Monday, June 27, 2016

461. Capacity to Accept Other Cultures Makes Better Diplomacy



We send our congratulations to Dr. Dave Wang, professor at St. John's University in New York and the historian behind The U.S. Founders and China blog site.

Word reached us that two essays by Dr. Wang have been published in the Virginia Review of Asian Studies (Volume 18, 2016): -Ideas from the East: American Founders and Chinese Wisdom.
...
-The Capacity to Accept Other Cultures Makes Better Diplomacy: Dr. Wilton Dillon's Support of My Research on the U.S. Founders and China.

The Virginia Review of Asian Studies (VRAS) is an annual online publication of the Virginia Consortium of Asian Studies (VCAS) and the Department of Asian Studies at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.

 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

460. Confucius, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Leading by Morals



Confucius maintained that the masses should be led by leaders who governed through their virtue rather than through their laws. He believed that if a government rested its rule entirely on laws, its people would try to escape punishment and have no sense of shame.  Therefore, he reasoned that if the people were led by virtue, they would possess a sense of shame and follow their leaders through their own will.

Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine were the two founders that pointed out the importance of morals during the inception of the United States. In 1778, two years after American colonists declared their independence, Franklin emphasized the significance of morality. He pointed out the necessity of governing with morality, especially for the leaders of the United States. He told fellow Americans that laws were not enough for the new nation. He used his experiences to advice Americans on the importance of virtues. Franklin raised the question, “What can laws do without morals?” He clearly expressed that he believed, without morals, the human society “will in a course of minutes become corrupt like those of other and older bushes, and consequently as wretched.”

Thomas Paine believed that Confucian morals were necessary for politicians in their political debate. He raised Confucius’ virtual principles during his political polemic with the federalists. To support his argument against the federalists, Thomas Paine quoted Confucian moral principles to criticize their moral faults. He told these federalists to follow Confucian teachings so they could be worthy to argue with: “I recommend to them the observance of a commandment” regulated by Confucius, “that existed before either Christian or Jew existed.”  He then listed Confucius principles “Thou shalt make a covenant with thy senses, With thine eye, that it beholds no evil. With thine ear, that it hear no evil. With thy tongue, that it speak no evil. With thy hands that they cemmit no evils.”


Monday, June 20, 2016

459. The Consistency between Confucius Moral Philosophy and the Founder's Insistence on the Nececcity of a Moral Citizenry


I usually delete all spam emails. However, today I accidently found an email notifying me that my paper has stimulated discussion in his group of studying Confucianism. I am very happy to find some posts from the discussion. I quote one of the posts here below. I am sure that my readers would like to read it .
 
"Absolutely fascinating. Wang does a good job of demonstrating the consistency between Ruist self-cultivation and the founders' insistence on the necessity of a moral citizenry. The evidence of the founders' reverence for Confucius will be a great help in promoting Ruism in the U.S.

It would be very interesting if Wang explored the tension between the idea of Confucian moral leadership ("Confucius taught that a perfect leader could create a perfect world through moral strength and example") and the founders' insistence on restricting the powers of political leaders. Jefferson, for example, said, "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

On one hand, the founders placed a great deal of emphasis on moral self-cultivation of the people. But they also placed a great deal of emphasis on restraining the powers of government under the rule of law and "checks and balances" because they believed that men couldn't really be trusted to wield too much power."


Thank you, Ben Butina, great points.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

458. Dr. Dillon's Solution to Dr. Samuel Huntington’s Warning on Conflicts amongst Nations



As a cultural anthropologist, Dr. Dillon understood the significance of mutual cultural acceptance in the development of human history. In his book, SmithsonianStories: Chronicle of a Golden Age, 1964-1984, he emphasized the importance of learning from other cultures. This book is widely regarded as one of the most important books on the cultural history of the United States. In this work, Dr. Dillon proposed a solution to Dr. Samuel Huntington’s warnings of increasing conflicts amongst nations: as Dr. Dillon stated, “Celebrating one nation’s cultural gifts to another—and especially, the capacity to receive—makes for good diplomacy.” Dr. Dillon suggested that by embracing positive elements from foreign cultures, just as the Founding Fathers adopted Confucian moral philosophies and other Chinese ideas, world leaders could create a better world ahead. With the continuous globalization of human society, Dr. Dillon’s proposal of the capacity to receive other cultural influences will become increasingly relevant in an increasingly multicultural world.

