Warp, Weft, and Way

A Group Blog of Chinese and Comparative Philosophy

Panels at the 2013 AAR Meeting

There will be a number of panels focusing on Chinese and comparative philosophy at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting in Baltimore, MD, beginning this weekend, Saturday, November 23rd, and running through Tuesday, November 26th.  For more information on specifics, see the AAR meeting website: http://www.aarweb.org/annual-meeting/general-information

The following are panels that I thought might be of interest to readers of this blog (these are just the ones I know of- if any of you know of others that may be of interest, feel free to add them in the comments line). Continue reading


November 18, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy, Comparative philosophy, Conference, Indian Philosophy, Religion | Leave a comment

Panels at the Upcoming AAR Conference

Here is an update from Thomas Wilson concerning the American Academy of Religion conference that will be held this weekend:

Please note the two panels sponsored by the Confucian Traditions Group. We especially encourage you to attend the business meeting following the Saturday afternoon session (A17-316). We’ve also listed a few other panels that might be of interest to you.
Continue reading

November 13, 2012 Posted by | Conference, Confucianism, Daoism, Religion | Leave a comment

Assistant Professor Position in Sogang University, South Korea

The Department of Religious Studies at Sogang University, the Jesuit University in Seoul, South Korea, invites applications for a full-time, tenure track faculty position in ‘Chinese religions’ (centered on Confucianism) at the assistant/associate professor rank, to begin in fall 2013. The Ph.D. must be in hand by time of appointment.

The ideal candidate is expected to have a background in religious studies, specializing in the study of Chinese religions (centered on Confucianism). The candidate must be able to work with classical Chinese, and fluent in (spoken and written) Korean and English so as to conduct academic works of teaching and publication in both languages.

Application process will begin with online application at Sogang University toward the end of February 2013 (as of November 13, 2012, it does not appear that the application is open yet). Inquiries and nominations can be sent by e-mail to the chair of the Religious Studies Department, at <pgpak@sogang.ac.kr>.

November 13, 2012 Posted by | Confucianism, Job Opening, Religion | Leave a comment

New Book on the “Invention of Religion in Japan”

A fascinating-looking new book is relevant to some discussions we’ve had here in the past about Confucianism and other Chinese traditions and, or as, “religion”: JASON JOSEPHSON, The Invention of Religion in Japan (Chicago, 2012). Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

In 1853, the Japanese were required to consider what the word religion meant when western powers compelled the Tokugawa government to ensure freedom of religion to Christian missionaries. The challenge this request posed was based on the fact that prior to the nineteenth century Japanese language had no parallel terminology for the category of religion. In The Invention of Religion in Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2012), Jason Ānanda Josephson, Assistant Professor of Religion at Williams College, delineates a genealogy of the Japanese construction of the category of religion, which was catalyzed by this political encounter between East and West. Josephson argues that opposed to the common notion that religion is an ethnographic or academic creation that we can place religion through diplomatic and legal discourses that invent or manufacture an identifiable, yet elastic, category. Prior to this political demand, contact between different Japanese and western social groups were discussed in bilateral descriptions of orthodoxy and heresy, either from a Christian or Buddhist perspective. Added to this developing understanding of terminology were the influences of western science, the negotiation of local practices, and the rise of nationalism. The Japanese depiction of Shinto poses the greatest challenge to customary notions of religion because it is described as a national or political science that is markedly nonreligious. Overall, Josephson demonstrates that in the defining of legal and social categories there was a trinary creation of religion, superstition, and the secular. In our conversation we discuss theocentric and heirocentric definitions of “religion,” the role of the demonic, heresy, varieties of Shinto, theories of secularization, superstition, civilizing projects, personal interior belief versus external behavior, and the institutional confirmation of these beliefs in legal contexts.

For the Table of Contents, see the book on Amazon. Looks good!

October 16, 2012 Posted by | Books of Interest, Religion | Leave a comment

O’Donnell on Chinese Medicine

Friend of the blog Patrick O’Donnell has two posts up on “classical Chinese medicine” at Ratio Juris (cross-posted at ReligiousLeftLaw) and, and he invites comments from Warp, Weft & Way readers.

