1st Edition

Progressive Confucianism and its Critics Dialogues from the Confucian Heartland

Edited By Stephen C. Angle, Yutang Jin Copyright 2025
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the spring of 2017, U.S.-based Confucian philosopher Stephen C. Angle took part in a series of dialogues with Chinese Confucians in Beijing. The dialogues engage with topics like the relation between Confucianism and modernity; whether Confucianism should be understood as philosophy, religion, or chief ingredient in a distinctively Chinese culture; the status of pivotal modern Confucians like Kang Youwei and Mou Zongsan; and more generally, the prospects for what Angle calls “Progressive Confucianism.” The present book offers translations of those dialogues into English, together with epilogues by the two editors reflecting on what the dialogues tell us about the contemporary prospects for Confucianism.

    Introduction; Dialogue I: Contemporary Confucianism; Dialogue II: Mou Zongsan and Modern Confucianism; Dialogue III: Kang Youwei’s Confucian Legacy; Dialogue IV: Confucian Religion; Dialogue V: Confucian Classicism; Dialogue VI: Leftwing Confucianism; Dialogue VII: Liberal Confucianism; Dialogue VIII: Confucian Constitutionalism; Epilogue I: Which Confucianism? Which Liberalism? Progressive Confucianism as a Middle Way; Epilogue II: Learning From One Another; Appendix: Named Figures.


    Stephen C. Angle is Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies and Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan University.  Angle specializes in Confucianism and comparative philosophy, and is the author of five books, including Growing Moral: A Confucian Guide to Life (Oxford UP, 2022).

    Yutang Jin is Assistant Professor of Political Theory at the University of Hong Kong. He has written on a wide range of issues in normative political theory and the history of Chinese political thought, and his articles have appeared in Political Theory, Philosophy & Social Criticism, The Journal of Value Inquiry, Philosophy East and West, among others.