors of 107 U.S. Confucius Institutes, 12 Canadian Confucius Institutes, and 17 Oceanian Confucius Institutes; around 20 delegates from 15 U.S. and five Oceanian Confucius classrooms; and approximately 10 members of boards of the Asia Society and the College Board in the U.S. (1)

In a proclamation letter, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the day is “in recognition of its commitment to education and friendship between the people of Hawaii and China.” (2) The primary discussion during the conference was the topic of sustainable development of the institutes and several other issues regarding Confucius Institutes.

“The 21st century which is the century of Asia Pacific Rim, nothing could be more important than the mission of the Confucius Institutes, as China is in the center of that proposition,” said Former Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie. (3)

Confucius Institute in Benin
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An Educational Gift Delivered to an African Village 

“In Confucius’ mind, peace is achieved through harmony, and harmony is maintained by virtues, and virtues can be cultivated in every human being through education.” (1)

A Confucius Institute is helping to bring the teachings of Confucius to those who live far from the Confucian cultural area of East Asia. On June 3, the Confucius Institute in Benin, West Africa, brought sage’s teachings to deprived children at Abomey Calavi SOS Children’s Village. There are 11 classes and 105 children in the village, most of them were orphans. Besides these children, over 3,000 Beninese of diverse social backgrounds enrolled for Chinese language learning at the Confucius Institute as well as in public and private universities and secondary schools in Benin. (2)

Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute Liu Anping and Benin Director Julien gave learning materials like Chinese books and Chinese characters tracing books to the children as gifts on behalf of the Confucius Institute.

Julien said in the gift-giving ceremony that, “When we sent books and toys to children, we did not only intend to bring happiness to them, we also hoped to give them a chance to change their future by themselves.” (3)

To read more and view photos from the visit click here.

2015 Keynote Presentations

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Xiaohua Yang

Please click on the image or  title to view each keynote presentation. 

Xiaohua Yang Presentation

Keynote Address 1: Confucianism and Business
What Confucius can teach us as China goes global?
Dr Xiaohua Yang

Shan Chun Presentation
Keynote Address 2: Harmony, reciprocity and engagement: Confucian approaches to modern life

Confucian Humaneness in Modern Human Rights Politics?
Professor Shan Chun

Confucianism and Business Ethics

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Yilan Luan Panel 1

The extraordinary economic growth of China has revolutionized the way in which business is practiced and influenced globally. The Confucian roots within Chinese culture play a profound role in society and it is important to understand what affects this has on international business and business conduct.  Panel one of the International Symposium: Confucianism and Modern Society discussed topics ranging from Confucian entrepreneurship, ethics, democracy and global power hierarchy.

To view the panel slides from each presenter, click on the presentation title or image below. If you are interested in learning more about each presenter, please visit our 2015 Symposium Presenters page. Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the Online Discussion Forum!

Please also be sure to check out our interview with former Australian diplomat and author, Reg Little.

Confucian Entrepreneurship
Mr Alan Chan

Reflections on Confucianism and Western Business (Commentary)
Professor Raoul Mortley

Raoul Mortley Presentation
Confucian ethics and the 21st Century Global Business
Dr Reg Little

Reg Little 2

The Chinese Interpretive Context of Democracy
Miss Yilan Luan

Yilan Luan

A Theoretical Analysis on Global Power Hierarchy
Dr Lei Yu

Dr Lei Yu

Confucianism in Modern Chinese Society

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Panel 2

Our next set of panel discussions have arrived! Panel two of the International Symposium: Confucianism and Modern Society discussed topics ranging from Confucius and women to learning Buddha-Dharma through a Confucian lens. Each presenter spoke for 15 minutes on his/her topic, followed by an open discussion.

To view the panel slides from each presenter, click on the presentation title or image below. If you are interested in learning more about each presenter, please visit our 2015 Symposium Presenters page. Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the Online Discussion Forum!

You might also like to check out our interview with one of our presenters – American Buddhist monk and the director of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, Rev Heng Sure. Click here for the full interview.

Confucian Values in a Changing World Cultural Order
Dr Chenshan Tian
Dr Chenshan Tian Presentation

Confucius and Women
Dr Rosita Dellios

Rosita Dellios Presentation

The Chinese Universal Values and the Future Human Civilization
Professor Yi Guo
Professor Yi Guo Presentation

Learning BuddhaDharma in America Through a Confucian Lens
Rev Heng Sure

Rev Heng Sure Presentation

Confucianism, Harmony and Humanity

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Panel 3

The 2015 International Symposium: Confucianism and Modern Society provided us with thought provoking discussion to last a lifetime. Over the following weeks we would like to introduce the presentations of each Panel Discussion which took place during the symposium. This week we start with discussing the panel on Confucianism, Harmony and Humanity. We invite you to review each presentation and provide your own opinion and thought by participating in our new Online Discussion Forum! This discussion forum serves as an online continuation of the symposium and a place where ideas and new thought can be expressed. After reviewing each presentation you are encouraged to provide your feedback. So, sit back with your favourite cuppa and enjoy some food for thought! We look forward to continuing our discussion!

Browse the Panel Discussion presentations on Confucianism, Harmony and Humanity:

Wu Xiaoming Opening Presentation

There is no One Confucianism
by Wu Xiaoming

James Ferguson Opening Presentation

Confucian Harmony: From Social Inclusion to Cosmopolitanism
by Dr James Ferguson

Haiming Wen Opening Presentation

The Significance of Chinese Thought in the Contemporary World
by Professor Haiming Wen

International Symposium: Confucianism and Modern Society

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Last week, Bond University was honoured to welcome academic and business professionals from around the globe to our Gold Coast campus to share their expertise and thoughts on the role of Confucianism in modern society. The symposium was successful in identifying opportunities, challenges and new insights on the theme of Confucian thought and contemporary life. Topics stimulated discussion on all facets of modern society including business ethics, the role of language and the various strands of Confucian thought.

The Bond University Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies would like to extend a grand thank you to everyone who attended and helped to make our 2015 International Symposium: Confucianism and Modern Society a very successful event! We look forward to providing you with more information to come in regards to the 2016 Symposium in Beijing to be hosted by Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Click below to view photos from the Symposium presentations.

Following the Symposium, attendees were given the opportunity to attend a cultural experience at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Hand feeding kangaroos and watching an Aboriginal performance were among the major highlights. The two-day event concluded with 360 degree views and dinner shared among newly made friends and renewed acquaintances at the famous Q1 in Surfers Paradise.


Click below to view photos from the Cultural and Social Experiences.