The Manifesto of 1958: A Statement to the World on Behalf of Confucianism

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The Manifesto of 1958: A Statement to the World on Behalf of Confucianism

Type: Research master thesis
Title: The Manifesto of 1958: A Statement to the World on Behalf of Confucianism
Author: Simionato, Alice
Issue Date: 2019
Keywords: Confucianism, Rationalism, Comparative Philosophy, Manifesto, New Confucianism
Abstract: With the rapid proliferation of New Confucian studies since the mid 1980s, it has become an unquestioned dogma that one particular event at the beginning of 1958 marks a watershed in the movement’s development. This event is the publication of the Manifesto that Mou Zongsan 牟宗三, Tang Junyi唐君毅, Xu Fuguan 徐復觀, and Zhang Junmai 张君劢 co-signed and published almost simultaneously in the two journals Minzhu pinglun民評論 (Democratic Tribune) and Zaisheng再生(National Renaissance) with the title “为中国文化敬告世界人士宣言─我们对中国学术研究及中国文化与世界文前途之共同认识” (Wei Zhongguo wenhua jinggao shijie renshi xuanyan –women dui Zhongguo xueshu yanjiu ji Zhongguo wenhua yu shijiewen qiantu zhi gongtong renshi; translated in English as “A Manifesto on the Reappraisal of Chinese Culture – our Joint Understanding of the Sinological Study relating to World Cultural Outlook.”). Its main purpose is to benefit Western intellectuals in 'aiding them to appreciate Chinese culture'. In order to do so, the authors employ a strategic terminology, which allows them to build a consistent cross-cultural dialogue between Western and Chinese philosophy by means of an unprecedented discourse on 'Chinese Rationalism' (中国心性之学 Zhongguo xinxing zhi xue). Interestingly, the latter is described by the authors as “the essence of Chinese Culture” and, beside its comparative value, it represents the most comprehensive configuration of Confucianism in the context of 20th century. Academic interest in Chinese Studies and Chinese Philosophy should take into account the articulation of Chinese Rationalism in the Manifesto of 1958 as representing a paradigm of post-comparative dialogue that exemplifies the underlying philosophical continuity beyond consistently different traditions of thought.
Supervisor: van Els, Paul
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Asian Studies (Research master)
Specialisation: Asian Studies (Research)
ECTS Credits: 25

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