China Centrum Tübingen (CCT)

Confucianism and the Challenge of Universal Values in China Today

How has the revival of Confucianism in contemporary China intersected with political struggles over “universal values” in the PRC? The lecture will focus on the case of the World Chu (Zhu) Family Association, particularly its promotion of the “Zhu Xi’s Family Instructions” since 1993. Despite a troubled relationship with the State in the 90s, the Association was able to utilize CCP policies in the early 21st century to promote Zhu’s Family Instructions publically, even suggesting that the Family Instructions should be regarded as China’s contribution to universal values. Leaders have refined these ideas in response to increasingly complex political situations since 2012.

Professor Hoyt Cleveland Tillman earned the Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard University in 1976, and since then has taught Chinese history at Arizona State University. In 2000, he was the first Sinologist to be awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize. Other honors include: Research Affiliate of Beijing University’s Center for Study of Ancient Chinese History; Visiting Chair Professor in the School of History at Renmin University of China; and a National Science Foundation Visiting Professor at National Taiwan University. He has published a dozen books and over one-hundred scholarly articles on Chinese history and thought.