Press contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

January 4, 2008

Contemporary Significance of Confucianism is Subject of Jan. 24-25 Conference

Is a philosophical system born in China 2,500 years ago still relevant in the 21st century? A panel of scholars will attempt to answer this question in a symposium titled "The Contemporary Significance of Confucianism" to be held at the Library of Congress from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Whittall Pavilion of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The second day of the conference will be held at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

Sponsored jointly by the Library of Congress and the University of Maryland, the conference will include remarks by Hwa-Wei Lee, director of the Library’s Asian Division; Chuan-sheng Liu, director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland; and Saul Sosnowski, associate provost for international affairs at the University of Maryland.

The Library of Congress portion of the symposium is free and open to the public but seating is limited and pre-registration is required by Jan. 15 [contact Anchi Hoh, (202) 707-5673, adia@loc.gov]. For a conference schedule and to register for both days, visit the Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland (www.international.umd.edu/cim/4934).

Scholars from the U.S., Canada and China will examine the implications of Confucianism for social harmony, sustainable development and peace. Keynote speaker Tu Weiming, Harvard-Yenching Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy at Harvard University, will re-examine the Confucian Analects and new Confucianism. Ruth Hayhoe, professor of theory and policy studies in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, will compare the concepts of knowledge and education in the East and West and discuss Confucianism and education in contemporary China.

Other speakers will discuss Confucian studies in 20th-century China, a Christian perspective on Confucianism, Confucianism in books, Confucianism in the age of globalization, Confucianism and Taoism, and Confucianism and intellectuals. Panel discussions will focus on contemporary trends in Chinese politics; Confucianism, education and global citizenship; and dialogues on world crises and Confucianism.

A special display of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Western books will be on view from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Jan. 24-25 in the Asian Reading Room (LJ-150) of the Library’s Jefferson Building. The display will include Confucius-related rare items from the rich collections of the Library of Congress.

The Asian Division of the Library of Congress has the largest repository of Chinese materials outside of China. The Confucius Institute at Maryland, co-sponsored by the Chinese government, promotes the study of Chinese language, culture, ethics, philosophy and an understanding of China today.

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PR 08-003
01/04/08
ISSN 0731-3527

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