For much of the twentieth century, Confucianism was condemned by Westerners and East Asians alike as antithetical to modernity. Internationally renowned philosophers, historians, and social scientists argue otherwise in Confucian Political Ethics. They show how classical Confucian theory--with its emphasis on family ties, self-improvement, education, and the social good--is highly relevant to the most pressing dilemmas confronting us today.
Drawing upon in-depth, cross-cultural dialogues, the contributors delve into the relationship of Confucian political ethics to contemporary social issues, exploring Confucian perspectives on civil society, government, territorial boundaries and boundaries of the human body and body politic, and ethical pluralism. They examine how Confucianism, often dismissed as backwardly patriarchal, can in fact find common ground with a range of contemporary feminist values and need not hinder gender equality. And they show how Confucian theories about war and peace were formulated in a context not so different from today's international system, and how they can help us achieve a more peaceful global community. This thought-provoking volume affirms the enduring relevance of Confucian moral and political thinking, and will stimulate important debate among policymakers, researchers, and students of politics, philosophy, applied ethics, and East Asian studies.
The contributors are Daniel A. Bell, Joseph Chan, Sin Yee Chan, Chenyang Li, Richard Madsen, Ni Lexiong, Peter Nosco, Michael Nylan, Henry Rosemont, Jr., and Lee H. Yearley.
"The recent resurgence of interest in Confucius and Confucianism has been reflected in an outpouring of books on all aspects of this important tradition. With this excellent volume, Bell . . . offers an indispensable collection of essays that address the contemporary relevance of classical Confucian ideas. Organized into chapters focusing on civil society, justice, pluralism, feminism, and war, Bell's latest offering combines previously published pieces with new articles from a range of significant authors. . . . These and other thought-provoking essays make this an indispensable addition to any serious collection of contemporary political thought."--R. Parrish, West Texas A&M University, for CHOICE
"Even for the non-specialist, Confucian Political Ethics is a lively and easily ingested read."--John A. Coleman, Politics and Religion
"This excellent volume is relevant to a wide range of readers in such diverse fields as history, law, politics, sociology, feminist theory, comparative religion, and comparative philosophy. It will surely stimulate thoughtful reflection and debate for many years to come."--Sarah A. Queen, Journal of Law and Religion
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Daniel A. Bell: