Confucianism: Classical, Neo- and New’

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    Confucianism notionally began in the sixth century bc with the teachings of an obscure Chinese scholar and occasional government adviser called Kongfuzi. This chapter postulates that Confucianism at all levels will continue to influence Chinese and East Asian societies, but its impact on politics will not be constant or uncontested. It focuses on authoritarian uses of political Confucianism, and considers Confucian democracies. Scholars play a ubiquitous but uncomfortable role in political Confucianism. Ubiquitous because scholars and scholarship are and always have been intrinsic to Confucianism, to the point where Confucian revivals cannot achieve any level of credibility without the co-operation of scholars. The most obvious point of articulation between Confucianism and politics is in the way particular political leaders have attempted to revive something of the spirit, if not the working detail, of Neo-Confucianism, and to harness it for their own ends.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Religion and Politics
    Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
    EditorsJeffrey Haynes
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
    Number of pages15
    EditionSecond Edition
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-64392-2
    ISBN (Print)978-1-138-82699-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Confucianism
    • Kongfuzi
    • political Confucianism
    • Confucian democracies
    • Neo-Confucianism


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