Frontiers of Philosophy in China

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 543–559

Way of post-confucianism: Transformation and genealogy

Research Article


After Neo-Confucianism, the study of contemporary Confucianism became more diverse. Its original uniformity was replaced by diversity. During this time, however, Post-Confucianism became increasingly prominent. Post-Confucianism comes from a post-modernist context and was influenced by a post-modernist ideological mode, and so its appearance was inevitable. It was also closely linked to significant philosophical issues after the change in times, and therefore questioned and challenged Neo-Confucianism which was based on a pattern of modernity. Post-Confucianism represents a new trend in the contemporary development of Confucianism. From a cultural point of view, this essay systematically investigates three internationally renowned schools of Post-Confucianism and their backgrounds, noting their similarities and differences, examining their significance, and determining their meaning. By doing so, it intends to outline an intelligible framework for this academic trend and highlight the significance of Post-Confucianism for the development of contemporary Confucianism.


Post-Confucianism Neo-Confucianism post-modernism 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ames, R. T. (2006). The Consummation of the Self: Classical Confucianism and Taoism within the Mirror of East and West (in Chinese). Shijiazhuang: Hebei Renmin ChubansheGoogle Scholar
  2. Bell, D. A. (2007). “Wei Ruoshizhe er Sheji de Li: Cong Xun Zi dao Xiandai Shehui” 为弱势者而设计的礼: 从荀子到现代社会 (“Rituals for the Disadvantaged: From Xun Zi to the Modern World”). Qiushi Xuekan, No. 2, 6–12Google Scholar
  3. Cheng Chung-Ying (2007). “Houxiandai Yujing Zhong de Rujia Benti Lunlixue Fazhan” 后现代语境中的儒家本体伦理学发展 (“Developing Confucian Onto-Ethics in a Post-Modern World/Age”). Zhongguo Wenhua Yanjiu, No. 1, 1–12Google Scholar
  4. Fingarette, H. (2002). Confucius: The Secular as Sacred (in Chinese), trans. by Peng Guoxiang and Zhang Hua. Nanjing: Jiangsu Renmin ChubansheGoogle Scholar
  5. Gao Baiyuan (2007). “Houruxue de Wenhua Mianxiang” 后儒学的文化面向 (“The Cultural Orientation of Post-Confucianism”). Zhongguo Wenhua Yanjiu, No. 1, 11–18Google Scholar
  6. Graham, A. C. (1986). “Review of Benjamin I. Schwartz’s The World of Thought in Ancient China.” Times Literary Supplement, Jul. 18Google Scholar
  7. Graham, A. C. (2003). Disputers of the Tao (in Chinese). Beijing: Zhongguo Shehui Kexue ChubansheGoogle Scholar
  8. Hall, D. L. (2003). “Modern China and the Postmodern West” (in Chinese). In: Chayi 差异 (Difference), 1st issue. Kaifeng: Henan Daxue ChubansheGoogle Scholar
  9. Hall, D. L. & Ames, R. T. (2005). Thinking through Confucius (in Chinese). Beijing: Beijing Daxue ChubansheGoogle Scholar
  10. Huang Zhuoyue (2007). “Ruxue Zhengti Zhuyi Huayu de Houxiandai Fansi” 儒学整体主义话语的后现代反思 (“The Post-modern Reflection of Holist Discourse of Confucianism”). Zhongguo Wenhua Yanjiu, No. 4, 29–39Google Scholar
  11. Liu Shu-hsien (1998). “Cong Dianfan Zhuanyi de Jiaodu Kan Dangdai Zhongguo Zhexue Sixiang zhi Bianju” 从典范转移的角度看当代中国哲学思想之变局 (“The Change of Contemporary Chinese Philosophical Thought from the Point of View of Paradigm Shift”). Zhesi, No. 1Google Scholar
  12. MacFarquhar, R. (1980). “The Post-Confucian Challenge.” The Economist, Feb. 9Google Scholar
  13. Tu Weiming (2000). “Xin Zhouxin Shidai de Wenming Duihua—Jianlun Ershiyi Shiji Xinruxue de Xin Shiming” 新轴心时代的文明对话—兼论二十一世纪新儒学的新使命 (“A Dialogue between Civilizations in a New Axis Era—Currently on the New Mission of Neo-Confucianism in the 21st Century”). Nanyang Shangbao, Jan. 1Google Scholar
  14. Tu Weiming (2001). “Rujia yu Ziyou Zhuyi—He Tu Weiming Jiaoshou de Duihua” 儒家与自由主义—和杜维明教授的对话 (Confucianism and Liberalism—A Dialogue with Profess Tu Weiming). In: Rujia yu Ziyou Zhuyi 儒家与自由主义 (Confucianism and Liberalism). Beijing: Sanlian ShudianGoogle Scholar
  15. Zhang Shiying (1994). “Zhongguo Chuantong Zhexue yu Xifang Houxiandai Zhuyi” 中国传统哲学与西方后现代主义 (“Traditional Chinese Philosophy and Western Post-modernism”). Shehui Kexue Zhanxian, No. 2, 94–99Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of HumanitiesBeijing Language and Culture UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations