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  • Author: Yang Yang x
  • General Cultural Studies x
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Liberty in Harmony: An Integration of Confucian Harmony and Liberalism in Contemporary China


As the mainstream ideology, Confucian harmony deeply influences ways of thinking and social life in the East. Contemporary China has experienced quite a radical change since the Xīnhài Revolution in 1911. It also marked the re-examination of Confucianism, i.e. the development of New Confucianism. New Confucianism needs to encourage China to fit the modern and global context. Therefore, the revival of Confucian harmony must remake itself to fit the modern world. A certain degree of convergence between Confucian harmony and liberalism, the mainstream ideology in the West, is necessary. Personal improvement is a hotly disputed idea among Chinese Confucians and Western liberals because transformation of public ethics is closely related to transformations of the self. This paper argues the importance of integration between harmony and liberalism. What is important is to explore how each tradition can shed light on theoretical and practical issues regarding harmony between the individual and the community, rather than individual sovereignty over communal claims in ideological studies.

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