Saturday, May 14, 2011

Whither China? Time for Cultural Rejuvenation

Are you concerned about where China is heading toward? When the world attention is attracted to China's extraordinary economic growth and rapidly increasing political clout, cultural transformation in contemporary China is no less epic. Is China going to be more Westernized? Or is Chinese intellectual and cultural tradition reviving? ChinaRains has invited the famous public intellectual and political philosopher Dr. Hsieh Shan Yuan (謝善元) to share his thinking about cultural rejuvenation in contemporary China.

Talk: "Whither China? Time for Cultural Rejuvenation"

by Dr. Hsieh Shanyuan

When: April 2, 2011. Saturday. 2:30--4:00 p.m.
Where: Nairobi Room, Graduate Community Center, 2nd Floor (750 Escondido Road, Stanford)
Language: English
Soft drinks and refreshments will be provided.

Abstract of the Talk:

China's "No.2 World Economy" status has produced both admirations and concerns in the world. The concerns are intensified when Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife were prevented from going to Norway to accept the award. Some people are tempted to cite Samuel Huntington's theory of civilizational conflicts to explain this incident. But a history-conscious person would probably characterize it more as an evidence of China's failture to fulfil the aspirations of her intellectuals of the early 20th century. They embraced science and democracy as the surest ways of saving China and totally abandoned their cultural heritage. A review of the history of these ideas and that of Chinese culture indicates that, while their insight is laudable, their understanding of tradition is inadequate. There are indeed elements in Chinese culture which are compatible with the requirements of both science and democracy. By reorganizing the core teachings of both Confucius and Mencius and by supplementing them with valuable ideas from other schools of thought, one can form a synthesis which, if adopted by the Chinese people, would hopefully guide China's future policies. And a culturally rejuvenated China could probably convince the whole world that her rise would indeed be peaceful.

Short Bio of the Speaker:

Dr. Hsieh Shan-yuan received his Ph.D. in Far Eastern Languages and Civilizations from University of Chicago. He has taught classical Chinese philosophy in various universities, including University of Toronto and University of Denver. Currently, he is a freelance writer and translator. His publications range from academic monographs to Chinese translations of Western classics. Below are some of his publications:
1. Plato Republic (tr.into Chinese from Paul Shorey's Eng. version), to be published.
2. The Last Days of Socrates (tr. into Chinese from Hugh Tredennick's Eng.version), (Shanghai: Yiwen Publishing Co., 2007)
3. The Life and Thought of Confucius, video, 1993
4.The Life and Thought of Li Kou (1009-1059), (S.F.: Chinese Materials Center, 1979)
5. "Hsun-tzu's Political Philosophy", Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 6.1, pp. 69-90, March 1979

No comments: