Friday, May 29, 2015

392. Philadelphia's First Confucius Institute

As a part of Temple University’s ongoing commitment to international education, the university is collaborating with China’s Zhejiang Normal University (ZJNU) to launch the Confucius Institute at Temple University. The center for the teaching of Chinese language and culture is the first of its kind in greater Philadelphia.

I have made it clear that probably it was that Benjamin Franklin created the first Confucius institute. Franklin named his group (institute )Junto. It was founded  in 1727 immediately after his returning from England. It is believe that Junto comes from a mistaken use of the Spanish noun “junta,” which means “a meeting.” This word derives from the Latin “iunct,” which means “to join.” 

Interestingly enough, Junto (君道) in Chinese is interpreted as the “Way of a Gentleman” or the “Path Leading to a Virtuous Person.” The Chinese meaning seems to best reflect Franklin's purpose of establishing the group. It shouldn't regarded as coincidence. It is well-know that one of the main goals of Junto was to cultivate more virtuous members for society. For more information on Junto, one can read Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, now available online. However, there is much  work to be done to prove that Junto, the name of the group was borrowed from Chinese. I hope we will better understand Junto with more study of Benjamin Franklin's efforts to cultivate his virtue by scholars worldwide.

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