China / Society

Call goes out for Confucian experts

By ZHAO RUIXUE (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-18 08:14

The birthplace of Confucius, Shandong province, is wooing people from home and abroad to strengthen its research and communication about the great philosopher.

Experts on Confucius and Confucianism, the philosopher's influence through history and the worldview of his work are wanted, said a notice published by Shandong provincial office for talents earlier this week.

The notice said the quest is designed to enforce President Xi Jinping's endorsement of traditional culture.

"The campaign to woo talent from around the world is a positive official action to promote our traditional culture," said Wang Xuedian, executive deputy head of the Advanced Institute of Confucian Studies at Shandong University.

"The Chinese didn't pay enough attention to the nation's traditional culture during the 20th century. We are lucky to have a top leader who values it," said Wang.

Xi visited Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, in 2013, where he made a speech after he attended a discussion with experts on Confucianism.

At the speech, Xi said that research on the philosopher and his beliefs should make the past serve the present, discarding the less valuable while keeping the essential, so the thoughts of the renowned philosopher of ancient China can exert a positive influence today.

Last year, Xi made a speech at the opening of an international conference to commemorate the 2,565th anniversary of Confucius' birth, becoming the first Chinese president to address an international conference on the ancient Chinese philosopher, who lived from 551-479 BC.

Xi said that if a country does not cherish its own thinking and culture, if its people lose their soul, no matter which country or which nation, it will not be able to stand.

"Confucianism could be the best way to help the Chinese rebuild values that were undermined during the country's decades of rapid economic growth," said Wang.

Wang predicts there will be quite a few Confucian experts come to take the jobs as more and more people are showing an interest in Chinese culture.

It's important to review Confucianism values when rapid economic development is threatening people's morals, said Shirai Jun, an expert in Confucianism study who now works at Sichuan University.

"It's of significance to conduct Confucianism study in China as Confucianism is native to China," said Shirai.

Experts can apply for either full-time or part-time jobs. The maximum support Shandong government can offer a single research project is 2 million yuan ($321,993).

Huang Zhiling contributed to this story.

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