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prof. dr. Tu Wei-Ming

prof. dr. Tu Wei-Ming

World leading expert in Confucian studies and Chinese history & philosophy
Language : English

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  • Human Rights

Professor Tu is widely recognised as a leading scholar in Confucian studies and a towering figure in the revitalization of the Confucian tradition in China today. In 1999 he became the first professor of Confucian studies in the English-speaking world. He is now Harvard-Yenching Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy and of Confucian Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. He was Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute from 1996 to

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Professor Tu is widely recognised as a leading scholar in Confucian studies and a towering figure in the revitalization of the Confucian tradition in China today.

In 1999 he became the first professor of Confucian studies in the English-speaking world. He is now Harvard-Yenching Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy and of Confucian Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. He was Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute from 1996 to 2000.

Born in China in 1940, Tu Wei-Ming obtained his bachelor's degree in Chinese Studies at Tunghai University in Taiwan and his master's degree and PhD at Harvard. He lectured at Tunghai and then at Princeton, and rose from Assistant Professor to Associate and full Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, before becoming Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy at Harvard in 1981. From 1983 to 1986 he was Chairman of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard.

For 40 years Professor Tu has studied Confucian humanism as both an academic subject and a living tradition, and through his teaching and writing he has been instrumental in creatively transforming Confucian humanism from an outmoded political ideology into a vibrant philosophical discourse. He has exerted a shaping influence on the newly-emerging Chinese cultural identity throughout the world, and his inspiring work on the dialogue among civilizations encourages the formation of such a cultural identity in an open, pluralistic and self-reflexive spirit.

Professor Tu has been a visiting professor at Peking University, at Taiwan University, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and at the University of Paris. He holds honorary professorships from Zhejiang University, Renmin University of China, Zhongshan University and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and has been awarded honorary degrees by Lehigh University and Michigan State University in the USA, and by Shandong University in China. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of the second Thomas Berry Award at the United Nations and the tenth Toege Prize in South Korea.

In 2001 Professor Tu was appointed by Kofi Annan to be a member of the United Nations' 'Group of eminent Persons' to facilitate a 'Dialogue among Civilizations', and he was a major contributor to the book, Crossing the Divide, which emerged from this project.

Among Professor Tu's many books, in Chinese and in English, are 'Humanity and Self-Cultivation' (1979); 'Confucian Thought: Selfhood as Creative Transformation' (1985); 'Confucianism in a Historical Perspective' (1989); 'Way, Learning and Politics: Essays on the Confucian Intellectual' (1989); 'The Living Tree: Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today' (1994); 'China in Transformation' (1994); 'Confucianism and Human Rights' (1998); and 'Confucian Spirituality' (2002). There is a five-volume edition of his collected works in Chinese. He is a member of the editorial board of the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies and Journal of East-West Philosophy.

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Cover van The Living Tree

The Living Tree

Title: The Living Tree — The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today
Editor: Tu Wei-Ming
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Hardcover: 295 pages
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0804-7219-12

Growing out of a highly acclaimed issue of ‘Daedalus’ (Spring 1991), this volume explores the emergence of a cultural space that both encompasses and transcends the ethnic, territorial, linguistic, and religious boundaries that normally define Chineseness. By challenging the hegemonic discourse of the political core in Beijing, this newly constructed cultural space opens up exciting possibilities for concerned intellectuals worldwide as well as peripheral Chinese communities around the globe to provide inside perspectives on the meaning of being Chinese. Eleven leading scholars of Chinese society have imaginatively articulated the ambiguities and implications of this cultural space as a historically significant phenomenon.

In the twentieth century, China experienced a level of cultural confusion it had never before known, as revolution, war, economic dislocation, and political authoritarianism took a heavy toll. One product of almost continual turmoil was an unprecedented rate of emigration. Another was the challenging of traditional Chinese culture by several Western ideologies, including Marxism. The whole concept of modernity, with all its ambiguities, had profound effects on many aspects of the Chinese world, both in China and abroad. These essays attempt to illuminate how the events of the twentieth century in China affected the Chinese living outside China and suggest important reciprocal influences.

