Jiang Qing’s Political Confucianism

  • Daniel A. BellEmail author
Part of the Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture book series (PSCC, volume 20)


It is an honor to comment on Jiang Qing’s work. Professor Jiang has written the most systematic and detailed defense of political Confucianism since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. It also requires a great deal of courage to put forward such views in present-day China. I share his view that political transitions must draw on already existing cultural resources if they are to achieve long-term political legitimacy (p. 39).1 In the case of China, it would mean drawing on the tradition of “political Confucianism” – the most politically influential of China’s traditions – and Jiang offers an interpretation of this tradition meant to be appropriate for China in the future. The tradition offers relatively concrete ideas for social and political reform, and it is a clear alternative to the political status quo as well as to Western-style liberal democracy.


Political Power Political Institution Ming Dynasty Political Legitimacy Confucian Tradition 
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  1. Angle, S. C. 2007. “‘Confucianism Is not Islam: Epistemological Dimensions of Traditions’ Engagement with Human Rights.” manuscript.Google Scholar
  2. Bell, D. A. 2000. East Meets West. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, D. A. 2006. Beyond Liberal Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Jiang, Qing. 2003. Political Confucianism: The Transformation, Special Characteristics, and Development of Contemporary Confucianism. Beijing: Sanlian shudian.Google Scholar
  5. Jiang, Qing. 2004. A Faith in Life and the Kingly Way of Politics (Shengming xinrang yu wangdao zhengzhi). Taipei: Yangzheng Hall Culture.Google Scholar
  6. Jiang, Qing. 2007. “Reflections on the Establishment of Confucianism as the State Religion of China.” [Online]. Available

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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