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 ...
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.