Among the topics discussed are the long-range historical influence of the overseas Chinese, the relationship between ordinary Chinese and their leaders, a comparison of Han and non-Han cultural identities, the meaning of being a Chinese exile, the Chinese experience of living among non-Chinese, the Asian American experience, the ‘evil wife’ in contemporary Chinese fiction, and, in a glance backward, what it meant to be Chinese before the invasion of the West.

Cover van China in Transformation

China in Transformation

Title: China in Transformation
Editor: Tu Wei-Ming
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Paperback: 284 pages
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0674-1175-49

Reviews
"China in Transformation is a fascinating and timely book which brings together twelve scholars from very different specialties-philosophy, history, literature, law, sociology, anthropology, political science, and religion-to analyze the complexities and possibilities of China's future...There are many...important themes in this vibrant volume, and I encourage readers to see for themselves what this project contains."
— William A. Callahan, China Review International

"Provides thought-provoking insights into China as it changes--or refuses to change--and should have wide appeal."
— Marjorie Dryburgh, Asian Affairs

"These are some astute commentaries on 'whither China' that have sufficient perspective to transcend the limits of daily journalism; for a while at least, they will be helpful guides to a very complex society in transformation."
— Albert Feuerwerker, University of Michigan

"As a short-term ideology (writes Professor Perry Link, in [this] insightful eleven chapter symposium...tightly edited by Professor Tu Wei-Ming)...to 'make money' does hold out advantages for China. More wealth might sweeten the bitter lives of the still large peasant population, family enterprise long dormant might once more flourish, parallel freedoms might ensue and so on. Yet to make money, 'can only be a stopgap'...[and] is clearly not the end of the story."
— Malcolm Warner, Asia Pacific Business Review (UK)

Cover van Confucianism and Human Rights

Confucianism and Human Rights

Title: Confucianism and Human Rights
Editors: Tu Wei-Ming and Wm. Theodore de Bary
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Paperback: 408 pages
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0231-1093-76

What is the place of human rights in a society shaped by Confucian values? Can the teachings of Confucius and Mencius offer useful perspectives on the Western conception of human rights? These and other timely questions are addressed in this volume by eighteen leading Western and Chinese authorities on Confucian tradition, modern China, and modern human rights issues. These articles provide needed perspective at a time when the Chinese government, alter years of denouncing Confucianism as an artefact of a feudal past, has reversed itself to endorse it as a belief system relevant to modern issues.

"This book is a critical and refreshing contribution to the growing literature on cultural relativism and, in particular on Asia and human rights. The essays are infirmly solid, well researched, and clearly written. The volume brings important insights into how human rights concepts relate to or are congruent with Confucians principles and practices."
— International Affairs

"Confucianism and Human Rights explore[s] 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.... [A] solid piece of scholarship"
— Choise

"A significant and laudable collection."
—Time Literary Supplement

Wm. Theodore de Bary is John Mitchell Mason Professor Emeritus andl Provost Emeritus of Columbia University, as well as director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities. He is the author or editor of more than two dozen works on Asian civilization, including 'Sources of Chinse Tradition' and 'Sources of Japanese Tradition'.

Tu Wei-Ming is professor of Chinese history and philosophy at Harvard University and director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute. He is the author of 'Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today' and 'Way, Meaning, and Politics: Essays on the Confucian Intellectual'.

Cover van Confucianism and Human Rights

Confucianism and Human Rights

Title: Confucianism and Human Rights — Volume Two (World Spirituality — An Encycloaedic History of the Religious Quest)
Editors: Tu Wei-Ming and Mary Evelyn Tucker
Publisher: Crossroad General Interest
Paperback: 44 pages
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0824-5225-44

The second and final volume of the most important work ever to appear in English on Confucian spiritual thought and practice.