Benjamin Hammer: Cultural comparison is not a cultural competition, and Confucianism should be inherited critically
From：Author： 2022-09-30 17:51
The 2022 China (Qufu) International Confucius Cultural Festival and The Eighth Nishan Forum on World Civilizations was held in Qufu from September 26 to 28. More than 800 experts and scholars from 22 countries and regions participated in the forums, interviews, and dialogues at the event, online or offline. They had discussions on the theme “diversity of human civilization and values shared by humanity,” contributing the “Nishan wisdom” to the development of human civilization.
(Benjamin Hammer: Associate Professor at the Advanced Institute for Confucian Studies of Shandong University, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chinese Humanities)
Benjamin Hammer has been living in China for years. As an observer of Chinese culture, he thinks that cultural comparison tends to become a cultural competition. Whether it is from the oriental or western prospective, one tends to believe that their culture is superior to others wherever cultural comparison is involved. While it is not necessarily conscious belittlement of others, the subjectivity is ubiquitous.
“I think we should avoid over-glorifying traditional Chinese culture when spreading it.” In his opinion, there is no immaculate ideology, school of thought, or philosophy in the world, including Confucianism. “So what I mean is that Confucianism has antediluvian elements. Instead of pretending they are not there, we should face up to the problems. The inheritors today should inherit Confucianism on a critical and selective basis.”
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