Confucian Traditions In East Asian Modernity / Edition 1

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Overview

How Confucian traditions have shaped styles of being modern in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore presents a particular challenge to the intellectual community. Explorations of Confucian network capitalism, meritocratic democracy, and liberal education have practical implications for a sense of self, community, economy, and polity.

Seventeen scholars, of varying fields of study, here bring their differing perspectives to a consideration of the Confucian role in industrial East Asia. Confucian concerns such as self-cultivation, regulation of the family, social civility, moral education, well-being of the people, governance of the state, and universal peace provide a general framework for the study. The Confucian Problematik--how a fiduciary community can come into being through exemplary teaching and moral transformation--underlies much of the discussion. The contributors question all unexamined assumptions about the rise of industrial East Asia, at the same time exploring the ideas, norms, and values that underlie the moral fabric of East Asian societies.

Is Confucian ethics a common discourse in industrial East Asia? The answer varies according to academic discipline, regional specialization, and personal judgment. Although there are conflicting interpretations and diverging perspectives, this study represents the current thinking of some of the most sophisticated minds on this vital and intriguing subject.

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Editorial Reviews

Asia Pacific Business Review

An extremely authoritative and scholarly guide to the question of Confucianism's role as an 'economic culture'...Simply put, no one who is interested in researching the role of Confucian culture in contemporary East Asian economic development can afford to be without it. The scholarship is as impressive in its breadth as its depth. It is impossible, within the framework of a short review, to do justice to the whole volume...Anyone who wants to understand, to teach, or to research the Confucian characteristics of the emergent Pacific Century, will need to read this book. Its breadth of scholarship will challenge all but scholars of the quality that have produced it. The rewards are ample, however. This book will become one of the reference points for contemporary scholarship on the continuing role of popular Confucianism in East Asia.

— Stewart Clegg

South East Asia Research

This important new book will be of interest to all students of contemporary South East Asia…Another major reason for this volume's importance to South East Asian studies lies in the central economic role played by Chinese communities in nearly all South East Asian countries…Yet it is its broad sweep which makes this such a thought-provoking book…In particular, Thomas Gold's masterful 'Civil society in Taiwan: the Confucian dimension' deserves to become widely read as an example of how Confucianism and autonomous social organizations can co-exist…in terms of the tightness of the editing, the stimulating contributions and the comprehensive notes and index, this is a sophisticated and erudite contribution to the debate…
— Alastair Dingwall

Asian Affairs

In this excellent volume, the editor Tu Wei-Ming has brought together one of the best specialist collections of papers on the role and significance of Confucianism in contemporary East Asia. The book's strength lies in three distinct areas: its geographical breadth...its historical depth...and its interdisciplinary mix...[A] rich and complex volume.

— Roger Goodman

South East Asia Research [UK]

It is its broad sweep which makes this such a thought-provoking book...In terms of the tightness of the editing, the stimulating contributions and the comprehensive notes and index, this is a sophisticated and erudite contribution.

— Alastair Dingwall

The Historian

Aware that Confucianism embodies multifarious dimensions and nationalities, and that cultural heritage alone cannot explain complicated socio-political-economic phenomena, the contributors of Confucian Traditions in East Asian Modernity avoid making dogmatic correlation between Confucianism and the failure or success of East Asian modernization. Rather, they 'take the Confucian dimension as the point of entry' for their sophisticated and insightful 'inquiry into the dynamic interplay of intellectual, social, and economic currents in Japan and the Four Mini-Dragons'…This volume is inspirational, informative, and challenging.
— Pi-ching Hsu

Asia Pacific Business Review - Stewart Clegg
An extremely authoritative and scholarly guide to the question of Confucianism's role as an 'economic culture'...Simply put, no one who is interested in researching the role of Confucian culture in contemporary East Asian economic development can afford to be without it. The scholarship is as impressive in its breadth as its depth. It is impossible, within the framework of a short review, to do justice to the whole volume...Anyone who wants to understand, to teach, or to research the Confucian characteristics of the emergent Pacific Century, will need to read this book. Its breadth of scholarship will challenge all but scholars of the quality that have produced it. The rewards are ample, however. This book will become one of the reference points for contemporary scholarship on the continuing role of popular Confucianism in East Asia.
South East Asia Research - Alastair Dingwall
It is its broad sweep which makes this such a thought-provoking book...In terms of the tightness of the editing, the stimulating contributions and the comprehensive notes and index, this is a sophisticated and erudite contribution.
Asian Affairs - Roger Goodman
In this excellent volume, the editor Tu Wei-Ming has brought together one of the best specialist collections of papers on the role and significance of Confucianism in contemporary East Asia. The book's strength lies in three distinct areas: its geographical breadth...its historical depth...and its interdisciplinary mix...[A] rich and complex volume.
Irene Bloom
The work is distinguished by its breadth and its multidisciplinary character as well as its depth, bringing together the work of philosophers, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and economists, always with interesting results.
Henry Rosemont
The focus of this book is an important one. Those non-Western countries which have come the farthest in modernization during the twentieth century are all East Asian: Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. All of these have been influenced significantly by Chinese culture, and Chinese culture has been influenced significantly by Confucianism. Hence the question: what role has Confucianism in general, and Confucian ethics in particular, played in the process of modernization in these countries? Tu Wei-ming is an internationally renowned Confucian scholar. These essays are first-rate contributions to scholarship that deserve a wide audience, and all of them are enhanced by being gathered together in a single volume.
The Historian - Pi-Ching Hsu
Aware that Confucianism embodies multifarious dimensions and nationalities, and that cultural heritage alone cannot explain complicated socio-political-economic phenomena, the contributors of Confucian Traditions in East Asian Modernity avoid making dogmatic correlation between Confucianism and the failure or success of East Asian modernization. Rather, they 'take the Confucian dimension as the point of entry' for their sophisticated and insightful 'inquiry into the dynamic interplay of intellectual, social, and economic currents in Japan and the Four Mini-Dragons'…This volume is inspirational, informative, and challenging.
The Historian
Aware that Confucianism embodies multifarious dimensions and nationalities, and that cultural heritage alone cannot explain complicated socio-political-economic phenomena, the contributors of Confucian Traditions in East Asian Modernity avoid making dogmatic correlation between Confucianism and the failure or success of East Asian modernization. Rather, they 'take the Confucian dimension as the point of entry' for their sophisticated and insightful 'inquiry into the dynamic interplay of intellectual, social, and economic currents in Japan and the Four Mini-Dragons'…This volume is inspirational, informative, and challenging.
— Pi-ching Hsu
Asian Affairs
In this excellent volume, the editor Tu Wei-Ming has brought together one of the best specialist collections of papers on the role and significance of Confucianism in contemporary East Asia. The book's strength lies in three distinct areas: its geographical breadth...its historical depth...and its interdisciplinary mix...[A] rich and complex volume.

