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ERIC Number: EJ764555
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr-20
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Confucius Comes Back
Mooney, Paul
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n33 pA46 Apr 2007
For more than 2,500 years, Confucian thought held sway in China, advocating a state guided by highly ethical scholar-bureaucrats and a society ruled by morality and a strong emphasis on hierarchical relationships. But by the end of the 19th century, the Chinese state, powerless to fight off foreign encroachment and growing public dissatisfaction, was tottering on the brink of collapse. Leading intellectuals pointed an accusing finger at Kongfuzi (551-479 BC), better known outside China as Confucius. During the May Fourth Movement of 1919, intellectuals frustrated by China's failures shouted "Down with the Confucian store!" and called for science and democracy to take the seat of the Great Sage. Confucius was even more harshly attacked when the Communists came to power, in 1949. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), Confucian temples throughout China were damaged by rampaging young Red Guards, and Confucian scholars were frightened--and often beaten--into silence. Now, almost a century after Confucianism first came under attack as an obstacle to development, it is being heralded as a solution to the many political, economic, and ethical problems China faces. Here, the author discusses how once-banned works by the country's most influential philosopher are studied and celebrated as an appealing alternative to both free-market economics and hard-line Communism.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China