confucianism in modern society

Confucianism outside of China

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Part 6 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. Countries such as Korea and Japan were historically under the cultural and political influence of China, which brought Confucianism to these countries. In this video, it is discussed whether Confucianism is just as important to the economic and social development of Asian countries outside of China.

Junzi and Xiaoren

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Part 5 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. The main way to understand ren (humanness) in Confucian philosophy is from an ethical perspective. However, this often creates an image of the junzi (noble person) as rigidly moral and a slave to li (ritual). For example, in the Analects, it states that: “A gentleman avoids seeking to satisfy his appetite to the full when he eats and avoids seeking comfort when he is at home. He is diligent in deed and cautious in word, and he associates with possessors of the Way and is put right by them. He may simply be said to be fond of learning” (Analects, 1:14). However, there are numerous passages that also challenge this one-sided interpretation of junzi where the noble person is described as someone who is awakened to what is morally beautiful (Dao) through practising virtue and the arts. In this part of the interview, Alan Chan and Yi Chen discuss where xiaoren (the petty or small-minded person) fits within a Confucian harmonious world.

Harmony and Tolerance in Diversity

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Part 4 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. In his writings, Confucius emphasised the importance of inter-personal harmony between the ruler and minister, parent and child,  husband and wife, and between siblings and friends. Harmonious relations should also be created with the natural world so that future generation can continue to be fulfilled, humane, and prosperous. Alan Chan and Yi Chen discuss whether tolerating difference is a crucial aspect to setting up a harmonious society and global community.

Propriety in Modern Society

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Part 3 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. In Confucianism, propriety (or “ceremonies”, li 礼) is both an essential aspect of human behaviour as well as a medium through which people can interact with each other to create a harmonious and aesthetic space for relationship building and governance. The interviewer asks how propriety can be defined and practiced in modern times.

Confucianism and Business

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Part 2 of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. In the context of East Asian businesses playing a greater role in political and academic organisations, the interviewer asks what the relationship is between Confucianism and business in contemporary times.

Introduction to Confucian Principles in our Age

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The introductory video of the 2018 interview with Dr. Alan Chan at Bond University, Australia. Stay tuned for the rest of the interview!

Video Series: The Performance of Confucian Rites- 儒家仪式的表现

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Video screen capture

In 2014, the Hong Kong School of Creative Media created an interactive application and a linear three-screen video re-enactment of the “Capping Ceremony of a Minor Official’s Son,” from the ancient “Book of Li”. The Book of Li (Etiquette and Ceremonial) is a classical text about social behaviour and ceremonial ritual during the Zhou dynasty.

The video shows that in Confucian philosophy, li as ‘ritual’ is a system of awareness and practice that was created for followers to reflect on Confucian traditions in light of the rapid modernisation that was occurring during the Zhou era. Li as a concept is concerned with aesthetics, ethics and ideology and it is shown to be a technique of the body and mind that is learned and inscribed.

The approach that the actors have taken to re-enact these rites is one historical accuracy in the scripting, movements, clothing, props and environment. The analytical approach to the documentation provides a detailed examination using advanced digital techniques, such as motion capture and augmented-reality annotation of movement, to maximise viewer experience.

Click on the following link to see the full video:

Remaking the Confucian Rites (2014) from Jeffrey Shaw on Vimeo.