Is Confucianism synonymous with Chinese culture? While it may be an overstatement to equate the two, there is little doubt that Confucianism pervades every level of Chinese culture and society. To be sure, other traditions such as Daoism and Buddhism have also left an indelible mark; nevertheless, Confucianism remains central to the shaping of the Chinese imagination. The influence of Confucianism extends beyond China to East Asia and through migration and cultural diffusion, other parts of the world. Confucianism traces its origins to the teachings of Confucius. What makes Confucius so special and what did he teach? This course will explore some of the key concepts in Confucian philosophy. Much of the discussion will centre on the Analects of Confucius, the foundational text of Confucian wisdom, although attention will also be given to the subsequent unfolding of the Confucian tradition. We will attempt to situate Confucian philosophy in its own context and to bring out its contemporary significance. Confucianism is a living tradition. Its vitality hinges on not only its continuing relevance in Chinese society but also its contribution to meeting the global challenges confronting the world today. There are no prerequisites for this course, other than a keen interest in Chinese tradition and culture, and the willingness to engage the Analects of Confucius.
Young and research-intensive, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is ranked 13th globally. It is also placed 1st amongst the world’s best young universities. NTU has about 33,000 students in the colleges of engineering, science, business, education, humanities, arts, social sciences. Its medical school is set up jointly with Imperial College London. A melting pot of international award-winning scientists, young talents and eminent global partners, NTU is also home to several world-class research institutes that builds on its strengths in interdisciplinary research.
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This course is amazing! The teacher is great and the subject is super interesting. I've completed like 20 Coursera courses and I can say that this is one of the best courses of Coursera. Thanks a lot.
I loved every minute of this. Really well structured, very interesting and engaging and I genuinely feel I gained a lot. Thank you!
Thorough review of the subject. Some of the interviews are in Chinese with subtitles. Has peer review.
What will I gain from this course?
This course will equip you with a better understanding of the Confucian tradition and how it has shaped Chinese society and culture over the centuries. It should help broaden your perspective in reflecting on fundamental questions of ethics and culture, which are of critical importance to today’s globalized and technology-driven world.
Do I need to know Chinese to take this course?
No, knowledge of the Chinese language is not necessary. Some key Chinese terms will be introduced, but they do not require prior knowledge of Chinese.
What do I need to take this class?
All you need is a computer with an internet connection, the time to read, reflect, write, and discuss with your peers.