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Hon, Chi Ho Ivan (2005) Chinese intellectuals' reconstruction of Confucianism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century China. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028704

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Abstract

This thesis is about Chinese intellectuals' attempt to reconstruct Confucianism in reaction to the external challenges and internal changes of China in the late 19th and early 20th century. Chapter 1 examines Kang Youwei, Liang Qichao and Zhang Taiyan's re-evaluation of Confucianism. It analyses their discourse on whether Confucianism was a religion, whether it should be transformed into a religion and adopted as the state religion, the religiousness of Confucianism and the religion-secular dichotomy. Chapter 2 examines Kang, Liang and Zhang's reappraisal of Confucius and reconstruction of his images. It analyses how their different representations of Confucius were linked with their attempts to manipulate Confucius as a national, religious and cultural symbol of China to construct national identity, mobilise Chinese people for nationalist movements and promote cultural nationalism. Chapter 3 examines Kang, Liang and Zhang's reinterpretation of Confucian notions. It analyses how Kang reinterpreted the Confucian notion of "Three Ages" and synthesized it with modem Western political and social ideas for advocating reforms, how Liang reinterpreted Mencius' notion of "Primacy of the people" for advocating democracy as well as how Zhang and Kang's arguments on the interpretation of "Three Ages" were linked with the political and ideological disputes between Chinese reformers and revolutionaries in the early 20th Century. Chapter 4 analyses how the reconstruction of Confucianism influenced the intellectual and cultural development of China in the 20th Century, such as the New Culture and May Fourth Movement, New Confucianism, the discourse on Confucianism's impact on modernisation and economic development as well as revitalising Confucian ethics and values as national ethical system and contents of moral education to solve the problems of modem societies. In the conclusion, I argue that the reconstruction of Confucianism had influenced Confucianism's relations with religion, nation, modernity and culture as well as challenged and problematized these notions.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028704
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:01
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28704

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