China's Confucius Mania

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 5/08/2007 04:20:00 AM
This past Easter, I contemplated the "Moral Complexion of China's Growth." This interesting article from the LA Times suggests that many in China are doing the same thing through the lens of Confucianism. As I implied, there tends to be a convergence in perspective among the world's great religions, Confucianism not exempted. (Some consider Confucianism more of a philosophy than a religion, though):

Since the publication of her enormously popular book on the teachings of Confucius late last year, Yu [Dan] has been racing from college lectures to book signings, TV appearances and speaking engagements. The public can't seem to get enough of this overnight sensation who has turned dusty old Confucian teachings into a Chinese version of "Chicken Soup for the Soul."

"I never expected this," the smartly dressed 42-year-old said in a hurried interview from the back of the black Audi taking her to the airport. "In the 21st century, our value system is changing; people are faced with a lot of confusion and choices. The classics are not just fossils. They are a value system that can help us find answers to modern-day problems."

For more than 2,500 years, the Confucian doctrines of filial piety, moral righteousness and hierarchical relationships were the guiding principles of life and government in China and most of East Asia. Then the Communists came to power and Chairman Mao declared Confucianism counterrevolutionary and his Red Guards ransacked temples dedicated to the philosopher.

Today, China is charging ahead with dizzying economic growth and breathtaking social change. But many believe the world's most populous nation has lost its moral and spiritual anchor. Enter the wisdom of Kong Fuzi, or Master Kong, as Confucius is known in China — interpreted by a woman.