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The new Confucian

By Shen Wendi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-03 07:00
Roger T. Ames, vice-president of the International Confucian Association, speaks at the launch event of his English translations of Chinese philosophical classics at the Beijing International Book Fair on Aug 23. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Canadian scholar Roger T. Ames is pushing for Chinese culture to play a global role.

Having cultivated the field of Chinese-Western comparative philosophy studies for over thirty years, Roger T. Ames is already one of its big names. In academic circles, his translations of Chinese philosophical theory are widely regarded as valuable reference materials and accepted as standard texts. Yet, he insists on referring to his contributions as just "a little bit of work that I've done".

The Canadian scholar with the Berggruen Institute is also the vice president of the International Confucian Association and a professor of philosophy at Peking University. He divides his time between Canadian and Chinese universities and academic conferences and has trained over 40 PhD students.

Now, his years of effort in translating Chinese philosophical classics are to be brought to the world through a series of books produced by the Chinese Translation & Publishing House, including eight of the most important Chinese works like Analects of Confucius and Dao De Jing.

"The publisher made a forward-looking decision by choosing the right time and the right person," said Niu Xiping, general secretary of International Confucian Association at the launch event. "It is imperative to construct a way of interpreting our own culture. In this sense, Ames has a incomparable advantage."

The bilingual series is expected to be published by the end of the year.

"My main role is to initiate intelligent conversations.

"Philosophy guides people's behavior. The world is unprecedentedly shattering under the ideology of individualism. The international community is crying out for win-win thought patterns. In this regard, Chinese philosophy has so much to offer; yet it has been neglected and misinterpreted for centuries for political and economic reasons.

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