China Centre Tübingen (CCT)

Cultural China and the Contribution of Confucian Humanism in a Globalized World

Professor Tu Wei-ming was born in China and spent his youth in Taiwan where he graduated from Tunghai University with a BA in Chinese. He went to Harvard on a scholarship and gained an MA in East Asian Studies and a PhD in East Asian languages and cultures.

Professor Tu taught at Princeton and Berkeley universities before returning to Harvard in 1981 as a professor of East Asian history, philosophy and religion and in 1996 took up the post of director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute, a position he held until 2008. In 2010, he became dean of Beijing University’s Institute of Advanced Humanistic Studies and in 2012, with support from the Karl Schlecht Foundation, established the World Ethos Institute Beijing.

Professor Tu’s research has been influenced by the renowned Chinese scholars, MOU Zongsan (1909-95), TANG Junyi (1909-78) and XU Fuguan (1903-82), and in his own long career has furthered the study of Confucianism and its applications to modern society with a particular focus on the concept of “spiritual humanism.” He is the author of numerous works on Chinese culture and philosophy, has served on the editorial and advisory boards of many academic journals and associations, and was selected by Kofi Annan as a member of the Group of Eminent Persons for the UN Year of Dialogue among Civilisations.

Lecture summary