The above is from Dr. Dave Wang's Article,
The Capacity to Accept Other Cultures Makes Better Diplomacy: Dr. Wilton Dillon’s Support of My Research on the US Founders and China, in Virginia Review of Asian Studies, Volume 18, 2016.



Monday, June 13, 2016

457. Jeffrey Bingham Mead, Host, Marvels of China: Pathways to the Pacific Rim


The following is from the Weblog : Marvels of China: Pathways to the Pacific Rim


Word reached me that Dr. Dave Wang, one of our previous guests on Marvels of China: Pathways to the Pacific Rim, was a featured speaker at the Translation and Transmission in the Early Americas: The Fourth Early Americanist Summit held at the University of Maryland on June 5, 2016. 

Dr. Wang is internationally famous for his research, publications and lectures worldwide on the influence of Chinese civilization on the American Founders in the eighteenth century. Go to his blog to learn more. 
 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

456. 美国华裔教授专家网转载《桥报》报道



华裔教授专家网 Chinese American Professors and Professional News Network 转载了关于王小良博士的报道。

美国华裔教授專家网(简称Scholars Net)是一个非政治的跨学科高层次人才组织,成立于1991年。现有成员16,000余人,分布在中国及世界各地,大部份居住在美国。以博、硕士以上学位的学者、专业人士和教科研及政府部门精英为主。十余年来一直以发放电子周刊《即时通讯》为主要联络方式,并积极宣传、策划、组织和参与美中科技、教育、文化交流活动,安排大陆港台高等学府代表团访美交流,选送专家教授代表团赴中国讲学,组织庞大留学人员代表团出席广州留交会(1998-2009),为2010年世博会在美国组织数千人签名造势活动,及时发放美中高校、科教研专业组织及政府讯息。这是一个集纳海内外高层次精英人才的团体,一个提供留学人员资讯最快的平台,一个永不关闭的电子交流联络系统,一个服务高级知识分子和专业人士的通讯工具,也是一座沟通海内高科技、高等教育和人才合作的桥梁。


Saturday, June 11, 2016

455. Translating and Transmitting Chinese Culture in the Early Americas

 


For the very first time, in the history of early American studies, the program: Translating Asia in the Early Americas and the EarlyModern Atlantic World was conducted in the University of Maryland on June 5, 2016. It was one of the various programs at Translation and Transmission in the Early Americas: The Fourth Early Americanist ‘Summit’.

This historical moment was recorded in the picture below. With this post I show you the scholars who made the program happen. From the left to the Right, Dr. Dave Wang, (Queens Library at Laurelton), Wisdom from the East: The American Founding and its Founders’ Efforts to Draw Intelligence from Chinese Civilization,  Juan Velasco (Santa Clara University), From Asia to the Americas: Acts of Translation in Eighteenth-Century Jesuit Writings, Michelle Burnham (Santa Clara University) co-presenter with Dr. Velasco, Nancy E. Hoffmann (Villanova University), John Bartram’s Essay on Confucius (n.d.), Sara E. Johnson (University of California, San Diego), La retraite chinoise: A Material and Print Culture History of a Colonialist Outpost in1790s Philadelphia and Chair: Eyda Merediz (University of Maryland) served as the chair of the program. I was impressed by her thorough research on presenters' academic background.



The credit should be also given to the summit committee, including Dr. Ralph Bauer (University of Maryland) , Dr. Allison Bigelow (University of Virginia) , Dr. Alejandra Dubcovsky (Yale University) Dr. Patrick Erben (University of West Georgia) , Dr. Carlos Jáuregui (University of Notre Dame) and Dr. Luis Fernando Restrepo (University of Arkansas)

The Summit was co-sponsored by the Society of Early Americanists (SEA), the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC), the Kislak Family Foundation, the Buckner W. Clay Endowment at the University of Virginia Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and the University of Maryland.