UB Confucius Institute Distinguished Lecture Series
Why Does Ritual Matter? Theories from Classical China
Ritual (礼,禮) is a central concept of Confucianism. At Analects 12:1, we read: “Yen Yuan asked about human goodness [ren 仁]. Confucius said, ‘It is to master oneself and return to ritual’. . . Yen Yuan said, ‘Could you specify a bit?’ Confucius said: ‘Do not look at what is contrary to ritual; do not listen to what is contrary to ritual; do not speak what is contrary to ritual, and do not act which is contrary to ritual.’” If what Confucius said is still vague, Professor Puett will further specify.