ICS Lecture: Liu Yunhua, "The Axial Age and the 'Original Differences' between China and the West"
Institute for Chinese Studies presents the "China and the International Mediasphere" Lecture Series
"The Axial Age and the 'Original Differences' between China and the West"
Professor Yunhua Liu
College of Humanities and Communication
Shanghai Normal University
Note: This lecture is presented in Chinese.
The fundamental difference between Chinese culture and Western culture first lies in their different conceptualizations and representations of the universe or tian 天. Next, based on their respective interpretations of the nature of the universe/tian, Western culture has developed the concept of a “nuclear-self” in which “person” is defined by its internal properties while Chinese culture has constructed a “relational-self” where “ren 人” is understood by its relationships to others. Further, in the Western culture the universe and person each is independent of the other and the relationship between the them is binary and antagonistic whereas in Chinese culture tian and ren are unified as one through qi 气.
Professor Yunhua Liu (刘耘华教授) received his Ph. D. in comparative literature from Peking University. He is currently teaching at Shanghai Normal University where he is also serving as the Director of the Center for Comparative Literature and World Literature (Key Project of China’s Ministry of Education -- “国家重点学科－比较文学与世界文学研究中心”). Professor Liu's publications includes books such as 《诠释学与先秦儒家之意义生成》 and 《诠释的圆环：明末清初传教士对儒家经典的解释及其本土回应》. The Center for Comparative Literature and World Literature (CCLWL) at Shanghai Normal University has had a decade-long relationship of academic cooperation with our Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (DEALL), ever since the establishment of CCLWL under their founding director, Professor Sun Jingyao (孙景尧教授).
Institute for Chinese Studies (ICS)
Department of East Asian Langauges and Literatures (DEALL)
National East Asian Languages Resource Center (NEALRC)