Since the mid-1980s, Taiwan and mainland China have witnessed a sustained resurgence of academic and intellectual interest in ruxue“Confucianism”variously conceived as a form of culture, an ideology, a system of learning, and a tradition of normative values. This discourse has led to a proliferation of contending conceptions of ruxue, as well as proposals for rejuvenating it to make it a vital cultural and psycho-spiritual resource in the modern world.
This study aims to show how ruxue has been conceived in order to assess the achievements of this enterprise; to identify which aspects of ru thought and values academics find viable, and why; to highlight the dynamics involved in the ongoing cross-fertilization between academics in China and Taiwan; and to examine the relationship between these activities and cultural nationalism.
Four key arguments are developed. First, the process of intellectual cross-fertilization and rivalry between scholars has served to sustain academic interest in ruxue. Second, contrary to conventional wisdom, party-state support in the PRC does not underpin the continuing academic discourse on ruxue. Third, cultural nationalism, rather than state nationalism, better explains the nature of this activity. Fourth, academic discourse on ruxue provides little evidence of robust philosophical creativity.
About the Author
John Makeham is Reader in Chinese Studies at The Australian National University.
Table of Contents
- The Singapore Experiment and Rujia Capitalism
- Developments in 1980s Taiwan and the Mainland
- The Rise of Ruxue in 1990s China
- Ruxue Studies in Post-1990 Taiwan
- Ruxue: The Core of Chinese Culture
- Guo Qiyong, Zheng Jiadong, and Rujia Identity
- Daotong and Chinese Culture
- Lin Anwu's Post-New Confucianism
- Ruxue: Daotong Versus Zhengtong
- From Dubting Antiquity to Explaining Antiquity: Reconstructing Early Ru Intellectual History in Contemporary China
- Marxism and Ruxue
- Jian Qing's Ruxue Revivalism
- Rujiao as Religion
- Popularization of Ruxue and Rujia Thought and Values
Part I: Historical Background
Part II: Ruxue and Chinese Culture
Part III: The Politics of Orthodoxy
Part IV: Distinguishing Rujiao and Propagating Ruxue
- Works Cited