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Confucius and China in the Modern Age (Volume 1)

Author: Lin Ganguan, Tian Renlong, Zhai Qingfu

Translated by Chi Zhen

ISBN: 978-1-84464-264-9

E--ISBN: 9781844643738

Hardback - 302 pages

April 2021


£75 €90 $120



This book draws together the contrasting strands of academic material on the advancement and impact of Confucianism within modern day China. Edited by China’s foremost expert in this field, this new title examines the events from the 20th and 21st centuries to help unravel the reasons why Confucius belief endured within a rapidly modernising China. Kong Fu-Tzu and Confucianism have undergone dramatic ups and downs during the 20th century in China and the ideological and political struggle between the groups who worships Confucius and anti-Confucius has existed for half a century. After the Culture Revolution, the study of Kong Fu-Tzu and Confucianism are able to be studied without any political meddling and has achieved great success. However, the academic field is still holding different opinions towards this. This book has tried to sort out Kong Fu-Tzu and Confucianism’s history in last century and analyzes some important topics and issues with evidence. It’s also given readers some new opinions about several questions, through which we could learn more about intellectual history, academic history and political history of modern China.



Chapter 1 Confucius in China Prior to the Twentieth Century

The Deification of Confucius

Confucianism in Crisis in the Late Feudal China

The Taiping Rebels’ Disparagement against Confucius and Confucianism

Chapter 2 The Hundred Days’ Reform and Confucius

Calling the Spirit of Dead Confucius: Kang Youwei’s Theoretical Preparation for Hundred Days’ Reform

Liang Qichao, Tan Sitong and Yan Fu: Responding to the Mission Venerating Confucius and Protecting Confucianism

The Conservatives’ Attack on Reform in the Name of Protecting Confucianism

Chapter 3 Debates Involving Confucius on the Eve of the 1911 Revolution

Divergent Ideas about Confucius and Confucianism among Reformists

Confucius and Confucianism in Revolutionaries’ Eyes

Chapter 4 Venerating Confucius and Restoring

Antiquity in the Early Republican of China: A Farce

The Appeal for the Founding of National Confucian Church

Yuan Shikai: Rehabilitating Confucianism and Restoring Monarch

Some Cultural Elites’ Opposition to Pro-Confucian Movement

Confucius and Confucianism in Eyes of Liang Qichao and Gu Hongming

Chapter 5 The May Fourth and New Culture Movements and Intellectual Storm Against Confucius and Confucianism

Chen Duxiu’s Criticism of Confucianism and Pro-Confucians

Li Dazhao’s and Wu Yu’s Critical Reexamination of Confucius and Feudal Ethics

Confucius and the Feudal Ethics in the Critical Eyes of Lu Xun, Qian Xuantong and Hu Shi

Yi Baisha’s A Sincere Reassessment of Confucius

Xin qingnian’s Criticism of Confucius and Its Repercussions on Chinese Society

Chapter 6 Pro- and Anti-Confucians during the First Kuomintang-Communist Party Cooperation

Sun Yat-sen and Dai Jitao

The Communists’ Critique of Dai Jitaoism

Chapter 7 The Study of Confucianism in Post-May Fourth Era

Hu Shi and his Two Research Works

Liang Qichao: Confucius and Political Thoughts in Pre-Imperial China

Confucius and Confucianism under the Scrutiny of Gushi bian

Confucianism in Feng Youlan’s A History of Chinese Philosophy

Zhou Yutong: True Confucius and False Confucius

Confucius in Debates Involving Chinese Social History

Chapter 8 Studies in Confucius and His Thinking, 1937-1949

Kuomintang’s and CPC’s Attitude towards Chinese Historico-Cultural Heritages

Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and Luofu: Setting forth Confucius

Chen Boda’s Study of Confucius and Confucianism

Hu Shi and Chen Duxiu: Two Radical Critics’ Reevaluation of Confucius

Confucius and His Thinking in Works of Zhang Junmai and Qian Mu

Liang Shuming: Rethinking Confucius

Confucius in Zhang Yinlin’s General History of China

Fan Shoukang’s Analysis of Confucius’s Thinking

Guo Moro’s Reexamination of Confucius and His Thinking

Three Marxist Historians’ Reappraisal of Confucius

Confucius in Works of Hou Wailu and Du Guoxiang

Cai Shangsi’s Criticism Against Confucius





Lin Ganquan is the editor of China’s Historical Research Magazine. Previous positions include Director of the Institute of Historical Research at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Member of the State Council Published Ancient Books Arrangement & Planning Group, Vice Chairman of Editing & Publishing Committee of Guo Moruo's works, Presidium Member & Vice Chairman of China History Institute, President & adviser in Chinese History of Qin and Han Dynasties Research Association, President of Guo Moruo Research Association in China. Lin Ganquan is currently the Presidium Member of The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (literature & philosophy department) and Professor at the Institute of History Research at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


Confucius and China in the Modern Age (Volume 1)

Confucius and China in the Modern Age (Volume 2)

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