Sophia 53 (4):579-580 (2014)

Wai-wai Chiu
Lingnan University
Since the beginning of the 21st century, China has been trying to establish its cultural image by drawing on its traditions. Various ideas from the past have been redefined to fit contemporary discourses and practises. ‘Harmony’ is certainly one such repurposed concept. Its popularity is highly controversial, especially because the PRC government has been trying to use the idea of ‘he xie ’ to justify many of its policies. Interest in the idea’s traditional meaning is growing as people seek to understand its place in Chinese culture today. In this context, Chenyang Li’s new book merits attention.The book is divided into two equal parts. In Part I, the author analyses the meaning of ‘harmony’ and related ideas in Confucian texts. In Part II, Li discusses how the concept of harmony can serve as a guide for living to help Confucians reflect on and carry out their actions. This structure is in accordance with Confucian teachings: while Part I articul ..
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DOI 10.1007/s11841-014-0454-9
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