confucianism in modern society

Trust in Confucianism

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Part 13 (concluding video) of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. Trust and being trustworthy plays a central role in Confucian ethics. In the Analects, for example, Confucius frequently uses the term xin 信 to discuss the importance of trust in various social and political contexts in ancient China. In this final section of the interview, trust in Western and Eastern perspectives is discussed.

Questioning Human Nature in Confucianism

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Part 12 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. On the one hand, scholars have argued that human nature is inherently evil and that the state should play a key role in educating and civilising citizens. However, there are also those who argue that human nature is inherently good and that the role and influence of the state should be limited to allow for individuals to fulfil their potentials. In this section of the interview, the various perspectives on human nature in Confucian thought are discussed.

Spreading and Translating Confucianism

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Part 11 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. Having published his own English translation of the Analects, Chan funded the construction of a Confucius Neo-Institute in Qufu, in 2013. This section of the interview discusses the difficulties of spreading and translating Confucianism in current times.

‘Analects Renovated’

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Part 10 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. Dr. Alan Chan discusses his book ‘Analects Renovated’, which is a diluted and applicable version of the Analects in modern times.

Understanding Confucianism

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Part 9 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. Confucianism is often characterised as a one-dimensional, rigid moral philosophy that was greatly disliked by scholars such as Han Feizi, who described Confucianists as ‘vermin’ that preyed like parasites on the body politic. This section of the interview discusses misunderstanding Confucianism in the modern world.

Hierarchy and Order in Confucian Philosophy

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Part 8 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. Several questions are central to the teachings of Confucian thought, including the issue of how to sustain order (zhi) and harmony (he). For example, it is unclear as to what degree should we rely on institutions, and what roles, relationships, or hierarchies should structure society. This section of the interview discusses whether hierarchy and order, based on virtue, is applicable to non-Confucian societies.

The Future of Confucianism in a Globalised World

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Part 7 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. Today, the increasing travel of Chinese students, tourists, and businesses shows that the Chinese are cosmopolitan citizens of the world. The recent revival of Confucianism in China has been associated with cultural nationalism and philosophically, Confucianism and its collective, top-down, hierarchical view of relationships and governance is incompatible with liberal conceptions of cosmopolitanism, which emphasise individualism and human rights. This interview explores the potential for Confucianism to influence countries outside of Asia in a globalised world.