Abstract and Keywords
This chapter discusses types of Confucian humanism in East Asia, their manifestations, functions, and shared core value. First of all, it differentiates two types of Confucian humanism: (a) ethno-historical humanism, and (b) culturo-philosophical humanism. The former was baptized in the spirit of temporality while the latter stressed a return to the spontaneity of one’s mind-heart, which was considered to be supra-temporal and supra-spatial. Both types of Confucian humanism took humanity or ren (仁) as their core value. Throughout the history of Confucian humanism, the meaning of ren fell into four categories, namely: (a) ren as the locale of physical and mental relief; (b) ren as the inner awareness of value judgment: (c) ren as social ethics; and (d) ren as political career. Confucius and Zhu Xi were the two major architects of Confucian humanistic thinking. The spirit of Confucian humanism manifested itself in beliefs in a (a) mind-body continuum, (b) self-other harmony, (c) homo-cosmic resonation, and (d) past-present fusion. Moreover, Confucian humanism functioned as (a) socio-cultural nostalgia, (b) political counter-factuality, and (c) day-to-day “practical learning.”
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