Confucianism and Human Rights

Confucianism and Human Rights

Hardback

Edited by William Theodore De Bary, Edited by Wei-Ming Tu

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  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 408 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 234mm x 28mm | 686g
  • Publication date: 15 January 1998
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0231109369
  • ISBN 13: 9780231109369
  • Edition statement: New.

Product description

In essays exploring the relationship of contemporary human rights doctrine to the teachings of Confucius and Mencius, this volume explores concepts of the individual in relation to community, state, and society. The essays also consider: the notion of "rights" in Confucian ritual and in Chinese law; social justice and religious and intellectual fredom in Chinese and Western traditions; and constitutionalism and the rule of law in China and the West.

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Author information

Wm. Theodore de Bary is the author or editor of more than two dozen works on Asian civilizations, including Sources of Chinese Tradition and Sources of Japanese Tradition.Tu Weiming is the editor of China in Transformation and author of Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today, and Way, Meaning and Politics: Essays on the Confucian Intellectual.

Review quote

"An ambitious book, dealing with human nature, according to classical Confucian philosophers, analogies between rights and rites, and Confucian influences in 20th-century China." -- Stefan B. Polter, Asian Affairs "This rich volume, a feast for the mind, a joy to the soul, is so wise in seeing that the human rights discourse is not the singular fruit of a peculiar liberal individualistic Western tradition, not the unique genetic child of Jews or Christians or Greeks." -- Edward Friedman, Asian Thought and Society "It reduces the lack of clarity that has characterized discussions of this subject to date." -- Lynn Struve, China Quarterly "The essays explore such vital subjects as the normative foundation of human rights claims, the relationship of the individual to the nation-state, rites as rights, due process, harmony versus freedom of thought, constitutionalism, and the rule of law... each one does stand on its own as a solid piece of scholarship." -- Choice "This engaging book is propaedeutic to a study of how Confucianism might contribute to decisions respecting rights." -- Dale Maurice Riepe, International Studies in Philosophy

Back cover copy

What is the place of human rights in a society shaped by Confucian principles? Can Confucianism offer useful perspectives on the Western conception of human rights? In this enlightening volume, eighteen leading Western and Chinese authorities on Confucian tradition, modern China, and modern human rights address these timely questions. They offer a balanced forum that seeks common ground, providing needed perspective at a time when the Chinese government, after years of denouncing Confucianism as an aritfact of a feudal past, has made an abrupt reversal to endorse it as a belief system compatible with communist ideology. In using Confucianism as a lens for which to evaluate the strengths and limitations of the principles of human rights, this book makes a significant contribution to understanding the complicated issues surrounding the "values" debate between China, some Asian regimes, and the West.

Table of contents

1. The Chinese Tradition in Antiquity 1. The Oracle-Bone Inscriptions of the Late Shang DynastyDavid N. Keightley 2. Classical Sources of Chinese Tradition Burton Watson, by David S. Nivison, Irene Bloom 3. Confucius and the AnalectsIrene Bloom 4. Mozi: Utilitarianism, Uniformity, and Universal Love, by Burton Watson 5. The Way of Laozi and Zhuangzi 6. The Evolution of the Confucian Tradition in Antiquity 7. Legalists and Militarists 8. The Han Reaction to Qin Despotism 9. Daoist Syncretisms of the Late Zhou, by Qin, and Early Han 10. The Imperial Order and Han Syntheses 11. The Economic Order Burton Watson, by Wm. Theodore deBary 12. The Great Han Historians Burton Watson 3. Later Taoism and Mah y na Buddhism in China 13. Learning of the MysteriousRichard John Lynn, by Wing-tsit Chan, Irene Bloom 14. Daoist ReligionFranciscus Verellen, by Nathan Sivin, et al. 15. The Introduction of Buddhism 16. Schools of Buddhism 17. Schools of Buddhism 4. The Confucian Revival and Neo-Confucianism 18. Social Life and Political Culture in the Tang 19. The Confucian Revival in the Song 20. Neo-Confucianism: The Philosophy of Human Nature and the Way of the Sage 21. Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucian Program Wm. Theodore deBary 22. Ideological Foundations of Late Imperial China 23. Neo-Confucian Education 24. Continuity and Crisis in the Ming