Regional/ News

Confucius enjoying modern revival

By Zhang Dandan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-19 08:17

Officials in Shandong province, where Confucianism got its start, are using innovative methods to apply the ancient philosophy to the present day, and spread appreciation of its benefits worldwide.

The traditional culture needs innovation - both in terms of content and the way that content is expressed - to conform to the times and meet the aesthetic habits of young people, said Wang Lei, head of the Shandong Provincial Department of Culture.

Wang added that the wisdom of Confucius, dating back more than 2,500 years, is still applicable to the healthy development of modern society.

The effort to spread Confucianism in the 21st century is being led by Nishan Academy, which is taking the lead in China to integrate the modern public library with the traditional academy, thereby propagating Confucian classics.

The local government is establishing Nishan Academies in most of the public libraries above the county level, offering classes on ancient Chinese civilization and traditional Chinese culture every weekend. The classes are open to the public free of charge.

"Nishan Academy is not a traditional academy any more. Located in modern libraries, the academies allow more residents to have access to the treasured classic literature, books and records, granting the traditional culture vitality and lasting impact," said Li Xining, associate librarian of Shandong Library and secretary-general of Nishan Academy.

As of now, Nishan Academy has held more than 4,000 open classes on The Analects of Confucius, Confucianism, Chinese zither, folk music and archery. More than 500,000 people have attended the classes.

Nishan Academy isn't the only organization facilitating the propagation of Confucianism. In a program known as the "Rural (Community) Confucian" classroom, the government has appointed more than 500 qualified Confucian teachers to give courses on Confucianism in communities and rural areas across the province.

Covering Confucian classics, filial piety and morality, legal institution and moral practices, the courses are poised to share the time-honored culture in communities across Shandong.

And Shandong officials aren't just targeting their own province. To promote Confucianism worldwide, provincial officials are working with the Nishan Forum on World Civilizations, World Confucian Conference and Nishan Book House, according to Wen Shanchang, head of the foreign liaison division of the Shandong Provincial Department of Culture. Nishan Book House, launched by Shandong Friendship Publishing House in 2012, is devoted to providing quality Chinese books to foreign readers and accelerating the appreciation of outstanding Chinese culture around the world. According to Wen, the overseas book houses are established in the Confucius Institutes and public libraries, as well as the schools and libraries organized by the ethnic Chinese in more than 20 foreign countries, including Russia, Austria, New Zealand, the United States, Italy, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Germany and South Korea.

"There are more than 300 kinds of books in each book house, most of which are with respect to Confucian culture, Shandong culture and Chinese culture," Wen said. "The overseas readers can borrow these books as easily as from any other public library."

Confucius enjoying modern revival

(China Daily 09/19/2018 page29)

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349