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2013 events

International Sympoium series on Comparative Phylosophy

“Morality and Religiousness: Chinese and Western”

International Symposium Series on Comparative Philosophy--in Celebration of the 40th Founding Anniversary of Journal of Chinese Philosophy

August 14-15, 2013 

Philosophy symposium

Topics and Themes:

Session I:  “Chinese Philosophical Origin in Morality and Religiousness” Chair:  Professor Nicolas Bunnin

Professor Chung-ying Cheng (Hawaii), “From Kant’s Moral Philosophy of Religion to Confucian Religiousness in Moral Practice”

Professor Eric S. Nelson (UML), “Religious or Secular Ethics? The Debate over Confucius in German Philosophy”

Doctor Linyu Gu (Hawaii), “From Pragmatist ‘Religiousness’ to Cosmological ‘Non-Religiousness’: A Study of Fellowship”

Session II:  “God, Morality, and Beyond” Chair:  Professor T. H. Barrett

Professor Richard Swinburne (Oxford), “God and Morality”

Professor Anne Cheng (College de France), “Morality and Religiousness: the Original Formulation”

Professor Lauren F. Pfister (HKBU), “Beyond Moral and Religious Conventionalities: Reflections on the Western Inscription of Zhāng Zài (1020-1077) and the Onto-hermeneutics of Paul Tillich (1886-1965)”

Session III:  “Dialogue between Chung-ying Cheng and Richard Swinburne” Chair:  Professor Lauren F. Pfister


  • How do we come to have the notion of God (or equivalent notion) and in what sense from a philosophical—theological point of view? How do we understand question of conceptual equivalence if there is one? 
  • What do we mean by transcendence? What is the distinction between external transcendence and internal transcendence? 
  • How does God relate to human religion or religiousness: Can we have religion and religiousness without God or its equivalent?
  • How do religion and religiousness relate morality and ethics? Do we need a religious foundation for morality or instead a moral foundation for religion?
  • How does Confucianism (Classical versus Neo-Confucian) relate to religion and religiousness and in what sense?
  • How does Confucianism differ from Christianity and in what better defined essential way? How Confucianism and Christianity relate to each other?

Session IV  “Tradition and Modernity” Chair:  Professor Eric S. Nelson

Professor T. H. Barrett (SOAS), “Situating Ethics in the Historical Chinese Religious Worldview:  The Role of the Interpersonal”

Professor Nicholas Bunnin (Oxford and KCL), “A Theme from Cai Yuanpei”

Professor GE Zhaoguang (Fudan, presented by Dr. Suzanne Xiao Yang), “Will Cultural Difference Lead to Conflict between China and the West?”

Session V:  “China and the West from Scientific Perspectives” Chair: Professor Timothy Connolly

Professor Oliver Davies (KCL), “Encounter between China and the West: Neuroscience, Ethics, and Universalism”

Professor XIAO Wei (Tsinghua), “Mental Health and Bioethics: The Contemporary Narrative Turn”

Doctor Suzanne Xiao Yang (KCL), “Contemporary” Conceptions of World Order in China: Post-Westphalian and All-Under-Heaven

Session VI :  “Morality and Religiousness in Early Confucianism” Chair: Professor Oliver Davies

Professor Timothy Connolly (ESU), “Socrates and the Early Confucians on the Examined Life”

Professor Richard King (Berne), “Virtues and Relationships in Mencius”

Professor Xinzhong Yao (KCL), “Three Confucian Pathways to Moral Religiousness”

Session VII:  Roundtable Discussion Chairs:  Professor Anne Cheng and Professor Xinzhong Yao

Theme: “About and Above ‘Morality and Religiousness’” (by All Participants)

Full programme

For the full programme, please click here.


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