Until its rejection by reformers and revolutionaries in the twentieth century, Confucianism had been central to Chinese culture, identity, and thought for centuries. Confucianism was rejected by both Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong's Communist Party, which characterized it as an ideology of reaction and repression. Yet the sage has returned: today, Chinese people from all walks of life and every level of authority are embracing Confucianism. As China turned away from the excesses of the Cultural Revolution and experienced the adoption and challenges of market practices, alternatives were sought to the prevailing socialist morality. Beginning in the 1980s and continuing through the years, ideas, images, behaviors, and attitudes associated with Confucianism have come back into public and private life. In this volume, scholars from a wide range of disciplines explore the contemporary Confucian revival in China, looking at Confucianism and the state, intellectual life, and popular culture. Contributors note how the revival of Confucianism plays out in a variety of ways, from China's relationship with the rest of the world, to views of capitalism and science, to blockbuster movies and teenage fashion.
Kenneth J. Hammond is Professor of History at New Mexico State University. He is the author of Pepper Mountain: The Life, Death, and Posthumous Career of Yang Jisheng, the editor of The Human Tradition in Premodern China, and the coeditor (with Kristin Stapleton) of The Human Tradition in Modern China.
Jeffrey L. Richey is Associate Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Berea College. He is the author of Confucius in East Asia: Confucianism's History in China, Korea, Japan, and Viet Nam and the editor of Teaching Confucianism.
"The papers assembled for this volume ... offer readers a rich thematic breadth and impeccable scholarship that is recommended to both students and specialists." -- Religious Studies Review "...this is a timely book ... Highly recommended." -- CHOICE