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Ming Dong Gu (University of Texas at Dallas): Toward Globalized Confucianism: Visions and Strategies for an Unfinished Task
Thursday, 29 March 2018,  4:30pm -  6:00pm

Location: Pane Room at Alexander Library


Abstract: Confucianism has, since the turn of the 20th century, undergone a century-long process of modernization. Dr. Ming Dong Gu argues that despite the enormous efforts, the modernization project remains an unfinished task or at best, a work in progress. The unfinished task is mainly due to the fact that the modernization process has subjected Confucianism to too many competing demands that involve diverse and different ideological, intellectual, and aesthetic agendas. Gu suggests that the Chinese philosopher Li Zehou's theory of ethics, his critique of the major trends in Confucian scholarship, and his view of Confucianism may serve as a key to a fuller understanding of Confucianism and the starting point of a reconstruction that may help bring the modernization project to its most productive conclusion. With inspirations from Li's vision and insights, Dr. Gu calls for a division of Confucianism into two large categories: Confucianism in its narrow sense 狭义儒学, and Confucianism in its broad sense 广义儒学, and makes an experimental attempt to reconstruct Confucianism into a broadest possible system of thought. By merging hundred schools of thought both in China and in the world into one 百家归一 under the principle of "Confucianism as substance, other resources as applications" 儒体他用, Dr. Gu considers it possible to conceive a "Globalized Confucianism" 全球化儒学 and work out practical strategies for its realization.