在过去的约半个世纪，儒家的现代命运正在悄然发生着逆转性变化。一方面，当余英时(1998)先生在1980年代以“游魂说”概述儒家的现代处境时，其冷静而严酷的笔触让我们不得不承认儒家与现实生活世界存在着巨大断裂。事实上，自二十世纪初以来，儒家经历了漫长而持久的知识化重构过程，从一个涉及政治、社会、教育、文化和心灵的完备综合体窄化为一个纯粹学理性、理论性的知识形态，从而与社会实践和人伦日用发生严重脱离，无法再为人类生活提供日常教化和精神指导。但另一方面，进入二十一世纪以后，儒家日益呈现出一种与知识化取向相反的趋势——它逸出大学的学科建制和学术边界，向民间社会渗透，在社会组织和大众领域扎下根基，成为越来越多个体安身立命的精神源泉。当前的儒家复兴展现出明显的草根性、大众性和社会性，儒家行动者和民间团体成为儒家恢复生命力、重振精神性影响、重启日常人生化的主力之一。有学者(Billioud and Thoraval 2015)以“民间儒家”称之，包含两个维度：一是指非官方的儒家活动，这些活动在国家行政机器之外开展，但并不完全脱离国家力量的控制；一是指由普通人开展的儒学活动（第8页）。对此，有两点观察值得注意。第一，当儒家在社会大众和日常生活复兴时，它呈现出一种明显的碎片化状态，即儒家复兴发生多样而差异的领域里，这些领域之间缺乏明确联系，儒家的某些部分犹如“补丁”一般被拼缀在不同领域的不同方面中(Billioud 2010)。第二，民间儒家的兴起展现的是当代儒家复兴的“下行路线”，它与“上行路线”（即由政治和学术精英自上而下推动的路线）之间绝非平行关系，而是相互交织、彼此缠结、竞相促进、动态发展。
Call for Papers
Rethinking Confucian revival in contemporary China through empirical perspectives
The modern fate of Confucianism is undergoing dramatic reversals over the past half a century. Yu Yingshi (1998) used the metaphor of “wandering soul” to describe the modern situation of Confucianism in the 1980s, implying the huge disruption of Confucianism from real life. Confucianism has undergone a long, still ongoing process of intellectual reconstruction since the beginning of the twentieth century, narrowing from a comprehensive system that covers politics, society, education, and culture to a philosophical/theoretical form of knowledge. This has resulted in Confucianism being separated from social practices and human relations and in its accused incompetency to provide spiritual sources for personal cultivation. However, since entering the 21st century, Confucianism has increasingly displayed a different trend from the previous intellectualization process. It goes beyond the disciplinary boundaries and academic institutions, penetrates the folk society (minjian shehui), takes root in social groups and public domains, and becomes the spiritual source of individuals. Billioud and Thoraval (2015) indicated that “popular Confucianism” (minjian rujia) emerges rapidly in the past two decades, this term implying two dimensions: one refers to the unofficial, Confucian-related activities, which are carried out beyond the state administrative apparatus but are not completely out of its control; one refers to the Confucian activities promoted by ordinary people. In this regard, two observations deserve notice. First, the revival of popular Confucianism is displayed as a patchwork of fragmented and scattered activities, reappearing in differentiated and divided fields (Billioud 2010). Second, the rise of popular Confucianism shows the “downward route” (from bottom to top) of Confucian revival, which is by no means a parallel to the “upward route” (that from top to bottom, promoted by political and academic elites). Instead, the downward and upward routes are intertwined and interacting dynamically.
However, the recent changes as described above have been largely underestimated in the scholarship of Confucian studies. The fact of Confucianism revival in diverse fields has posed an urgent call for empirical, interdisciplinary approaches to gain hands-on understanding of what is actually happening. Against this background, we invite proposals that address various aspects of Confucian revival in contemporary China. We particularly welcome empirical studies that pay attention to the evidence, facts and experience related to the revival of Confucianism. There is no limit to the fields of disciplines. Possible topics may include but are not limited to the following: (1) Confucianism and education; (2) Self-cultivation and individual life; (3) Confucianism and religious practice; (4) Confucianism and rituals; (5) Confucianism, politics and nation-state; (6) Confucianism and commercial society; (7) Confucianism, family and gender; (8) Confucianism and social action; (9) Confucianism and social media, among others.
Depending on the number of received proposals, we will consider either a journal special issue or a format of an edited volume. We will aim at an IF journal or a recognizable publisher (for English articles), or a CSSCI journal (for Chinese articles).
We are happy to inform you that this proposal has been accepted by the "Social Theory Workshop" hosted by the journal Shehui(Society) and has been approved to run the panel(s) on 8th August 2021 for up to a whole day (via online approach). Accepted abstract authors will be kindly invited to attend the online panels to discuss their draft versions of submissions.
Potential contributors are kindly invited to submit an abstract, either in Chinese or in English (max 300 words in English; 500 characters in Chinese), as well as a short bio/institutional affiliation/contact details, no later than June 10th, 2021, to: Canglong.Wang@hull.ac.uk. Accepted proposals will be contacted afterwards regarding the details of full draft submission.
Canglong Wang is a lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Hull, UK. His research explores the cultural, social and political implications for the revival of Confucian education in contemporary China. His publications appeared in both English and Chinese peer-reviewed journals. He is currently working on a monograph entitled Cultivating the Confucian individual: Subjectification and classical schooling in China. He can be contacted by the email address: Canglong.Wang@hull.ac.uk.
Billioud, Sébastien. 2010. “Carrying the Confucian Torch to the Masses: The Challenge of Structuring the Confucian Revival in the People’s Republic of China.” Orien Extremus (49):201–24.
Billioud, Sébastien and Joël Thoraval. 2015. The Sage and the People: The Confucian Revival in China. New York: Oxford University Press.
Yu, Yingshi. 1998. Xiandai ruxue lun (On Modern Confucianism). Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe.