Confucianism's Political Implications for the Contemporary World

Ranjoo Seodu Herr

in Crediting God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233199
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823233212 | DOI:
Confucianism's Political               Implications for the Contemporary World

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Some of the most pressing concerns of the contemporary world are economic justice, human rights, and democracy. Confucianism's successful adaptation to the contemporary world is predicated on addressing these issues successfully. Many Westerners, including academics, however, express skepticism about Confucianism on the ground that it cannot adequately deal with such issues. This chapter argues that Confucianism can address these critical concerns by resorting to its own philosophical resources. It begins by providing a reconstruction of Confucian ethics by focusing on Confucian personhood. Second, it elaborates on a conception of the ideal Confucian polity entailed by Confucian ethics. It relies primarily on the political theory of a Korean Confucian, Jeong Do-Jeon (1342–1398), the “master architect of the [Confucian] Chos ôn Dynasty.” Third, it shows how this conception of Confucian polity successfully addresses the aforementioned concerns and is therefore applicable, with some modification, to contemporary East Asian societies. The chapter demonstrates not only the timelessness of the core Confucian values and precepts but also their timeliness in their ability to adapt to the contemporary world.

Keywords: Confucianism; Confucian ethics; Confucian polity; Confucian personhood; Jeong Do-Jeon

Chapter.  7584 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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