The first: http://ratiojuris.blogspot.com/2012/04/toward-understanding-of-classical.html

The second: http://ratiojuris.blogspot.com/2012/08/toward-understanding-of-classical.html

Patrick notes that he plans more posts over the next year or two on the same subject.

August 29, 2012 Posted by | Medicine, Religion, Science | Leave a comment

New book on Chinese religion and philosophy

Prof. SHAN Chun (University of Politics and law in Beijing; International Confucian Association) has published a new book with Springer titled Major Aspects of Chinese Religion and Philosophy. Those with institutional access to SpringerLink should be able to get the full text on-line; everyone should be able to access at least the Table of Contexts and the abstracts of each chapter. It is a broad, synthetic account, appreciative rather than historically or philosophically critical, that represents one contemporary Chinese approach to China’s religio-philosophic traditions.

August 19, 2012 Posted by | Confucianism, Philosophy in China, Recently Published, Religion | 3 Comments

Ames on “Kongjiao 孔教” in Boston, April 25

I was intrigued by this announcement:

Wednesday, April 25, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Confucian China in a Changing World Order
Dr. Roger T. Ames, University of Hawai’i
1st Floor Function Room, Suffolk Law School, 120 Tremont St, Boston

What struck me was the use of “Kongjiao 孔教” to describe the view that Roger is discussing. (I am assuming that he added the Chinese title.) I guess that since “a-theistic religiosity” has long been an important part of his account of Confucianism, perhaps it should be less surprising. But “Kongjiao” resonates historically with efforts to institutionalize Confucian teachings in ways that I am not sure Roger would support. Any thoughts?

April 16, 2012 Posted by | Contemporary Confucianism, Religion | 3 Comments

CFP: Confucian Traditions Group of AAR

The Confucian Traditions Group will sponsor panels for the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, which will take place in Chicago from November 17-20. This Group invites proposals concerning any aspect of Confucianism from any geographical area. Topics of particular interest this coming year are:

  • Confucianism and tradition — Confucianism as a conservative force or a source of change
  • Confucian ritual interaction with other traditions
  • Confucian self-cultivation
  • Confucianism and the Confucius Institutes
  • “Confucian Fever” — grass-roots Confucianism
  • Unintended consequences of Confucian discourse and institutions

Continue reading

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Conference, Confucianism, Opportunities, Religion | Leave a comment

Three upcoming lectures at Columbia

On Friday, April 29, Edward Slingerland will speak on “Early Confucian Virtue Ethics and the Situationist Critique” to the THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY, with a response by Owen Flanagan.

On Friday, May 6, the COLUMBIA NEO-CONFUCIANISM SEMINAR will host two speakers:

  • Anna Sun, “The Revival of Confucius Worship: The Renewal and Reinvention of Personal Rites in Confucius Temples in Contemporary China.”
  • Yang Xiao, “‘Throw Me a Peach, I’ll Return You a Plum’: Mencius’ Moral Psychology of Social Relations.”

Details follow. Continue reading

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Contemporary Confucianism, Lecture, Religion | 1 Comment

CFP: Confucianism at the AAR

As many of you know, religious studies is home to a flourishing discourse about Confucianism that intersects in many ways with the conversations of philosophers and sinologists. Last year’s AAR panels on Confucianism were listed here; now I want to share the Call for Papers for this year’s AAR, to be held in San Francisco on Nov. 19-22, 2011:

We invite proposals concerning any aspect of Confucianism from any geographical area. Topics of particular interest this coming year are: 1. Confucianism in a Modern Context. 2. Confucian rituals: who does them and why they do them? 3. Everyday Confucianisms. 4. Fate, Death and Vulnerability in Confucianism. 5. Teaching Confucianism. 6. Confucianization of East Asia. 7. The institutionalization of Confucian Practices and Ideas. Panels that are in the traditional two-and-a-half-hour format are welcome, but we also encourage applicants to propose panels in the new ninety-minute format. This can take the form of a mini-panel or a symposium on a particular text, author, or pedagogy. Pre-arranged panel and papers sessions proposals have a much better chance of getting accepted than individual paper proposals. Underscoring that Confucianism is not just a Chinese phenomenon, we would also like to encourage people working on Confucian topics outside of China to send in proposals.