— Roger Goodman

Asia Pacific Business Review
An extremely authoritative and scholarly guide to the question of Confucianism's role as an 'economic culture'...Simply put, no one who is interested in researching the role of Confucian culture in contemporary East Asian economic development can afford to be without it. The scholarship is as impressive in its breadth as its depth. It is impossible, within the framework of a short review, to do justice to the whole volume...Anyone who wants to understand, to teach, or to research the Confucian characteristics of the emergent Pacific Century, will need to read this book. Its breadth of scholarship will challenge all but scholars of the quality that have produced it. The rewards are ample, however. This book will become one of the reference points for contemporary scholarship on the continuing role of popular Confucianism in East Asia.

— Stewart Clegg

South East Asia Research
This important new book will be of interest to all students of contemporary South East Asia…Another major reason for this volume's importance to South East Asian studies lies in the central economic role played by Chinese communities in nearly all South East Asian countries…Yet it is its broad sweep which makes this such a thought-provoking book…In particular, Thomas Gold's masterful 'Civil society in Taiwan: the Confucian dimension' deserves to become widely read as an example of how Confucianism and autonomous social organizations can co-exist…in terms of the tightness of the editing, the stimulating contributions and the comprehensive notes and index, this is a sophisticated and erudite contribution to the debate…
— Alastair Dingwall
South East Asia Research [UK]
It is its broad sweep which makes this such a thought-provoking book...In terms of the tightness of the editing, the stimulating contributions and the comprehensive notes and index, this is a sophisticated and erudite contribution.

— Alastair Dingwall

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674160873
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 436
  • Product dimensions: 0.89 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Tu Wei-ming is Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy, Harvard University and Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute.
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Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction


  1. I. Intellectual and Institutional Resources
  2. Confucian Education in Premodern East Asia W.M. Theodore De Bary
  3. Reflections on Civil Society and Civility in the Chinese Intellectual Tradition Edward Shils
  4. The Intellectual Heritage of the Confucian Ideal of Ching-shih Chang Had
  5. Confucian Ideals and the Real World: A Critical Review of Contemporary Neo-Confucian Thought Liu Shu-Hsien

  6. II. Japan
  7. "They Are Almost the Same as the Ancient Three Dynasties": The West as Seen through Confucian Eyes in Nineteenth-Century Japan Watanabe Hiroshi
  8. Confucianism and the Japanese State, 1904-1945 Samuel Hideo Yamashita
  9. The Japanese (Confucian) Family: The Tradition from the Bottom Up Robert J. Smith
  10. Some Observations on the Transformation of Confucianism (and Buddhism) in Japan S. N. Eisenstadt

  11. III. South Korea and Taiwan
  12. Confucianism in Contemporary Korea Koh Byong-ik
  13. The Reproduction of Confucian Culture in Contemporary Korea: An Anthropological Study Kim Kwang-ok
  14. State Confucianism and Its Transformation: The Restructuring of the State-Society Relation in Taiwan Ambrose Y. C. King
  15. Civil Society in Taiwan: The Confucian Dimension Thomas B. Gold

  16. IV. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Overseas Chinese Communities
  17. The Transformation of Confucianism in the Post-Confucian Era: The Emergence of Rationalistic Traditionalism in Hong Kong Ambrose Y. C. King
  18. Promoting Confucianism for Socioeconomic Development: The Singapore Experience John Wong
  19. Confucianism as Political Discourse in Singapore: The Case of an Incomplete Revitalization Movement Eddie C. Y. Kuo
  20. Societal Transformation and the Contribution of Authority Relations and Cooperation Norms in Overseas Chinese Business S. Gordon Redding
  21. Overseas Chinese Capitalism Gary G. Hamilton

  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Contributors
  • Index

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