Confucianism -- Takes on a New Look

Having evolved over a course of 2000 years, Confucianism still has positive and sound elements that are universally applicable, said Ru Xin, former Vice President of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in University of Hawaii on February 25, 2002.

Confucius, the thinker, advocates "harmony but not homogeneity" and "top priority for harmony", and stands for handling relations between individuals, groups or nations in the spirit of 'benevolence and harmony'.

According to Confucianism, conflicts and wars will only bring damages and traumas, while differences can only be ironed out, and disasters avoided through understanding and negotiation. All humankind belongs to one big family, sharing weal and woe, and calling for mutual understanding, interdependence and dialogue on an equal footing.

Professor Ru spoke on the occasion of the Symposium on Confucian Thought and World Peace, a joint academic effort by Chinese and US scholars in re-exploring the thought of Confucius.

Nine other highly achieved scholars, including Ge Jianxiong, Professor from Fudan University in Shanghai, also gave speeches. Their topics are Confucianism and the formation of the territory of China, Confucianism and religion, subjectivity and otherness in Confucianism, as well as the resources of the Chinese Peace Culture.

Confucius's ideas of "benevolence and harmony", have been deeply rooted in the hearts of the Chinese people. The Chinese government, working hard to develop its economy, has basically solved the question of food and clothing for one fourth of the world population, thus contributing to peace and development.

The symposium is also going to be held at Harvard-Yenching Institute, China Institute of New York, Villard Hotel in Washington D.C., and Boynton Beach ,Florida, till March 8.

More than 20 professors and students from the University of Hawaii attended the conference, which is expected to enhance the mutual understanding between the two peoples by studying the thesis of Confucianism and world peace. It is hoped that Confucius's concept will help strengthen mutual trust, remove misunderstandings and promote the friendship between the Chinese and American people.

(China Daily February 27, 2002)

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