Submissions should be made through the AAR’s OP3 system.  If you have any questions, you should contact the co-chairs of the group: Thomas Wilson (twilson@hamilton.edu) and Yong Huang (yhuang@kutztown.edu).

January 19, 2011 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Confucianism, Religion | Leave a comment

Confucian Fundamentalism?

As a follow-up to my earlier post regarding the controversy that has arisen around the proposed Christian church in Qufu, the following remarks from Prof. Peng Guoxiang of the Tsinghua University Philosophy Department are quite interesting (I quote his remarks with his permission):

…Some self-proclaimed Confucians…are trying to stop [the church] by launching a social movement. This fundamentalist attitude, mingling with nationalism, is embraced not only by the young people, but also by some scholars in Confucian studies. A typical feature of Confucian tradition, religious tolerance and open-mindedness, which we have been proud of and exactly from which that multiple religious participation and multiple religious identity has been developed, is now severely damaged by this extremism. How to redevelop a healthy and profound Confucian vision as one of the great spiritual traditions and make its contributions to humankind in a global context is really a painstaking project.

Also: Continue reading

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Chinese philosophy, Confucianism, Contemporary Confucianism, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Religion | 10 Comments

Confucians React to Planned Christian Church in Qufu

An open letter, signed by several prominent Chinese scholars and endorsed by numerous Confucian organizations, has been released criticizing the plans to build a large Christian church in Qufu, about 3 km from the Qufu Confucian Temple. The letter begins:

We have recently heard that a large, Gothic-style Christian church, more than 40 meters high and capable of holding more than 3000 people, is under construction in the vicinity of Qufu’s Confucian Temple. We Confucian scholars, organizations, and websites are deeply shocked and worried, and call upon all concerned parties to respect this sacred ground of Chinese culture and halt construction of this Christian church….

I paste the entire letter, including the list of signatories (many of whom have been prominently identified with “Confucian teaching” or “Confucian religion” [rujiao 儒教]), below.  Continue reading

December 23, 2010 Posted by | Contemporary Confucianism, Philosophy in China, Religion | 11 Comments

NEH Summer Seminar on Daoist Literature and History

Terry Kleeman and Steve Bokenkamp will be jointly offering an intensive, 3-week Summer Seminar this coming summer. They write:

This intensive reading seminar, introducing texts from the earliest Celestial Master petitions to manuscripts still in use among Daoist in Taiwan and China, will be held on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder from July 18 to August 5, 2011.  We are looking for scholars who want to learn how to read Daoist texts and would like to expand their research and teaching to incorporate Daoist individuals, texts, teachings, and practices. There will also be an opportunity to participate in an anthology of translations from Daoist sources.  The Seminar will be demanding but participants will be free to explore the mountains on weekends.  NEH provides a $2,700 stipend to defer travel and living expenses; we expect housing on campus to run roughly $1150 (shared) or $1800 (single) per person.

For more information, see their website.

December 22, 2010 Posted by | Daoism, Opportunities, Religion, Taoism | Leave a comment

Confucianism Panels at AAR

Keith Knapp, on behalf of the Confucian Traditions group of the American Academy of Religion, reports on the several Confucian-related papers that will be offered at the upcoming AAR meeting in Atlanta, October 30-November 1. Looks good!

Continue reading

October 27, 2010 Posted by | Conference, Confucianism, Religion | Leave a comment

Postdoc Opportunity in Japan Area Studies

The program in Asian Studies at Fairfield University has a one-year post-doctoral teaching position focusing on specializations centered on Japan. Philosophy or Intellectual History, though not explicitly mentioned in the ad, will be seriously considered. Continue reading

January 27, 2010 Posted by | History, Opportunities, Religion | Comments Off on Postdoc Opportunity in Japan Area Studies