BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Twenty-four noted scholars in philosophy,
history and theology from across Asia, Europe and North America
will gather at the University at Buffalo April 27-28 for "Beyond
New Confucianism: Confucian Thought for Twenty-first Century
China," a conference that will examine the current revival of
Confucianism and the roles this ancient philosophical tradition
plays in contemporary Chinese culture.
All conference panels are free and open to the public, and will
be held in the Honors College Colloquium Room, Oscar Silverman
Library, 107 Capen Hall, UB North Campus.
UB students, staff and faculty members, and members of the
broader Buffalo community, are invited to attend.
The revival of Confucian thought, commonly known as "New
Confucianism" (Xin Rujia), has been an important part of Chinese
cultural life since the 1980s.
The conference was the brainchild of Tze-ki Hon, PhD, professor
of history at the SUNY College at Geneseo, and Kristin Stapleton,
PhD, associate professor of history at UB and director of the
university's Asian Studies Program.
"New Confucianism is a multifaceted movement that arose as
scholars and others reflected on the value of the Confucian
philosophical and political traditions in the context of China's
integration into the neo-liberal global economy," says Hon.
"Participants in this movement include philosophers and scholars
in several fields, as well as teachers, social activists and media
personalities in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and in Chinese
communities around the world," he says.
Despite its complex origins and global scope, New Confucianism
tends to be understood narrowly in the West as a
philosophical/religious enterprise with a strong emphasis on
self-cultivation and moral metaphysics.
The conference goal, Stapleton says, is to broaden the scope of
the study of New Confucianism by focusing on its political, social
and cultural agendas. Grounded in a multidisciplinary approach and
a global perspective, this event aims to shed new light on the
current revival as it becomes part of the social and cultural
fabric of 21st century China and the world.
For additional details about the conference program, visit
contact Bruce Acker at firstname.lastname@example.org or
716-645-0763, or go to http://www.confuciusinstitute.buffalo.edu/.
On Friday, April 27, panels will address "New Confucianism and
Chinese Modernity" (10 a.m. to noon), "New Confucianism and
Political Change" (1-2:30 p.m.) and "New Confucianism and
Pluralistic Society" (3-5 p.m.).
On Saturday, April 28, panels will address "New Confucianism and
Morality" (9-10:30 a.m.) and "New Confucianism, Mass Media, and the
Culture Industry" (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.).
"We are excited to have many leading scholars of diverse
disciplinary and cultural backgrounds coming together at UB to
consider this very significant issue," says Stapleton, adding that
a number of conference participants are internationally recognized
for their research and publications on classical and contemporary
Among the most prominent conference participants are Daniel
Bell, PhD, professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing and author
of the acclaimed "China's New Confucianism: Politics and Everyday
Life in a Changing Society" (Princeton University Press 2010);
Tongdong Bai, PhD, of Fudan University (Shanghai) and author of
"China: The Middle Way of the Middle Kingdom," forthcoming this
year from Zed Books; Stephen Angle, PhD, of Wesleyan University and
author of "Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian
Philosophy" (Oxford University Press 2009); and John Berthrong,
PhD, associate professor of comparative theology at Boston
University and the author of many books on Asian and Western belief
systems, including "Transformations of the Confucian Way" (Westview
In addition to Stapleton, UB faculty involved in the conference
are Junhao Hong, PhD, professor of communication, research
associate of the Fairbank Center for China Studies at Harvard
University and author of a number of books and articles on Chinese
culture and media; Roger Des Forges, PhD, professor of history at
UB and author of several books on Chinese historiography, history,
society and culture; James Beebe, PhD, associate professor of
philosophy, an epistemologist and specialist in the philosophy of
religion; and Buddhism scholar Mark Nathan, PhD, assistant
professor of history and Asian studies at UB.
Other SUNY faculty participants include Confucianism expert
Zu-yan Chen, professor of Asian and Asian-American studies,
director of the Confucius Institute at Binghamton University and
coeditor of the forthcoming "Confucius: Eternal Sage" (Long River
Press 2012), and David Elstein, PhD, assistant professor of
philosophy at the SUNY College at New Paltz, where he specializes
in Asian philosophy and comparative philosophy.
"Beyond New Confucianism" is sponsored by the Confucius
Institute at UB, with support from the SUNY College at Geneseo, the
UB Humanities Institute, the UB Baldy Center for Law and Social
Policy, the UB Department of Philosophy and the UB Asian Studies