Everything Old is New Again: some Confucian websites

This year, 2015, marks a century since a clutch of Chinese public figures, politicians and thinkers discombobulated by the collapse of the dynastic system in 1912 and the end of two millennia of state Confucianism promoted the establishment of Confucianism as modern China’s national religion.

The following sites promote Confucian thought, education, culture and ethics in the context of the Chinese party-state. Some are official sites, others of a more non-official or popular nature. We would like to thank colleaques involved in the Reading and Writing the Chinese Dream Project for their suggestions. The sites are predominantly in Chinese.

Readers can also consult an overview of contemporary trends in Confucianism by Wang Xuedian 王学典. See his ‘Report on Ten Major Hot Topics in Recent Confucianism‘ 近年儒学研究十大热点报告, presented at a conference on 27 September 2015 at Qufu, Shandong province. — The Editors

The Beijing Garden 北京花园, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra. Photo: GRB

The Beijing Garden 北京花园, Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra. Photo: GRB


China Confucius

The China Confucius Network 中国孔子网 is run by the government-supported China Confucius Fund 孔子基金会, established in 1984.

China Confucius Culture
The China Confucius Culture Network 中国孔子文化网 is operated by a cultural promotion association based in Confucius’s birthplace of Qufu 曲阜, Shandong province.

‘Hanban’ 汉办 (literally ‘ChiOff’), short for the National Office of the International Promotion Leadership Small Group for the Chinese Language 国家汉语国际推广领导小组办公室, is a government cultural cum propaganda body operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Education. Hanban is dedicated to the global promotion of party-state-approved Chinese culture and language. The Confucius Institute 孔子学院 is Hanban’s most famous, and for some notorious, project.

Confucius 2000
A privately-run site devoted to Confucian culture (apparently dormant for some time).

China Confucianism
中国儒学网: a site dedicated to promoting ‘Confucius theory’.

Confucius Clan Relatives
孔子宗亲网 is run by a Confucius Descendants’ Association located in Qufu, Shandong. It features information, and reams of trivia, about this venerable, if not always venerated, clan.

儒家网: a site featuring the discussion and promotion of Confucian ideas and patriotism. The site declares: 人能弘道,非道弘人。我们将以先贤为榜样,以苍生为念,承续儒家文明,光大儒教事业,以天下为己任,为万世开太平。

Chinese Confucian Academy
Features the discussion and promotion of Confucian ideas. It claims an affiliation with the Ministry of Education.

International Confucius Studies Network
国际儒学网. The site claims the aims of the network, 国际儒联, are: 研究儒学思想,继承儒学精华,弘扬儒学精神,以促进人类之自由平等、和平发展与持久繁荣。

The Hongdao Academy
The Hongdao Academy 弘道书院 site was established in 2012 by leading intellectual proponents of Confucian thought including Jiang Qing, Chen Ming, Qiu Feng, etc, as part of their efforts at Confucian revivialism. The site says of the foundation of the same name that: ‘弘道基金’由蒋庆、陈明、康晓光、许章润、秋风五位儒家学者于孔元2563年暨西历2012年6月18日发起成立,面向儒门同道、向道者及一切同情儒家事业与中国文化之人士筹措资金与物资等资源,旨在复兴儒家事业。

The Contemporary Chinese Confucian Network
The Contemporary Chinese Confucian Network 中国当代儒家网 provides overall news coverage of this ever-expanding topic. It also features links to many of the sites mentioned here, and others.

The Shenzhen Hall of the Sage Confucius
The Shenzhen Hall of the Sage Confucius 深圳孔圣堂 site promotes Confucianism in a quasi-religious fashion, somewhat in the mode of Buddhism. The site promotes the site of the temple itself in the following glowing terms: 位于风景秀丽的深圳市东湖公园,由一组粉墻碧瓦的庭院式建筑构成,其中有孔圣堂正堂、太和厅、思贤馆、明德斋等功能各异的场馆。这里一年四季树木繁茂,环境幽雅,是传道讲学的绝佳场所.

Qufu National Studies Academy
The Qufu National Studies Academy 曲阜国学院 was established in 2005. It claims to be unique in China’s tertiary educational sector for promoting ‘the study of the classics, Confucian ritual, ceremonies and personal cultivation’. As the site puts it: 曲阜国学院又名’曲阜书院’ … 是中国唯一全面恢复古人’读经、习礼、开笔、开讲、游学、力行、祭祀与会讲’的高等国学学府。学院以儒学为根基,融汇诸子百家思想精华,兼具中医养生、国术健身、国艺修习,志道,据德,依仁,游艺,实践’为天地立心,为生民立命,为往圣继绝学,为万世开太平’的君子理想。学院联合港台学者,聚会众多名家,成立王财贵书院教学实践基地、儒家文化体验中心、汉服研究室,文正班、伏羲班等下属机构。全面传承中华文化,为最具影响力的现代书院。

See also the following list of pro-patria websites:

The Last Refuge of the Patriot

Statue in a ruins and shards storage area, Garden of Perfect Brightness 圓明園, Beijing. Photograph: Lois Conner

Statue in a ruins and shards storage area, Garden of Perfect Brightness 圓明園, Beijing, summer 2015. Photograph: Lois Conner