Guest lecture with Guoxiang Peng

Inside the Revival of Confucianism in Mainland China: the Vicissitudes of Confucian Classics in Contemporary China as an Example

Guoxiang Peng is Professor of Chinese Philosophy, Intellectual History and Religion from the Philosophy Department, Tsinghua University, Beijing. He will visit Copenhagen to give a guest lecture on Confucianism in contemporary China. 

During his stay in Copenhagen Professor Peng will also take part in a round table discussion at NIAS - Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and in Bent Nielsen's class on Confucianism, China studies.


By scrutinizing the vicissitudes of Confucian classics in contemporary China, this paper discusses the current state of Confucianism, especially the so-called "revival of Confucianism", in mainland China. It includes three parts: first, a retrospective on the fate of Confucian classics in contemporary China; second, the general situation of Confucian "classics education" in today's China and more particularly in the "general education" program in China currently; and third, some personal observations and remarks on the matter. The underlying concerns in this paper are three interrelated points: if an educational system that focuses on the Confucian classics and includes other great books as well can be established; second, if commercialization and superficial popularization of Confucian classics can be avoided; and third, if Confucian values can be effectively promoted to transform a degenerated politics without being contaminated and corrupted in the process.